July 8th(Part One)
Sitting poolside at the Vermilion, OH Holiday Inn Express and the chlorine is burning my nostrils. All the kids are happily dropping into the 5′ deep water like anvils in a tub of jell-o and they seem to be quite content to do this for the remainder of the day. I’m opting out of the pool. I’m not really much of a swimmer. In fact I don’t swim. As a kid with perpetual ear infections/problems(I had ear surgery a total of 6 times from the age of 5 to 11) I was never allowed to get water in my ears. I even had to put cotton balls in my them with Silly Putty over that to completely seal my ear canal when I’d take a bath. Yeah, I was a freak. So given my medical freakness I never learned to swim. Thankfully I never developed sea legs, or a taste for the butterfly stroke.
So, I keep to myself poolside, typing on my Chromebook like some dorky dad in Birkenstocks, un-chlorinated swim trunks, and a ratty t-shirt while the kids(and now my wife) get their Atlantian on. The reason for this overnight stay is a short-but-sweet getaway for the Hubner clan to the Buckeye state to visit the one and only rock and roll mecca, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located in that dirty city located along the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first time we’ve taken the kids to the Hall of Fame, and the first time the wife and I have been here since 1997. When we visited as still newlyweds we got to see the John Lennon exhibit, which included guitars, his Bentley, hand-written lyrics, and his famous wire-rimmed glasses. There was also a Grateful Dead exhibit, complete with a psychedelic VW van, probably tie-dyed items and several bad acid trips bottled in mason jars from 30 years of Grateful Dead shows. There was also a 12-string Rickenbacker owned by Roger McGuinn that the guitar neck would light up.
It was a pretty cool experience to see 40+years of rock and roll history under one roof. I was still pretty young and naive to the politics and bullshit that went into the nomination process, the “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” mystery of how someone gets the nod, and sadly how the artists are treated throughout the whole process. I guess what I’m saying is that this isn’t quite the magical experience it was for me nearly 20 years ago. Still, I’ll never not love rock and roll and the effect it’s had on me. So I want my children to experience the Hall of Fame just once in their lives. See the artifacts that resonated with millions and pushed a greasy Midwest kid like me to beg my mom and dad for a guitar and lessons. I want them to see Rob Halford’s leather hat and Nikki Six’ studded dog collar. Maybe some bits from the British Invasion, which informed so many bands in the 70s and beyond. If we could even just lay our eyes upon Jeff Lynne’s magical beard from 1978, maybe my son’s blindness would be cured(my son’s not blind really, but you’d think he was by how filthy his bedroom gets.) I guess I’m just hoping that hitting up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will spark something in my younglings. Maybe they’ll want to pick up one of my guitars when we get home. Or maybe sit at the keyboard and play the opening chords to “Smoke On The Water”. Maybe one of them will have the urge to slam out a sloppy Neil Peart-esque drum fill on my lousy Ludwig 5-pc Rocker set. Hell, maybe that Beyonce exhibit will bring out the inner Diva in one of my girls. Who knows?