Rock Hall 'Play It Loud' Exhibit Prompts Memories Of The Power Of Music

Kay Dye of Parma says she cried when she saw the Eddie Van Halen guitar collection [David C. Barnett /ideastream]
Featured Audio

For music lovers that want to geek out on more than the performers, there’s a new exhibition, "Play it Loud," at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame featuring famous instruments -- like the keyboard used in that favorite song.

The Gibson Flying V "Love Drops" guitar used by Jimi Hendrix for his solo in "All Along the Watchtower" [David C. Barnett / ideastream]

It’s one thing to say that an exhibit case has a guitar used by Jimi Hendrix. It’s a little different to say that Hendrix used this guitar to record “All Along the Watchtower.” Or the B-52’s Kate Pierson used this Farfisa organ to play the solo on “Rock Lobster.”

Red-headed Kate Pierson plays her Farfisa organ in the B-52's "Rock Lobster"

Some of these artifacts come from collectors, some from the estates of the musicians themselves. There are over one hundred objects and they are spread out over several floors of the Cleveland museum. This collection was curated by the Rock Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where it was on display earlier this year. The Rock Hall says this is the largest exhibit they’ve ever mounted.

Clevelander Karen Kovalcik looked closely at the Beatles section during a recent museum visit. First a fan in her teens, the Fab Four also brought her solace many years later.

Boomers Ron Bruce and Karen Kovalcik at the "Play It Loud" exhibition [David C. Barnett / ideastream]

Listening to that took me to a place that I found peace,” Kovalcik said. “I was going through a divorce, and it was a very difficult divorce and I was homeless. And so, listening to that … it just took me to a place that I found complete peace.”

Quentin Bond and his mom, Christine, visited from Boston. Quentin took pictures of a Metallica display and Christine was looking over his shoulder.

Christine and Quentin Bond pose by the Metallica exhibit [David C. Barnett / ideastream]

“I think in 2008 when their "Death Magnetic" album came out, that was the first like Metallica album that I like actually held in my hands,” said Quentin. “And that was a big moment for me.”

Christine learned about another one of her son’s early musical favorites when they introduced Quentin to the rock star simulation video game, “Guitar Hero.”

And I remember my son immediately loved AC/DC,” she said. “And I thought: ‘That there's good parenting.’ I was so proud of that!”

There’s currently a big buzz in pop music circles about the lack of representation by women in the hall of fame. There are some female performers in the “Play It Loud” exhibit, but there were a couple of young ladies who would have liked to have seen more during their visit.

Paris Nicole and Cena Bean want to see more women performers featured in the Rock Hall [David C. Barnett / ideastream]

I barely saw any pictures of women,” said Paris Nicole. “And I never even really thought about it till walking in here. I don't really think about female rock 'n' roll stars. Beyonce uses an all female band. So I think it's cool seeing women do that.”

“It’s like being shocked seeing women in here, because we’re definitely not used to it,” said Cena Bean.                                                     

Support Provided By

More Wksu Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.