Libraries, Wendy's, Janis and The Rock Hall

Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
Trip End Dec 18, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Realizing that I didn't do enough planning for my trip across country and that the plans that I did make (going south first) changed considerably I rose in a tizzy.

I started on the web figuring out what I would do in this part of our great land.  The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a place I've been to 3 times before but, It's right there so off I would go but, not without it's detours.

A staple of any good roadtrip is fast food.  The good news is that the road builds in an excuse for devouring such culinary scourges.  The bad news is that this good news can't get you past the hockey puckish feeling that you just had some nasty fast food.

Wendy's may very well be the best of a bad lot of this sort of food.  The Cuyahoga County Wendy's I visited was a picture of speed and efficiency.  They were busy as beavers and burgers were humming on and off the grill at mind blurring speed.  I got the Bacon Deluxe and it was outstanding.  The Applewood Smoked Bacon is actually Applewood Smoked Bacon it's not just a name you throw on regular bacon to y'know dress it up.  The burger actually looked like it was made with love and it hit the spot.  Then a few hours later I was like "yeah, I did the fast food thing, tasted great, feel like the Hindenburg"

After Wendy's I went to the Cuyahoga County Library to acces the net and research the scene man.  I saw that there was a Janis Joplin talk at the "Rock Hall" (that's what the cool people call it) so off I went.

I entered the hall to the ubiquitious museum photo scam.  This was particularly hilarious because the chap that was offering me a portrait was both cross and bug-eyed.  This didn't exactly inspire photographic confidence.  They took my picture and gave me #59.  I didn't even go back to look at it.  I'm already the jaded traveler! 

I walked through the "Hall" (I just made it both shorter and cooler)  skipping over the exhibits that I'd seen on my previous trips.  I found myself transfixed by The Who exhibit this was odd because later I would learn that they were named the half-time show for this year's Super Bowl.
I could go off on how this choice is both one of my favorite bands and such a bad idea but, I will restrain myself and try to stay on point. 

They had a series of letters that Peter Townshend sent to a rock journalist from 1970-1985.  They were typed on a typewriter and the detail of the imprints struck me.  The content of the letters was fascinating too.  Townshend had a childlike desire for approval and yet a scorn for that same approval.  He was also very aware of his legacy even though many of the notes were early on in their career.  I loved the indignant tones in some of the paragraphs.   So many "how dare you" vibes and many more "I'm getting lit, up and then I'm going to play my works for the last 3 months and go from there" types of entries.  I love Pete Townshend's solo work almost more than I do The Who's catalog so seeing these handwritten letters was a treat.

Yes, they have a Michael Jackson section up with a bunch of thoughtful quotes by the publicists of some of today's most prominent performers (I mean from the performers themselves, oops!).

The "Hall" contains a lot of outfits that rockers donned over the years and one thing you realize quickly is "I'm much bigger than all of these guys".  Bono and Roger Daltrey are tiny men.  Michael Jackson is freakishly skinny as was Rick James.  I think I could kick all of their asses.  I'm not an ass-kicker by reputation or trade but, if Bono ever got in my face, two know, two hits. 

Another thing about the fashion.  Many of the outfits were made of seemingly heavy, non-breathable fabric then adorned with metal, sequins and all manner of studs.  Besides all the playing making them hot and uncomforable, these unis were not doing them any favors I tell you.

So I left the "Hall" and looked for a library.  I'd been at the Cuyahoga County branch earlier and my big memory from that experience was the bathrooms.  Let's just say that if you took 3 badgers in there on a Friday and gave them a vat of Mountain Dew and no intstructions on how to use human toilets...this is the smell you would replicate (Editors Note:  for this to work we must assume that the library closes down for the weekend, that somehow the door to the bathroom was locked and the ventilation system was broken.  Hope that gets us up to speed)

Where was I?  Yeah.  I was seeking the Cleveland City Library but, all the buildings looked like Court houses and I saw no discernable "Library" sign so I ended up in Tower City at the Winking Lizard.  I got my standard Ketel One and 7-Up (Sprite) and looked to order some dinner.  I asked the bartendress what the house specialty was.  She replied "You mean, food? Here's the menu if that's what you mean?"  Curiously I retorted "What do you make that people really like to eat".  She says "I don't know, Wings?  People eat them,  I don't like wings.  This was one of the most sheepish barhands I'd ever met.  I had the buffalo chicken salad which was lovely. 

At the bar I got a call from the "Hall" saying that I could attend the Janis Joplin talk being offered by John Byrne Cooke who was JJ's Road Manager when she was in Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Kozmic Blues Band, Full Tilt Boogie Band and Pearl.  I sat about 5 seats away from the Joplin family, her brother, sister and their families.  The audience had really good questions about her drug history, her loves, why this tragedy occurs and I could just feel the tension invade my right side as the conscientious Cooke was trying to answer their queries diplomatically.  This woman lived life to the fullest and the shortest.  She never wanted to cheat her audience or get anything less out of life that the most she could.  To this day she has a profound effect on people.  Now, I wasn't a Joplin fan, I enjoy music history very much so this was a great 2 hours of exposing me to new stuff.

I left the "Hall" headed towards South Bend, IN.  It was 9:00 pm and I was sleepy.  I got as far as Fremont, OH and a Comfort Inn.  My GPS wasn't giving me good places to stay and it was bugging me so I just kept on driving until I saw a bunch of neon and some street lights.  I stopped there and found my bunk for the night.

The desk attendent and I discussed fees and she asked me if I was a government employee.  I said "If it gets me a cheaper rate, I most certainly am".  She replied "You can be one for the night". 

Today I am heading to South Bend, IN to tour Notre Dame and Chicago tonight to see Devo in concert.  

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Miranda on

So it wasn't the leaking lizard. ;) Miss you and love reading your adventures. Looking forward to reading more. Live free baby.

Sherry W. from "The Hill" on

I wanna hear about the Devo concert!!!

Chris on

Devo, though? :)

kgkacin on

Devo is one of the underrated groups from the late 70's, early 80's. Seeing a Devo show always a good choice. Music, costumes, Performance art, all rolled into one.

Sherry Westerman on

So true, Kevin, so true! Growing up, my brother had a few of their albums...the one where they were dressed like potatoes and the one with the weird stacked hats. Good stuff.

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