Miscellaneous Rumbles

Ric12string’s Hall of Fame Adventure

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Some of you may recall that I celebrated a milestone birthday this past Sunday. Many of my friends have asked me what it was that I did that made it perhaps my best birthday ever. So, I thought that I would share a bit about it with you.

We all have bucket list items, even if we haven't formally prepared a written bucket list. One of the things that has long been on my bucket list has been a visit to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame museum on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio.

As I began to think through the possibility of making such a trip, I called up Proteus and asked him if he would have any interest in meeting me in Cleveland to tour the museum. After he agreed to do so, however, the idea quickly morphed into an adventure that we would share with a handful of other GDPers. For logistical reasons, we had to keep the number pretty small so that we could books rooms and find restaurants with enough empty chairs to seat us at one time. So, if there are any of you who might have also enjoyed visiting the museum with us, my apologies in advance. Maybe we can do another visit sometime in the future. Or maybe even hold a Roundup there???

The museum is filled with some of the most amazing artifacts from rock 'n' roll's history. Among others, there were the original lyric sheets by the songwriters, recording or performance contracts, clothing worn by artists in famous videos or on stage, and more holy grail guitars than you could shake a stick at.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1983 by Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records and members were first inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986. However, the actual construction of a museum did not come about until a bit later. The museum was completed and dedicated on September 1, 1995, with the ribbon having been cut by a group that included Little Richard and Yoko Ono.

While there are only several thousand items on display in the museum, the Hall of Fame owns approximately 30,000 items and rotates displays periodically from that collection.

In addition to honoring the inductees into the Hall of Fame, the museum also chronicles the history of rock 'n' roll music, both with the written word and with audio video presentations.

So, why Cleveland? Well, it has to do with Alan Freed, a Cleveland radio disc jockey who was the first to coin the phrase "rock 'n' roll." He was instrumental in breaking many new acts with his radio show. Also, after the potential locations had been winnowed down to Cleveland and Memphis, a 1986 national poll was conducted by USA Today newspaper and Cleveland was the top vote-getter. I would suppose that a grant of $65 Million from the City of Cleveland didn't hurt much either.

I will periodically post some photographs in the coming weeks and months of some of the artifacts on display in the museum that I found most interesting. If you are not interested, my apologies in advance. If, however, you are like me and share an interest in the history of rock 'n' roll music, then I hope that you will find this to be of some value to you.

As they say in huge block letters in front of the Museum, "Long Live Rock."

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Sounds like a great "Birthday Party" to me. I'm sure that all involved had a great time!

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JD, I have something in particular in store for you. As soon as I saw this item, I immediately thought about you. I'll roll it out in due course.

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Good for You!

My Cousin took his family last month, sent us all the full trip report...not enough Beach Boys...

We lived in Cleveland mid-80's...Always fun down by the Lake.

(I could never get enough resolution to read the Park sign...)

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Is that he infamous Bob Howard behind Tim?

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Is that he infamous Bob Howard behind Tim?

– Suprdave

Busted!

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Sounds like an awsome road trip. And now you’re gonna drag the story out and create a lot of suspense? This sounds like something that was discussed and planned on the road.

I just hope there’s a chapter reminiscent of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”!

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Powdog, it is actually more the result of having taken hundreds of photos. It is much too much to do in one sitting. I will post some (not all) of them as time permits.

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I just hope there’s a chapter reminiscent of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”!

I could write the Automobiles section about my hydroplane through Cincinnati yesterday on the way home. Durn place gets rain when everywhere else is dry. I should know to avoid it...but noooo, "rush" hour (why do they call it that when traffic is blocked solid and creeping?) and alternating thunderstorms and steaming sunglare. 90 minutes to go 30 miles.

Alas, no pictures; I was too busy discussing traction with the road through the mediation of a skittish vehicle with temporarily disabled ABS and traction control...

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Is that he infamous Bob Howard behind Tim?

– Suprdave

You have a great eye Suprdave. Looking forward to the story and pics.

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GREAT idea!!! Looking forward to stories and pictures!

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For me (other than the fine company) the highlight was John’s guitars, the first Beatle Ric, the replacement (both on the Ed Sullivan show) and the Cassino from the roof top performance. It was cool to watch the film while standing next to it.

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You're not stealing my thunder there, are ya, Bob? Good, I didn't think so.

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Sorry, Bob. That was thoughtless of me. I’ll stop. This is why I can’t be trusted for a dramatic buildup and reveal.

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I hate the dramatic build up or surprise, I keep wondering what might be behind door number 3 and it's always anticlimactic. Open the damn door Monty!

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Happy belated, btw! You always make a great effort to wish the rest of us a happy birthday so again a a belated birthday wish from the Texan in Spain!

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Well...I didn't want to give it away, but we did see...

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Well...I didn't want to give it away, but we did see...

– Proteus

Ha!

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Looks like you rogues had a great time! Cool pics.

Edit: Tim if you’re sightseeing, then you can’t be working on my Tru Arc. Priorities........

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... ZAC BROWN'S HAT!

(Too precious an artifact to photograph.)


Zig, I myself make no bridges. As I was passing through central Ohio, where the bridges are lovingly crafted by garden gnomes and kind-hearted androids, I did take strenuous measures to ascertain that work was proceeding. It was.

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I'm waiting for this to be turned into an Oceans Eleven style heist movie.

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All we stole was a single day's advance knowledge of a new Earthquaker pedal, thanks to the surreptitious sleuthery of one of our number, to be left unnamed.

However, we made no use of this information to blow EQD's cover, so their official announcement Wednesday was able to take the world by surprise.

I know we're all still reeling.

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Lynyrd Skynyrd began their career in Jacksonville, Florida, where five teenage buddies created a band which performed under a variety of names. However, in 1969, they were in search of a new band name and landed upon the idea of mockingly using the name of a P.E. teacher at their high school named Leonard Skinner. Band member Gary Rossington had lengthy curly locks and Skinner was renown for strictly enforcing the hair code in the school. As a result, Skinner and Rossington butted heads often and Rossington eventually dropped out of high school after growing weary of being hassled about his hair length.

The band rose to tremendous success on the wave of the popularity of their Southern Rock style. Their songs typically spoke of their working-class Southern roots and ethic. They produced such huge hits as “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Free Bird”, “Saturday Night Special”, “Gimme Three Steps”, and “What’s Your Name?”, among many more. Over the course of the band’s career, they have sold over 28 million records in the United States.

Lynyrd Skynyrd was befallen with tragedy when in 1977 their chartered plane ran out of gas and crashed in a heavily wooded area in Mississippi. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and Steve’s backup singing sister, Cassie Gaines, all died in the crash, while the other band members were injured to varying degrees.

What is left of the band is currently in its farewell tour this year. The only remaining original member of the band is Gary Rossington. Rossington was one of the components of the dense three-guitar attack that the band created in their recordings and that truly defined their sound.

During his career, Rossington has primarily played two different guitars. His prime guitar has been a sunburst 1959 Les Paul which he refers to as Bernice, named after his mother. His other guitar has been a 1961 Gibson SG. The guitar was often seen when Rossington used it to play slide guitar. He would frequently insert the shaft of a screwdriver beneath the strings to lift them up to make it easier to play the slide parts. He also tuned the second and third strings in unison to a G note to make the guitar “cry” a little bit when played.

Interestingly, both of Rossington’s guitars are in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame museum although only the SG was on display while I toured the museum.

Gary Rossington was inducted as a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Check out this video of Rossington playing the 1961 Gibson SG on “Free Bird”. (Note the screwdriver under the strings at the guitar's nut.)


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