On the last weekend in March I went to visit Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
My companions and I were amazed at the beautiful pyramid style of architecture. Narrow escalators take visitors up and down six levels of relics from the history of this distinctly American, once controversial art form.
A beautiful view of Lake Erie is visible through the glass walls of this amazing place.
A movie entitled Mystery Train on the lower level introduces the audience to the roots of Rock and Roll, which include Blues, Gospel, R&B, Country, Bluegrass, and Folk. Interactive listening exhibits cover the influences of artists as well as evolution of the music.
I saw everything I would have expected to see here. There were costumes, instruments, lyric sheets, and other personal belongings of the artists.
One thing I did not expect was the eerie feeling I experienced once I entered the lower level. It was a strange sort of vibe- almost a sadness which overtook me as I wandered through the halls of glass cases filled with rock’s artifacts. This creepy feeling continued as I toured the building.
I really can’t explain this uncanny sensation which accompanied my that day. Maybe it was strange to see the stage props of those artists who are still alive displayed in the cases. Who knows…
At times I felt like I was in a pawn shop looking at some of these beat-up, road weary instruments.
Maybe I was feeling the struggle of these artists, from the earliest trailblazers to those who were instrumental in the development of the art form, despite resistance, obstacles encountered, and even protests.
There was definitely a mystery and inexplicable aura filling the halls.
My favorite part of the of the visit was seeing Janis Joplin’s items. I felt a tremendous love emanating from her belongings. One particular bead necklace struck me. It was beautiful and glowing as if it were brand new. I felt a sense of connection with her more than with any of the other incredible artists who are included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It was quite a memorable, haunting experience. I understand that the exhibits are constantly changing; as objects are on loan from the musicians. I will most likely return to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in the future.
Maybe I will understand more about my strange experience and find out between now and then whether other people have felt the same eerie undercurrent.