October 21st, 2008

krazy koati

What would we do in your futuristic world

Back to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame --- I'm going to finish this trip report if it takes the rest of my life, which it might --- and we get to my finally entering the main room on the first floor of the Hall Of Fame. This is also the biggest floor because of the Hall's pyramid design and while it's got a roughly chronological layout the place isn't too rigidly separated, and every now and then there's earphone booths with a selection of songs and teenage kids moving in fashions vaguely reminiscent of dancing although not quite enough to commit themselves to it. This may reflect awareness their parents could be watching or just that the earphone cords are too short to do the locomotion.

There are a couple of movies attempting to show off how extremely important rock and roll is to everything, and they prove it by showing what life was like before rock and roll --- a cue sheet for the movie Casey At The Bat (1927, starring Wallace Beery, Zazu Pitts, and Sterling Holloway, among the names that are vaguely familiar to people today; also Ford Sterling, which prompts the question of how many Sterlings can you have in one picture), for example, or scenes of Nuveena puttering around Design For Dreaming, which you remember from that very funny Mystery Science Theater 3000 short, although since that featured the January 1956 Motorama in New York City I think the short has to technically postdate most definitions of the start of rock and roll. You my also remember Design For Dreaming from every show that ever wanted to talk about past visions of the impractical future ever. It's either the glass-hemisphere birthday cake oven or its being in the Prelinger archives, easy to find.

The movie tries explaining what all this rock stuff was, although the things which stood out the most to me were the repeated demonstrations of doing the duck-walk in which the performers were all shot from the neck down, and at some point they got to ``Mystery Train'', and I started listening to see just what the latest rock song they would get to would be. I couldn't pin that down but it did set off a minor quest in me to see how close to the present day (2008) they would get. The closing featured The Who's ``Join Together'' and ``It's gotta be rock and roll music'', both tunes I'd have expected to hear more often there.

Trivia: More than 3800 fishermen from Gloucester, Massachusetts, were lost at sea between 1830 and 1900. This is 170 percent the number of United States soldiers killed in the War of 1812. Source: Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed The World, Mark Kurlansky. (In fact, as I figure it, it's about the total number killed in action for both the United States and United Kingdom for the war.)

Currently Reading: The Great War In Africa, 1914 - 1918, Byron Farwell.