Wonder #5- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A city can’t just proclaim itself worthy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and become the real home of Rock Music and its history…just like that…something out of nothing….Going all Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams-“just build it and they will come”
Isn’t the audacity to proclaim yourself something and then go out and do it-the whole point of Rock Music!!!
In 1951, when it did not have a name, this upstart disk jockey Alan Freed on Cleveland WJW radio named Rock and Roll. It may not have been birthed in Cleveland, but that is where it got packaged so it could take over the world. This new name rebranded R&B music and opened the door to all American kids in a big way.
We are not done yet
Ian Hunter is not just a good Rock musician; he has gone beyond that and become the thing itself. He never got so big that he lost himself and never got so small that he became irrelevant. Endlessly skating away on the thin ice of rock music, day after day and year after year until he has produced an ocean of work. The closest example I can think is George Jones in country music because I would hear that said about him-“George is Country!”
So when Ian Hunter says Cleveland rocks-Cleveland Rocks!
Cleveland is not a glamour city and the same could be said for Liverpool –and if you go deeper, the same for a lot of the cities and places that serve as incubators for the disgruntled youth that gravitate to the outlet of rock music. Cleveland rocks.
Now the Chipmunk thing
Mott the Hoople with Ian Hunter put out one of the most iconic songs in Rock music-A David Bowie song known as “All the Young Dudes”. There is a part at the end of the song where he picks out a young dude in the audience and brings him down to the stage. The only criteria for this selection- this young dude in question must be wearing glasses.
I (self proclaimed rock blogger) as a young dude went to see Ian Hunter and had good seats along with the required eye wear (which I have worn my whole life)…And when he got to this part, he pointed me out of the audience and said “You there-with the glasses- I want you” then he smiled a smug smile and kept on rocking.
I, on the other hand was frozen like the proverbial chipmunk in front of a tree. (To my European readers who have never seen this little animal freeze when approached as if that somehow makes them completely invisible and safe, when in fact, it reveals them as cute and funny little creatures…forget Disney Land and shopping at Walmart-for a taste of America-go find yourself a chipmunk!)
Anyway, that was my reaction as I became part of a rock song for one brief shining moment in time while my buddy says to me…”Hey Wayne, he’s pointing to you”.
I am making The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a Wonder
When you look at the entire list of inductees-this place gets it right most of the time. And this place willed itself into existence from nothing. What more can you ask from Rock n Roll?