Monday, April 6, 2015

Long Way to the Top Will Melt Your Face Off

This weekend the latest exhibit opened at the Orange County Regional History Center. Be prepared to have your faces melted off by Long Way to the Top: Hard Rock in Orlando 1977-1985.

Mixing station? Check.
Wood paneling? Check.
Hand stamp at the door? Check.
Actual license plate on actual bumper? Check.
Epic members-only jacket? Check.
Local bands? Check.
Facts you never new about Rock in Orlando? Gazillion Checks.

Don't think Orlando was a hot bed for Rock & Roll music? Oh I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over OUR GIANT WALL OF GOLD AND PLATINUM RECORDS!

Seriously, this may be one of the coolest exhibits I've ever seen and I can't take much credit for it. All I've done is handle the loan paperwork, help with condition reports, and do some framing (printmaking has made me a framing master). The big movers and shakers for this exhibit have been the Research Librarian, Adam Ware (that's Dr. Ware to you!) and the Exhibits Researcher, Emilie Arnold. They have built this exhibit from the ground up- back when we only had two photos, a poster, and a Zeta7 bumper sticker. They have put their hearts and souls into this exhibit, and it shows. It took a lot of sacrifice too. Poor Adam had to talk to some of his childhood idols for hours on end. Needless to say, it was begrudging work.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the impeccable designs of Ashley Wells: the sick logo, the posters, and even GUITAR PICKS!; and the creations of Paul Trembly: when I said mixing station I meant an actual working mixing board where YOU can mix original tracks from bands such as Molly Hatchet.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! This Friday (April 10th), Adam will be hosting a panel discussion full of staff from Bee Jay Recording Studio. It will be worth it just to see all of their faces when they step into the recreated Bee Jay control room, complete with view of the recording room. I'm predicting grown men crying.