One might expect to find the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a big city, like New York or Los Angeles. Instead, the glass pyramid-shaped building is nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Why, you ask?
Cleveland is considered the “birthplace” of Rock ‘n Roll because DJ Alan Freed coined the phrase on his radio show in that city.
Just like the music it represents, the museum is a newcomer on the scene. Since its doors opened in 1995, hundreds of thousands of people have made the pilgrimage to Cleveland to learn more about rock’s greats.
If I had to use one word to describe the Rock Hall, it would probably be “loud.” Music emanates from everywhere, creating a cacophony of noise that is hard to decipher. On my second visit, there was a rock band playing on the first floor stage, whose sound carried through the entire building. I couldn’t even talk to the people I came with.
And there is A LOT to look at. Every gallery is stuffed full of memorabilia.
Despite the sensory overload, I really did enjoy the Rock Hall. Where else can you see such amazing stuff? The artifacts we saw belonged to famous rock stars – original lyrics and sheet music, costumes, guitars, and everything in between!
A changing exhibition gallery allows the Rock Hall to cover a range of artists and topics. When I was there, a special exhibit on John Lennon featured the blood-spattered glasses he was wearing when he was shot. They were tastefully displayed in a case visible through a small peephole. All of the artifacts were on loan from Yoko Ono. In fact, the exhibit included a white phone that Yoko would call upon occasion during the exhibition. I visited three times, but sadly it did not ring when I was there.
The gallery that housed the Lennon exhibit currently features a show about Jim Morrison.
The Hall of Fame itself is a separate part of the museum and is tastefully done. A dark hallway with backlit panels displays all of the members of this elite group of musicians.
Although it is worthwhile to visit, the admission is a bit pricey. It costs $20 for an adult ticket.