Cleveland Rocks, and now so does SoHo where, as of late 2008, we can all hail rock 'n' roll in Manhattan. With an entrance fee approaching the price of a real concert ticket -- $26.50 for adults, when you add sales tax -- the question is: Is it worth it? It depends: on how much you're into this music, into the lore, into the instruments, into the costumes, into the "everything" of it. The experience begins with a blasting, let's-get-pumped 10-minute film that kicks off with John Lee Hooker and takes us on through Elvis, Chuck, and Jerry Lee, down to John, Paul, George, and Ringo, then over to Jimi, Mick, and Keith, and to the present day. The space is divided into galleries, each one ostensibly with a theme. You've given a pair of earphones that play music while you walk that's appropriate to the display or exhibit you're viewing. What do you see? Well, over here is a white Vegas-style jumpsuit that was worn by Elvis (a lot smaller than I would have thought); Madonna's famous cone bra; a gorgeous, wonderfully eerie guitar John Lennon owned and played; Bruce Springsteen's first car, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible; the old CBGB awning that was the drawing card for so many punk fans, as well as some of the club's interior; Eric Clapton's old, lovingly roughed-up Martin acoustic guitar; and song lyrics in the hands of the Boss and Dylan. If you like to sit over a beer and argue whether Levon Helm's drum riffs sounded better on the Basement Tapes than at the Isle of Wight concert, this is probably the place where you could spend a satisfying few hours. Note: Tickets are issued with a specific entrance time, which you can pick, if you are purchasing online; but you may have to wait until there's a spot available if you purchase a ticket in person.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Recommended 2010