Beatles, Beatles and more Beatles this summer

We concluded what I have dubbed “Summer of The Beatles: Part 1” (Paul McCartney concert, two American English performances, one by the Beatelles) with a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland this past weekend.

I should note early on, lest she feels overlooked, that my sister and her husband live outside of Cleveland and the weekend was a wonderful chance to visit them as well.

But we’ve known about the special Beatles exhibit at the Rock Hall for some time now and have been trying to coordinate a weekend to see it. Dan had to be out of town for work, so Ainsley and I hopped in the car Friday afternoon for the five-hour trip.

Other than the two hours from about Elkhart to Toledo that my car’s air conditioning went out, the trip wasn’t too bad.

We had a great time visiting Chris and Ken and spent our Saturday at the go-kart track and playing alien mini-golf. Sunday morning we headed to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“The Beatles: Get Back to Let it Be” did not disappoint.

“10 out of 10 recommend,” Ainsley said.

We saw John Lennon’s iconic glasses, handwritten lyrics for “I’ve Got a Feeling” and the piano from the Asher basement on which a number of songs were written.

We watched lots of video clips and looked at lots of pictures. Did I mention many of them were of Paul McCartney? Ainsley was definitely swooning.

We also had a chance to catch part of the January 1969 rooftop concert — the Beatles’ last live performance as a group — on the big screen.

The best part of being at the Rock Hall of Fame, though, was being there with a true fan of not just The Beatles, but all good music. The Ink Spots, Elvis, U2, The Notorious B.I.G., Eminem — Ainsley knows their songs and can sing along. We spent a considerable amount of time in the Hall of Fame, where you could watch induction ceremonies of all Hall of Famers dating back to 1986, see their signatures and listen to their career defining playlists. Ainsley watched McCartney’s 1999 ceremony before dialing up all sorts of honorees and jamming to their tunes. (My sister, Chris, spent most of her time on this floor questioning the inclusion of the Foo Fighters in the Hall of Fame over Huey Luis and the News.)

Ainsley wasn’t the only one sporting headphones and swaying to the music. I think many of us are able to listen to a song and be transported back to high school or college or our first apartment. It’s like a time machine in that way. And even if you haven’t heard the song for years, you can remember every word.

I hope another visit to the Rock Hall is in our future. I’d love to see Ainsley perform in The Garage. It’s a place where “random people,” as Ainsley called them, can grab a microphone, guitar or set of drumsticks and participate in a jam session with on-staff musicians. I’d also love to see “The Power of Rock Experience,” a 15-minute film that highlights the most unforgettable moments from Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

The Rock Hall’s mission is “to engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll.”

I’d add it’s a place to relive some of life’s best memories. And create new ones.

Next up: Liverpool and London in 2023 for “Summer of The Beatles: Part 2.”

— Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean