Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My rock and roll weekend

I missed my Saturday blog last weekend. I didn’t bother to lug my laptop to Cleveland and thought maybe I could grab a few minutes at the business center at the hotel, but blogging was not in the cards. No, last weekend was all about rock and roll.

What a wonderful time I had catching up with my friend Bob and his family (see last Thursday’s blog for background info). Unfortunately, Bob’s band, Looming Larger, didn’t win the competition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I really thought they had a decent chance since they were the only band with a full set of original music. I’d hoped the judges would extend them extra consideration since it takes a hell of a lot more effort to write and arrange original compositions than play a classic rock hit that you’ve had about 40 years to work out, but evidently they weren’t hip to my line of thinking.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, planted right on the edge of Lake Erie, is a must-see for anyone who loves rock music. Expecting it to be little more than a glorified Hard Rock Café, I was pleasantly surprised. Although there were the same types of costumes and guitars displayed behind glass, the sheer number of artifacts is amazing (and they display only a fraction of the collection) and the many multimedia exhibits won’t disappoint. Well done! (But no mention of Warren Zevon? How could they?)

After spending $1.2 million in the gift shop (kids, guess what you’re getting for Christmas?), I strolled several blocks back to my hotel and thought of how Cleveland reminded me of Buffalo—lots of beautiful architecture, yet one can’t help sense that the bloom is definitely off the rose.

My stop at a CVS along the way confirmed my analogy, in another way. In one of my first blogs I related how a Walgreen’s clerk in Las Vegas who couldn’t fathom why I didn’t want a bag for my tiny tin of Altoids was typical of the bizarre customer service behavior I’d experienced in Buffalo. Same goes for Cleveland. After purchasing a mere tube of mascara, I smiled at the clerk and said, “That’s okay. I don’t need a bag.”

“It’s a courtesy!” she snapped. I noticed I got the same vibe from a lot of people in that town.

Upon leaving the store, I was momentarily scared shitless, fearing I’d seen Death coming for me, but it was only a woman in a black burka. Whew!

I didn’t get to see much else during my brief stay, but if you ever have the chance, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alone is definitely worth the trip. And reconnecting with dear friends? Priceless.


Jannie Funster said...

The last time I lugged my laptop to Cleveland I ended up in Hyrda falling off a balcony into Leonard Cohen's daisies.

I'm leaving it home next time.


Anonymous said...

How wonderful to fall into Leonard Cohen's daisies!