Four Music Museums Worse Than the Danish Graceland
A replica of Elvis Presley's Graceland opened in Denmark this week, proving the creators of Lego are a lot less classy than they've always let on.
To be fair to the Danes, we figured there must be an even-stranger assortment of music-related museums here at home. We were right.
The places we dug up are an assembly of tax write-offs, Quixotic attempts at civic pride, and fan tributes that got way out-of-hand. Here are a few of our favorites.
4. The Bagpipe Music Museum in Ellicott City, Maryland
Don't get us wrong. We love bagpipe music as much as the next guy--that is, when we're attending funerals for Boston cops, staging riots at U.K. soccer stadiums or "free balling" under our kilts at Celtic-pride events. Any other time, not so much.
The limited appeal of bagpipe music isn't due to it being antiquated or foreign or just kind of loud, but because all of it sounds exactly the same. All of it. Say "bagpipe music" to anyone in the world, and they'll reply, "Amazing Grace" (or dead cop).
We realize that bagpipes sound really awesome when you're draping a flag over your dead cousin's Billy's casket, but we still won't budge from our argument that they're almost vindictively singular in purpose.
In fact, devoting a museum to a style of music that's predicated on one theme and that has only a handful of morbid uses is kind of like making a miniseries about the career of a driver's-ed teacher.
Still not convinced?
Then you'd probably support a museum honoring John Tesh for writing the old NBA theme song.
3. The Iowa Rock and Roll Museum in Arnolds Park, Iowa
Why build a museum celebrating the rock music of Iowa? We have two theories.
No. 1. In an alternate reality, Iowa is not a sprawling wasteland of abandoned farms and 17th-century family values, but a gritty cultural center that spawned the Ramones, the Velvet Underground and hip-hop all within one thrilling 15-year span. After discovering this alternate Iowa one night in the lab, a pair of quantum physicists decided to build a museum in its honor.
No. 2. Someone actually decided that Iowa bands such as the Fabulous Morticians, the Deputy Dawg Band, and Larry Dowd & the Rock-A-Tones should never be forgotten.
We still can't decide which of our theories is more plausible.
2. The Oregon Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) in Portland, Oregon
The best we can say about OMHOF is that they have an easily navigable website for such a flimsy premise. We're all for unremarkable locales pumping up their dubious accomplishments, but an Oregon Music Hall of Fame is about as necessary as a candy-corn museum or a hand-soap hall of fame.
The most notable Oregon music figures we could scare up include Tommy Thayer, the guy who replaced Ace Frehley in KISS; Quarterflash, the cloying '80s band who sang "Harden My Heart"; and the late Elliot Smith, a Texas native who wisely ditched Oregon for the nicer weather of Los Angeles once he had the cash.
So that basically leaves Oregon with an Ace Frehley impersonator, which qualifies the state not for an entire hall of fame, but the spare bedroom in our buddy Clint's apartment.
1. The Music Valley Wax Museum in Nashville, Tennessee
The motto of this place is: "As close as you can get to Nashville's biggest stars without being slapped with a restraining order!"
We're not surprised the sicko owners like to kid around about good ol' felonies like stalking and harassment because their "museum" amounts to little more than a few rooms of horrifying, dead-eyed, inaccurate wax replicas of the country-music stars of yesteryear.
Have you ever wanted to saddle up to a youthful and even more synthetic-skinned Kenny Rogers? Well, now you can! Do you prefer museums that give you night terrors weeks after your visit? Then hurry on down to the Music Valley Wax Museum today.