September 11, 2009

My recent visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame forever changed my aspect of my own music!

Bruce Springsteen Exhibit from Rockhall on Flickr (now open until Spring 2010)

The Springsteen exhibit has videos of live performances, rare footage and detail of his career from the beginning to current times. The entire exhibit is on the top two floors of the hall of fame and is fascinating to follow. I was struck by his spiral notebooks where he used an entire notebook to create and develope the lyrics for only ONE song and took weeks or months to complete some songs! This has inspired me to rework and spend much more time working on my own song lyrics.

I always wanted to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but even though it is only 2 1/2 hours from Pittsburgh, near Cleveland, OH. it seemed like a huge effort to drive anywhere anymore, with people driving worse than ever, and myself growing older and wanting to deal with them less and less each year. I had pictured it being in some type of a huge old building, for some reason, but it is a modern science center/museum facility. They recommend 4 hours to tour on a self guided tour and I see that it could actually take a few more hours than that if you read every note and every piece of material and info about instruments and clothes that were worn in the largest memories of all of my musical heroes. It made them all seem so much more real to me now. The distance of knowing them only by the media sources that we have all watched and listened to over the years make them appear to be god-like and beyond human. They were kids once, exactly as I was when I first learned to play the basic rock chords and sing their songs in the earliest bands I played with. 

The thing that hit me, as I walked through the exhibits was that they looked just like me, played the same instruments, dressed the same and rocked the same. What I now know that is unique about them was not necessarily originality, but drive and passion to go and play wherever they needed to be, and to ignore the risk and fears of the unknown. Out of that drive came the originality and the sounds that we all know and love, even to this day. I kept saying to myself as I walked through the displays...“that could have been ME!”

We can’t go back and we can’t dwell on our past as mistakes or “should have’s” as everything we do is about choices that are driven by the things that are the most important to us in those times! The past is what makes us who we are now. I think as we age, we become profoundly aware of the fact that we NOW have the reasons and the knowledge of what we could have done better in our lives, not that we made mistakes, but that we DID have the ability to follow our dreams when we were young. We just didn’t choose to do so, at that time, for a myriad of reasons that can not be judged in our current times.

If you either just love music as a listener or perhaps have been a musician since the beginnings of rock and roll, you must make the journey through this history and hall of rock's legends.

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