I hated the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was too cluttered. There were speakers everywhere blasting disjoint sounds that prohibited me from fully enjoying and engaging with whatever I was standing in front of at the time. Plus, the space seemed too confined.
I visited a few months ago (in the days before the Hall’s class of 2016 was to be inducted, actually) and felt like curators were in a race with themselves to cram as much crap in there as possible.
Nothing grabbed me.
But I loved the Queens Museum‘s exhibition on the Ramones, Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk. Much like their music, the show was short and to the point. Encompassing four medium-ish galleries, artifacts were everywhere — but not oppressively so — and there was room to move around the space.
It was small, yet spacious, and I did not feel like curators were trying to get in as much stuff as possible for the sake of sating die-hards and their own fandom.
What I liked the best was how much Queens was in it. I know, yeah, duh. Queens Museum. The band’s development. In Queens.
It’d be a shocker if it didn’t rep the boro so much.
Let me enjoy my boro’s moment.
But it’s not just Queens. A few Manhattan haunts are in there, too.
Then there’s the Ramones itself: lyrics, riders, gig posters, merch, and equipment are on display.
And then there are the Ramones themselves. The personalities of each member — Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy — are discussed and displayed. Curators included art, photos, and texts from the guys that reflect the impact they had on the band, and the impact the band had on them.
My favorite piece is a mixed-media work by Joey Ramone. It reminded me of the artwork that I’d see (and contribute to) on desks back in high school. Someone would draw something. Then the next person sitting at that desk the following period would draw something. Then I’d add my piece. It would keep going until the custodians cleaned it all off, only to start again a few bored class periods later.
Trek into Flushing Meadows Park to see the Ramones exhibition before it all goes back in storage in August!
*This is sarcasm. Lots of it. If you take such descriptions seriously and have no clue what I’m talking about… I… I just…. I have no idea what to do with you.