Thursday, June 18, 2015

Beatles Traveling: Report of my trip to Cleveland, Ohio

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame photo taken by Sara Schmidt

Last week my mom and I went to Cleveland, Ohio for a short trip.    The main purpose of the trip was to go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame library and archives so I could do some research for my book.    However, I wanted to make sure that you all knew what Beatles stuff is currently in Cleveland if you want to take a trip of your own, or if you live too far away and would just like to know what is there.

Here I am at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame library.  Photo taken by Coral Schmidt

My first stop was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame library and archives.   This is not located where the museum is and you will need to drive there or take a cab.  (Side note do NOT use Yellow cabs of Cleveland---I know Paul used them in 1976, but they are terrible!!!).    Anyone can go inside and read the books.   There are so many Beatles books!   Shelves upon shelves.   It was really, really neat to see the books that friends such as Chuck Gunderson, Robert Rodriguez, Bruce Spizer, Candy Leonard and many others have written and are on the shelves there.     To see the archives, you have to make an appointment ahead of time.  They will issue you a library card and you have to watch a short  powerpoint about handling the materials.     The archives are awesome.   You wouldn't believe all of the Beatles' news clippings, never before seen photos (I saw some from Detroit 1966 that I just LOVED!), Bob Bonis' paper archives, Rolling Stone's archives...all about the Beatles.    What is sad to me, is that many of the newspaper clipping are deteriorating and are in bad shape.   They aren't organized or anything.  Just a bunch of clippings in a manilla folder.    I wish I could have a job organizing these documents.   Wouldn't that be awesome?

Yellow Sub things at the Cleveland Hard Rock Cafe  Photo taken by Sara Schmidt

After spending the afternoon as the library, we had diner at my favorite vacation restaurant, the Hard Rock Cafe.    There isn't a whole lot of Beatles stuff in this Hard Rock.  Just some Yellow Submarine things on one wall.   But the food was good, as always.

The next day was a full day for us.   The first thing we did was go see the "Christmas Story" house and museum.   Since that isn't Beatles related in any way, I won't go into details about it.  But if you like the movie "The Christmas Story," then you really need to go to the house and museum.  It was fun!

The it was straight to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame museum.   I had been there in 2001, but things have changed since then.  #1 being Ringo has been inducted into the Hall of Fame just this year!  That made it pretty exciting!    After getting our tickets, we went down to find Ringo Starr's suit from "Goodnight Vienna."   Now that was amazing!!!

My mom, (Ringo's #1 fan) next to the Ringo display.   Photo taken by Sara Schmidt

We quickly realized that we just wanted to see the Beatles things and we weren't going to focus on any of the other displays until we saw the Beatles stuff.  So we went off and found it.   I was really amazed by all of the items on display.    And it really hit me---I spend a lot of my time doing Beatles things, and I would guess that the readers of this blog do as well.   The Beatles are just part of my life.  But here was their stuff preserved under glass and being stared at by all of these people.   The Beatles aren't just MY thing---they are everyone's thing!   To me seeing John Lennon's Sgt. Pepper suit in person is incredibly cool because I have seen all of the photos, but there it was under glass because it has historical importance.   I don't know, it just struck me.   Here are some of the amazing Beatles things on display currently at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

John's guitar from 1965 with setlist still taped on it.  Photo by Sara Schmidt

John's All you need is love jacket.  Photo by Sara Schmidt

John's Sgt. Pepper suit.  Photo by Sara Schmidt

John's "You are Here" t-shirt from 1972.   Photo by Sara Schmidt

The mellotron used on Strawberry Fields Forever.  Photo by Sara Schmidt

My mom with Ringo's drums.  Photo by Sara Schmidt

Ringo's jacket worn in the Strawberry Fields promo.  Photo by Sara Schmidt

John's "Rock n Roll" jacket.  Photo by Coral Schmidt

John's "rooftop" guitar.  Photo by Coral Schmidt

The orange suit George wore to the Yellow Submarine premiere.  Photo by Coral Schmidt

As you see---lots of Beatles stuff on display.   But which Beatle was missing?   Yes....where's the Paul clothing?   The only Paul item on display was a Grammy award given to Wings.  I understand that Paul still uses his guitars, but really---can't he find one of those knitted sweater vests to give to the museum?   It just stood out to me that Paul doesn't have really anything there.

Of course there is much more to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum than the Beatles.  There are several films that you can watch about the induction and who is in the rock hall.   However, these are older films.  You do see clips of Paul, George and Ringo.   The one that goes year by year does not have 2015 in it yet.    But in the room as the video, there is a wall of "signatures" of everyone who is inducted.  This is the only place where I found anything about Brian Epstein.

photo taken by Sara Schmidt

I enjoyed the display about radio and was happy to listen to the MC of Beatlefest, Terri Hemmert on the headphones.   I also got a kick out of the Murrary the K shirt.  The Rolling Stone magazine exhibit was really neat as well.

photo taken  by Sara Schmidt

If you have a chance to see the things in the Rock n Roll hall of fame, it is well worth it for Beatle fans.   They have some great Beatles items available at the gift shop as well.   Speaking of the gift shop, be on the looking out soon for a contest where you can win some souvenirs I picked up at the gift shop just for this blog!  


  1. Hi Sara, you can always see Paul's "Shea Stadium" performance jacket (he wore it for a bunch of other concerts) at our traveling exhibit, "Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles!" It's at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas until mid-January 2016.

  2. hi - great.
    I have to add that the shown "R`n R" jacket is not the one from his Hamburg days. I have double checked years ago all photos and history of the leather gear of the Bealtes and it is easy to spot that the jacket is not the same. I told the museum years ago but as they got the jacket from Yoko they think it is genuine... But it is not ... The real one was sold via an auction house long ago.

    1. Oh that is very disappointing to learn----and I hate being tricked like that. I guess it really was John's jacket??? I found a mistake with the "You are here" t-shirt. They had it listed from the event in 1968, but John wore all white then. It was worn in 1972. I emailed them but never heard back. I just think that if something is in a museum for historical sake, then the information really needs to be correct.

    2. Oh yes - it might once been in Johns possesion and as I was told he told Yoko that it was from Hamburg. No idea if he remembered wrong or if he bought it in Hamburg in 1966 when he was seen in the leather shop again during HIWTW filming. Nevertheless it is NOT the one from 1960.

  3. Very nice Sara, I enjoyed this post! As far as I can remember, I've only been to Cleveland once, to spend the weekend with my friends Pat Simmons and Joyce Kilbane. I'll be sure to check out the museum and library when I go there next time.

  4. Sara and Coral -thanks for sharing your experience & snaps. The BE signature certainly deserved to be there and I remember Murray the K who was a trip from all those years ago. I must admit that seeing John and George's clothes did make me feel a bit sad. Peace, Gillian

  5. What a cool post, some terrific photos here. And how great that you can share these experiences with your Mum! As ever, thanks for posting.