Although we've lived in Ohio almost our entire lives and have traveled extensively around the state, it was my wife's first visit to Cleveland and my first since 1978!
The Hall of Fame is a fantastic place. Its multimedia documentation of rock and roll truly conveys a sense of what this music is about culturally, as well as showing its antecedents and multiple expressions. It's a museum with a serious side. But it never forgets something that a member of the Clash says in one of the two excellent films that begins every visit to the hall: Rock and roll exists to remind us that life is--or can be--fun!
I think that assessment is true on two counts...
- In spite of all the agony and horrors that happen in this life, I still believe that life can be and is meant to be fun...a wonderfully unnecessary gift from the mind of an endlessly creative God. By that, I mean simply that God didn't have to give us this gift. But I'm surely grateful that He did!
- And I think that rock music can remind us of that simple fact. Through the years, I've been at concerts with Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, dcTalk, Chicago, Newsboys, Elton John, James Taylor, Bryan Duncan, Audio Adrenaline, and many others. The sign of a really good rock concert is, that at the end of the evening, after the last encore, you're nearly as exhausted, almost as sweaty, and your voice nearly as spent as the performers on stage. In one famous live cut, Christian rocker Steve Taylor exhorts his audience, "I want to hear you scream until your ears bleed!" No matter how serious it gets, rock is still about celebrating the sheer joy of being alive.