Pissing off the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame…

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While I may never be inducted, I can truly say I pissed off the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame…literally! It’s a big glass pyramid, several stories tall on the banks of Lake Erie and I took a piss off the top of it. What inductee can make that claim?

How did this come to pass you ask? My tale begins in August of 1995. Jerry Garcia, the patron saint of the Deadhead hippies had just died. In Miami, all of the faithful gathered together spontaneously in Peacock Park in Coconut Grove for a candlelight vigil. Drummers drummed and guitarists strummed. The grief was palatable. Gatherings like these were happening all over the country. It’s fitting that Jerry’s kids should all come together in Peacock Park. Back then we gathered there every weekend for the informal Rainbow Picnics, which had been pretty much going on there since the late 60’s, a manifestation of the dream of a Woodstock Nation. It was at one of these gatherings where I met this young teenage runaway, Chastity Monigold. She said she was 19. She had ran away from her Grandmother in Ohio and was in Miami getting into some bad stuff. You know the song, “ living on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine.” I kept seeing her around. One night, I was playing a gig at an outdoor café on Main Highway and she stopped by all sunburnt and peeling. I hated to see her like this so like you would a scruffy stray kitten, I took her home with me. I admit I was no saint, no paragon of virtue, but I got her away from the bad stuff she was doing. We actually had a lot of fun together but after a few weeks of partying, we were fighting like cats and dogs. I had had enough. One night she became intolerable, and I took her to a party on the University of Miami campus and left her there. She found her way back to my cottage in the Gables several hours later and proceeded to break out all my windows. They had bars on them so I was safe from her rampage but now I had to deal with this situation ASAP. “ I’m taking you back to your grandmother’s in Ohio.” I told her. And I did. So that’s how I ended up in Ohio in Sept. 1995.

Rock

The Rock’n’Roll Hame of Fame had just opened and it was only a few hours away from where we were headed so I decided a slight detour was in order. Let me preface the scene by telling you she like me was part Irish, part Native American and we both liked to drink. So all the clichés of a drunken Indian apply and to celebrate our visit I had downed a half a bottle of Canadian V.O. As we drove into town, Cleveland, Ohio looked like a war zone. I guess pretty much like any other northern industrial town, bleak and gray, but then we arrived in front of the museum, and were greeted with a scene of breathtaking beauty. There it was a gleaming glass pyramid on the lake surrounded by avenues lined with blossoming cherry trees. The Gods of Rock’n’Roll were expecting us. It’s hard now to describe the mood of those days but keep in mind not only did Jerry just die but Kurt Cobain had blew his brains out just a year previously. Our rock’n’roll heroes were just laid to rest and already they were museum displays courtesy of  Time Life. The Corporate Behemoth had co-opted our movement. As I walked around what I saw got me more pissed off by the second. Me and Chastity were arguing and we split up. I was on a mission. The Hall of Fame is seven floors connected by long escalators. At the top level, is a display of famous autographs in the round. “ They could actually write? “ I exclaimed sarcastically. My once flesh and blood heroes now reduced to scribbled lines on a page. This couldn’t be it. Take me to the capstone! I had to be careful, the museum is patrolled by security, dressed in black berets and turtleneck sweaters,with walkie talkies on their belts. They look like something out of Man from U.N.C.L.E.

I spied a fire exit, maybe that’s the way to the top. I saw my chance and when no one was looking I pushed open the doors and found myself outdoors on the roof surrounded by huge air conditioning ducts. On one side there was a steel ladder with a safety ring around it that went up way up. Emboldened by strong scotch whiskey and a sense of destiny, me, someone usually scared of heights, I climbed up the ladder. I reached the very top and I was standing at the very pinnacle of the massive glass pyramid. I could see for miles in all directions. Lake Erie stretched out before me. I was so high up, I was amongst the very clouds as I raised my fists to the sky and proclaimed ( somewhat in jest mind you )  “ I am a Golden God!. “ I enjoyed my moment and before I descended back to the realm of mere mortals, I took a nice long piss off the side. When I made my way back the way I came, security had been alerted. Two black bereted spotted me and I took off running. The sound of walkie talkies filled my ears as I made it to the escalator, the up escalator. I can only imagine the sight the other museum goers saw as I ran down seven flights of up escalator with security in hot pursuit. I made it to the ground floor. At the main entrance is a velvet roped off triangle reserved only for inductees and like an Olympic hurdle champion, no like a gazelle, I scaled the velvet ropes and continued into the parking lot where a very pissed off Chastity was waiting for me. She punched me in the arm. “ You got us kicked out you asshole. “ We got in the car and peeled out of there and over the bridge to Canada.

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