Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hello Cleveland!

I wonder if people in Cleveland get tired of hearing "Hello Cleveland!" or "Cleveland Rocks!" or, the more recent, "If the whole world moved to their favorite vacation spots, then the whole world would live in Hawaii and Italy and Cleveland."

We just took a very whirlwind trip to The Cleve for spring break. We had taken the girls to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before, but they didn't remember it, so we wanted to take them back now that they're all about the music.

I am so glad we did.

It was so awesome watching young people - not only our own young people, although they were doing it too, but young people in general - being interested in and learning about the roots of the music they love. I watched my eleven year old (Hee! She goes to eleven!)getting into a serious groove while listening to Cream. I watched my thirteen year old mirror the knot in my throat at that signature Roger Daltry scream.

Now, reacting to that Roger Daltry scream has some history in her family.

Somewhere around my twelfth or thirteenth year, a girlfriend and I went to the movies one weekend to see ‘Tommy’. Our motivation, initially, had been that we liked Elton John and wanted to see him perform ‘Pinball Wizard’. That was quickly forgotten when the movie began. The heaven’s opened and the angels sang. And the angels looked a lot like Roger Daltry.

There is a moment in that film – where Tommy falls through the mirror and lands in a body of water and swims to the beach where he strips off his shirt and runs on the beach in his jeans – and his chest – and his hair – I think perhaps there may have been an audible click in my pituitary gland where a lever switched from a giggly “cute boys are fun” to a throaty “oh, HELL yeah”. I felt all kinds of warm and tingly things I’d never felt before. It was frightening and awesome and fully unexpected. My standards were set. No doubt about what turned me on.

Apparently it's a legacy I'm passing along...

My youngest allowed me to sing 'Thunder Road' to her while we read the lyrics on the wall on the way up a winding staircase to the temporary Springsteen exhibit.

As a young girl growing up in a blue collar town in Pennsylvania (the very Johnstown mentioned by The Boss on 'The River', since you asked...)and later as a Jersey girl, Springsteen has a special place in my heart. I didn't go all squealy fangirl looking at his memorabilia, I looked at it with a near reverence. The black white and PINK (I know! Who knew?) shirt that he wore on the black and white cover of the aforementioned 'The River', the beat up old guitar that he bought for $180 and continued to use WELL into his successful years, handwritten lyrics, it was all there.

You can hide 'neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a saviour to rise from these streets


Oh, HELL yeah.

We stood in front of 'The Wall' and read the story about the inspiration behind it. I watched kids who weren't alive when the movie came out, much less when the songs were written, be moved to silence.

We walked along the actual Hall of Fame, touching the signatures of the people who make and made the music we love as well as the signatures of the people who influenced them.

I watched my youngest pass up everything in the gift shop except a bumper sticker which read, "Drum Machines Have No Soul". Awesome.

So Cleveland? I'm sorry to feed into the cliche, but you so rock.

13 comments:

Housewife Savant said...

Tammy! This is a great post. Well-written and moving.
Cleveland never sounded so good.
Here all along I thought Cinncinati was the Place to Be.

Kelly Deneen said...

LOVE this post! And I love me some Tommy. Yayy for a great trip for all of you.

Thanks for stopping by my blog this morning. :)

Brandy said...

I know you were teasing me with your comment but Cleveland sounds like a FUN place! I've never been ~GASP!~ but I need to.

Tammy Howard said...

Oh! when I asked if you were jeal-ous that I got to go to The Cleve?

It actually is a fun city. I tease because it's fun, but I should be more mindful...

kel said...

Visiting from SITS..

You have the coolest kids, ever!

Tammy Howard said...

Aw, thanks, Kel. We like 'em.

Debbie said...

It is always great to watch young people enthralled in learning, isn't it?

Tammy Howard said...

Oh, HELL yeah!

Swine said...

Okay, Tammy. Frak Cleveland. YOU rock.

Tammy Howard said...

Aw, pshaw, you're turning my head...

Grand Pooba said...

Well now I need to get my butt out to Cleveland too! You are a great writer, the whole "moved to silence" part - where do you think of these things to write? Very inspiring.

And now you've got me needing a vacation!

(Geez, you really do have the perfect life, and perfect husband and perfect kids. you weren't kiddin! Save some muffings for me please.)

Gibby said...

Yay! Although I have been in Chicago for 10 years, Cleveland is and always will be my hometown. Ironically, I had never been to the Hall until last summer. I loved it. They had The Doors on the top floor exhibit and it rocked. I dragged my girls along and although they were too young, I never heard their whining thanks to all the headphones playing various music. Great post! And yes, Cleveland DOES rock!

thatgirlblogs said...

Tommy can you hear me? ;)