Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Visit and the Automobile

Hi folks -- yesterday I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland. This turned out to be a great visit for me, as I have a section in my automobile and American Life book and the automobile and the origins of Roach and Roll, and I teach on this topic in my HST 344 class. I learned a lot yesterday, understandably so since my knowledge of the history of Rock is so limited. Especially so, since when I listen to the radio I listen far more to baseball and talk rather than music!

I left 4 hours later with the conclusion that this is the best museum I have ever been to! If I were a car museum person, I would revamp my exhibits to add a considerable number of video presentations that would continually recycle. This could be easily done given the amount of film on the automobile that is out there.

In terms of the cars in the Rock and Roll Museum, there are three Trabants hanging from the ceiling as one walks in. The meaning is not obvious to many, however, For it was the music that shattered the wall and the world of the Trabants, as the freedom and the energy of Rock stimulated those behind the wall and iron curtain to ultimately break free.

There is also on display Janis Joplin's 1965 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, a tour van, and Johnny Cash's Tour Bus immediately outside the Museum structure.

So what did I learn about the History of Rock and Roll that I can use in my class?
Well, first I need to bring in far more about the significance of the railroad in the development of popular music, especially blues and country prior to the early 1950s. The "Mystery Train" film shown at the Museum drove home that point. Secondly, I need to better connect cars with music and romance, and with BEAT, energy, and motion.

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