Turning south for the first time in a month we depart Michigan’s UP and cross the mighty Mackinac Bridge trying our best to stay ahead of the impending winter weather.
Following the west coast of Lake Michigan we pass through beautiful farm country and coastal resort towns.
The colors continue to be brilliant but in some areas are quickly fading before our eyes.
In Traverse City we find Sparks BBQ located along the Boardman River and eat what we consider to be some of the finest brisket and dry rubbed ribs we have found in Michigan.
The weather remains unsettled and very wet. We spend two nights camped in a driving rain with wind gusts up to 45 mph, not much fun for sleeping.
We spend a couple of nights at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lake Shore. It is a very scenic and relaxing place where bird watching is exceptional.
In Ann Arbor we visit my nephew Lucas, a very talented saxophone player, and a graduate of music from Michigan’s Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. He is currently a member and manager of The Moanin’ Frogs and tutors students around the city.
Approaching southern Michigan all of a sudden we realize that we are less than 200 miles from Cleveland and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, it was a no brainer so we immediately head east.
Built on the shores of Lake Huron in downtown Cleveland the pyramid shaped building is a sight to see. We find a place to camp in a parking lot within the ship yards just behind this amazing building.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is one of Cleveland’s most popular attractions. Since its opening in 1995, more than 9 million visitors, musicians and celebrities have walked through its doors.
I had wondered why the museum was located in Cleveland and found out it is the hometown of Alan Freed, the disk jockey who popularized the term “rock ‘n’ roll” in the early 1950s.
You don’t need to be a die-hard fan of rock music to enjoy the country’s one and only Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The museum houses a number of permanent and temporary exhibits. It follows the progression of the early roots of Rock as well as special collections and artifacts from some of the best rock ‘n’ roll musicians of all time.
We loved the museum’s massive collection of memorabilia including guitars, hand written song lyrics, and vintage clothing.
Some rock historians claim that rock and roll was one of the first music genres to define an age group, the baby boomer generation.
Others say rock and roll may have contributed to the civil rights movement because both African-American and white American teens enjoyed the same music.
There is no doubt Rock and Roll influenced my youth while growing up in Southern California. Lifestyle, fashion, attitude, and language were directly attributed to what I listened to on the Sunset Strip and heard on the AM radio.
I never would have guessed that in the late 60’s the rock music I listened to in the small clubs along the Sunset Strip such as the Troubadour, Whisky a Go Go, and the Roxy would go on to become timeless.
Hearing bands live like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Doors and the Beach Boys is something I will never forget.
During this time period rock music was about cars, school, dating, drugs and war. In the late 60’s some rock and roll lyrics described events and conflicts that some of us could relate to through personal experience.
To me music is like a time machine. Certain songs can remind us of times in our lives, and familiar sounds trigger familiar images in our heads.
I believe music attaches itself to a moment or period in which we experienced it most intensely, and by hearing it again we can be taken back to that moment.
In 1966 Denise chased the Beatles entourage through the downtown streets of Anchorage on her Honda 65 while the Fab 4 was making a short stop on their around the world tour. She saw them waving from an upstairs window.
We spent 3 glorious hours wandering through the 6 different levels of museum examining the exceptional exhibits, artifacts and artwork.
The museum’s most famous event is the annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony that takes place every April.
In 2004 George Harrison was posthumously inducted into the hall of fame. As part of the ceremony an all star band preformed “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” George’s best-known Beatles song.
The group featured Tom Petty and two other members of the Heartbreakers, as well as Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison (George’s son) and Prince, also an inductee that year.
Prince’s stunning guitar solo during the performance has rightly been hailed as one of the best onstage moments of his career.
We enjoyed this exceptional performance in the moving Power Of Rock Experience theater located within the museum.
We were very lucky to live during the burgeoning days of rock and yet still live in a time when rock music continues to stimulate and I believe improve our lives.
Rock and Roll – a past influence and the ultimate soundtrack to our youthful ambitions that continues to inspire us today.
The only sad part about the museum is that once inside you realize how many of these famous musicians are now gone. Whether it be of old age or other reasons some passed way too young.
Don’t miss our latest video “Long Live Rock”.
To really enjoy the soundtrack you will need headphones, good earbuds or a fine stereo system, click the HD button, crank up the sound and enjoy!
We certainly did.
The soundtrack to our video is from the 2004 Induction Ceremony. All other videos and photographs were taken inside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame during our visit.
If you like roll and roll don’t miss this excellent museum.
Next we wander south through Ohio… keep you posted!