Pro tip: if you’re a musician on tour and passing through the fine city of Cleveland OH, you get free admission into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just show them your laminate, gig poster, anything that proves you’re on the road, and you’re good to go. Maybe slide them a couple pieces of merch, too. I’m surprised how few musicians take advantage of this - the museum’s remarkable, and each time I visit I pick up on something new.
It’s cool gawking at the memorabilia, of course: holy shit, that’s Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass! Otis Redding’s ornate leather pants! Elvis’s jock strap! (Ok, I made the last one up). I dunno, maybe it’s because I’m through town playing solo and not in the relatively luxurious hipster cocoon of the Allen band, but my take away from the Hall of Fame this time around’s a general sense of why not? Why not be daring, courageous and the giver of exactly zero fucks? All the legends enshrined here, regardless of generation and genre, have in common that glorious desire to proffer middle digits, and why can’t I channel my frustrations, feelings of inadequacy and pent-up nerd energy into the most unapologetically honest art possible? I mean, I can do that, right? Surely I can. We all can, if we give ourselves permission. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, after all.
Which leads me to another pro tip: Leonard Cohen's already said it, and said it better.
"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."