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Experience the Rockin' History of Cleveland: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Beyond

The heart of rock 'n' roll is still beating in Cleveland.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland

Experience the Rockin' History of Cleveland: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Beyond

By Vince Guerrieri

Posted On: Nov 9, 2021

On October 30, Cleveland was the center of the rock 'n' roll universe as the city, home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, hosted the induction ceremony that night at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The 2021 inductees included Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go's, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters, and Todd Rundgren. Plus Kraftwerk, Charley Patton and Gil Scott-Heron (for Early Influence), LL Cool J, Billy Preston and Randy Rhoads (for Musical Excellence), and Clarence Avant (for the Ahmet Ertegun Award).

If you didn't catch the live stream, don't fret! The Induction Ceremony aired on HBO (and HBO Max) on Nov 20 and was radio simulcast (also on Nov. 20) at SiriusXM Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Radio (310) and Volume (106). You can always stop by the Inductee Exhibit on your next visit too!

It's always a good time to visit the Rock Hall or its related library and archives. The bottom floor is an outline of the history of rock 'n' roll, from its origins in other forms of music like bluegrass, jazz and gospel, to the present day. There are handwritten notes showing the creative process, instruments and mementos.  

two women standing next to each other in front of the The Beatles exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland Ohio

When you visit, be sure to check out notable exhibits like "Legends of Rock," which features pieces from Rock Hall Inductees like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, The Supremes, David Bowie and more! Or feel like you're in the front row of a show when you catch "The Power of Rock Experience." 

little girl playing drums in the garage section of the rock and roll hall of fame and museum in cleveland ohio

You can also live that rock 'n' roll style at The Garage. In this part of the Rock Hall, you can pick up an instrument and jam away! There are five areas for you to create music: PLAY which has drums, guitar, bass and keyboards for you to practice on, JAM with a full band setup, LOUNGE for a chiller vibe with instruments like an acoustic guitar and ukulele, BRAND YOUR BAND which explains the logos and imagery behind some classic bands, and lastly, the GARAGE GEAR exhibit that shows off the history - and some iconic - instruments. 

But the Rock Hall isn't the end of the trip. There's also the library and archives a couple miles away at Cuyahoga Community College. It's an archive for serious researchers with closed stacks and an orientation for new researchers. But you have access to a ridiculous collection of artifacts. Peruse the press pass collection of The Plain Dealer's Jane Scott (the grande dame of rock journalism), and some old magazines detailing the rise and fall of former Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed.

Trivia: An urn containing Freed's ashes used to be at the Rock Hall. His earthly remains, like so many other prominent Clevelanders, are now at Lake View Cemetery.

The Rock & Roll Hall is a one-of-kind attraction. Ian Hunter was right when he said 40 years ago that Cleveland rocks. 

For more musical adventures, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org.


*Photos courtesy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

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