View Full Version : Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Exhibit

Roland Stone
07-11-09, 08:22 PM
Today I visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They have a sizable Hendrix wing with many vintage outfits including the cape he wore at Ventura '70! (labeled as such!) Lots of lp's, singles and ep's including a few from the collection of my old friend Jeff Gold. (His copy of "My Diary" was labeled as one of only two in existence? I kind of doubt that claim.)

Some odd guitars including a double neck guitar they said was used on "Spanish Castle Magic" donated by The Ghetto Fighters! Many original handwritten lyric sheets including House Burning Down, 1983 and Purple Haze. Several audio & video listening stations with interviews but I didn't spot any audio music I wasn't familiar with. Still they had some nice selections including Sgt Pepper's at Stockholm and Astro Man tryout from the box set.

The most fascinating exhibits I saw were the many examples of Jimi's hand drawn color cartoons from ages 8 - 11. Incredible drawings which showed a tremendous talent. If Jimi had no musical ability at all he undoubtedly could have become a commercial artist or illustrator. He loved to draw sports teams in uniform, graphic war battles, medieval pageantry, train wrecks and humorous cartoons. Overall I'd say the Hendrix exhibit at the Hall of Fame was comparable to the one I saw at the Experience Museum although the Experience Museum probably had the edge on cool outfits and guitars.

After leaving the museum, in a cool little headshop/record store in Coventry, Cleveland OH this afternoon I saw several interesting Hendrix items: A large vintage Axis poster, a large vintage EH poster where Jimi's face is spelled out with the names of all his hits, and the "Great Rock Festivals of the 70's" lp for $18.

purple jim
07-12-09, 03:08 AM
Thanks for the details Roland. I wish I could visit the place.

Roland Stone
07-12-09, 01:57 PM
There were numerous other Hendrix items large and small. Notes, letters, jewelry, shoes, hats,record sleeves, concert tickets, clothing, guitars, recording consoles, Far too much for me to accurately recall. As I said enough to rival the Experience museum in Seattle. Well worth the price of admission.

07-12-09, 03:20 PM
Why are there not any web-sites of places like this (I understand a few Hard Rocks have some Jimi stuff) with hi-res photos of everything in these exhibits? Many fans will never get a chance to visit these places.

07-12-09, 04:11 PM
I heard they had Jimi's IOW (not limited to) costume there, is that true? I've always wanted to go but never had to the time to make the drive up to Ohio or the money for a plane ticket. :(

Roland Stone
07-12-09, 06:28 PM
Yeah they had the IOW costume and several others. I guess I was most stunned by the Ventura cape. I never expected to see that again in my life!

Throughout the Hall of Fame the costumes were awesome. Just to name a few: George Clinton's Dr. Funkenstein white fur coat, John Sebastian's Woodstock rainbow denim vest and jeans, David Bowie's Thin White Duke suit, Michael Jackson's Bad buckle suit, Mick Jagger's Stars & Stripes/Union Jack cape, and the piece-de-resistance: John Lennon's Sgt. Pepper's yellow satin suit.

Unfortunately photography is absolutely verboten in the Hall of Fame.

07-12-09, 06:42 PM
Woah, That's alot! I think I may just have to scrap up the money for that trip..

07-12-09, 10:44 PM
Unfortunately photography is absolutely verboten in the Hall of Fame.Great way to 'force' people to personally attend.


07-13-09, 10:30 AM
My Hall Of Fames Visit In 2001


Roland Stone
07-13-09, 10:46 AM
One item that caught my eye was the Fehmarn Festival poster. Does anyone know where I can buy one (a reproduction would be fine too.)
NEVERMIND lol. I just looked it up online and Fehmarn posters are way out of my price range. The cheapest black & white insert went for over $400 with nicer color posters offered at $1200+. And anyway the one I saw at the Hall of Fame was different than those being offered online.

Voodoo Kush
07-13-09, 08:50 PM
Ventura 1970 Cape?? i guess there aren't any pictures for a reference.

07-13-09, 09:13 PM
Here's a pic from the gig:


Apparently he wore a cape due to heavy fog. I don't know, I wasn't there :P.

07-14-09, 12:38 AM
... Apparently he wore a cape due to heavy fog. ...:P.Good chance of that, it's near the beach.

Roland Stone
07-14-09, 09:34 AM
It's much more impressive in person than in the photograph. And by the way, according to the exhibit note at the Hall of Fame, it's the same cape that's on the cover of the British AYE!

07-23-09, 06:15 PM
The family and I just got back from a whirlwind vacation that took us from Tampa FL through the Smoky Mtns, to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton OH, then to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, then to Niagara Falls, then to NJ and NYC, then back to Tampa (left on July 8th, got back on the 19th). It was the trip of a lifetime and I'm sure the kids will remember it forever.

The Jimi room and the R'n'R Hall in general are overwhelming, there is just so much to see and *Experience*. It is a bit of a bummer that you cannot take photos and video of most of the exhibits, but in a way it makes it more involving as you are not distracted with trying to capture the items for posterity but are just enjoying it. My aunt and uncle went to Italy last year and they said the policy is the same there in some places like the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's David.
Don't know if I'd put Jimi's clothes in the same category but there it is. Also, you don't have to worry about constantly getting out of someone's way who is trying to take a picture.

A few impressions of the Jimi exhibit: not much in the way of guitars, but the drawings and paintings done by Jimi as a youth (many of them reproduced in Al Hendrix's book My Son Jimi) are pretty fascinating. Jimi loved sports at this time, especially football. You can see his drawing of an Oregon Duck, A USC "Trogen" and a UCLA Bruin. There is also a graphic depiction of a battle with soldiers fighting, explosions and a Korean War-era F-86 Sabrejet flying overhead. My favorite, though, was a really terrific watercolor called "Birth of a Storm". (How bout that title?). It showed a seacoast in purple shading to yellow, with a very well-done lighthouse in the foreground. It seemed like a very mature work for someone in their teens at most.

The cape Roland mentions is impressive. The placard indicates it is a garment originally worn by a Catholic priest, but it looks more like something Aleister Crowley would've worn to a Black Mass! It is cool, I'm sure Jimi did a great Dracula impersonation in it! They also have the Fehmarn jacket on prominent display. I did not see the Isle of Wight gear, but they have a purple velvet matching pants-and-shirt, and a couple of Jimi's belts, including the famous one with the half-circles of shell.

Lyrics on display include the "Purple Haze-Jesus Saves" which is set at eye level and which was the first thing I saw when I walked in the room. Now that was mind-blowing! It feels very strange to be standing there reading the original lyrics in the Man's own hand. As you may know, the song was very different and longer in its original form. It gave me a very strange feeling when I first saw it--it was almost like stepping back in time. These few words, written in cheap pencil, would change the world as we know it. I just stared at it for a few minutes before I could breathe again.

Other lyrics on display include "House Burning Down", "Gypsy Eyes" and "1983...A Merman I should Turn to Be". Not many changes or alterations in that one, at least the draft on display. Seems like it came to him pretty much all at once...

Now to pick a few nits: there are some things so obviously wrong they kind of jumped out at me. The Mosrite 12/6 string doubleneck, stated as given to Jimi by the Ghetto Fighters, is claimed to be used on "Spanish Castle Magic" from the posthumous Cry of Love album. Obviously this guitar was not used on that song, nor was SCM on COL. It's pretty well-accepted that Noel, or possibly Jimi, played an 8-string Hagstrom bass on that song, I've also read reports that a matching 12-string Hagstrom was given to Jimi at the same time. Maybe this is where the confusion comes in. The placard also states the guitar was used on the unreleased "Mojo Man" collaboration between Jimi and the Ghetto Fighters. I know you could hear a sample of that song on EH website at one point, maybe someone could check it out and verify if there may be a 12-string on there. Other than that, there's no evidence that Jimi ever used this oddball and certainly no photos I've ever seen of him with it.

I also noticed that part of the lyrics for "Gypsy Eyes" were displayed instead with "House Burning Down". It's almost like they weren't really reading them and just stuck them together because they looked similar. It's a bit of a jolt to be reading HBD and come across the Gypsy Eyes coda in the middle of it.

These may be things only a Jimi fanatic would notice, but I would think a place like the R'n'R Hall would take a bit more care. I'm sure there are many people on this site who would love to work there and help "set the record straight"! (Me included!)

Other items not to be missed include Duane Allman's '59 Les Paul (with "Duane" spelled out in frets on the back of the neck!), Dickey Betts' Gold Top, Randy Rhoads' black Sandoval V with the white polka dots, Eddie Cochran's Gretsch 5120, Muddy Waters' red Tele...the original lyrics to Joni Mitchell's "Night in the City", Bon Scott's "Highway to Hell" (very neat handwriting) and Steve Tyler's "Walk this Way", with almost every word misspelled! Looks like he was about 15 when he wrote that!

Overall, the place is a treasure. They are doing a massive Springsteen exhibit right now, with Bruce's original "Tele-squire" guitar (the one on Born to Run), the oufit he wore on Born in the USA, his Oscar and many old scrapbooks, lyrics and pictures. They even have his '50's Corvette! I think they do a good job showing people how rock and roll evolved from blues and country music. It would be nice to see more metal exhibits, they kinda shortchanged that one. Also, there is only one small display about punk and grunge. But overall, if you love Jimi and rock and roll, you will have a great time!

BTW, they do let you take pics and video in the lobby and there are some nice things there, including 4 of Jerry Garcia's custom guitars (Rosebud, Top Hat, Lightning Bolt and a headless Steinberger type guitar that I never saw him play), Steve Gaines' Strat and Allen Collins' Explorer, Kurt Cobain's Mustang, and this little gem: Jimi's 12-string Zemaitis used on the "Hear My Train" from the "Experience" film:

07-23-09, 06:21 PM
I've not been to the Hall, but most, if not all, of the things you guys have been describing have been exhibited at the EMP for long stretches, in fact one reason given for giving the formal JH exhibit a brief rest was to get those items out of the light for a bit for preservation purposes, now I'm wondering if it hasn't all just gone out on loan or tour as trade or to high bidders, lol.

07-23-09, 06:25 PM
I also noticed that part of the lyrics for "Gypsy Eyes" were displayed instead with "House Burning Down". It's almost like they weren't really reading them and just stuck them together because they looked similar. It's a bit of a jolt to be reading HBD and come across the Gypsy Eyes coda in the middle of it.

I'd heard the Hall curators aren't always so knowledgable or attentive, when the JH exhibit first opened up years ago the online bio had him being born in '45, later corrected from the press release info management originally handed 'round.