Midwest Living Review
When the Rock Hall opened in 1995, the inductees were undeniable forces of rock music: Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, James Brown, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and so many more. More recent inductees are not quite as iconic—Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, Tom Waits and Leon Russell among them. But the Rock Hall still is worth the trip. A visit to this I.M. Pei-designed glass pyramid along Lake Erie is a pilgrimage for rock fans who have witnessed the genre's evolution and want to spend a day celebrating the artists' spirits, sounds and antiestablishment points of view. Self-guided tours typically start on the basement-level floor, with placards that explain rock music's revolution from its roots in gospel, country, rockabilly, jazz and blues. Artifacts donated from the artists, or from their estates, give fans a chance to see stage costumes, hotel room keys, handwritten lyrics, childhood report cards, guitars and other memorabilia from some of the world's biggest rock stars. One of the best exhibits is the Hall of Fame wing. A 45-minute continuously running film shows performance clips from many of the hundreds of inductees, and it is a must-see for any visitor. Rotating exhibits give two floors of dedicated gallery space to the featured artists, and every one that we've seen, including exhibits about John Lennon and U2, will fuel their fans' fires. Admission charged.