The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Posts by Jim Henke

On her 81st birthday, Yoko Ono Opens Up in Interview

Tuesday, February 18: 12:50 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Yoko Ono

Although her relationship with John Lennon is often paramount in the rock world's esteem of her, Yoko Ono remains a pivotal figure in the evolution of conceptual art, challenging perceptions with avant-garde and experimental installations, music, fashion and more. For decades, Ono has also been a champion of peace and understanding, and a tireless activist: from the "Bed-ins for Peace" with husband John Lennon in 1969 that ultimately beget "Give Peace a Chance" to creating Artists Against Fracking in 2012 with her son, Sean Lennon, to protest the controversial drilling method.

On her 81st birthday, Yoko Ono opens up on her relationship with Paul McCartney, recording with members of the Beastie Boys, writing about and with her son Sean Lennon and celebrating her late husband's legacy. 

 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist back in 1994. Paul McCartney inducted him and read a letter to him, and you accepted the award. What was that like?

Yoko Ono: It was good, but it was a long time ago. I was very, very happy that John was inducted, and it was very sweet of Paul to ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Today in Rock, The Beatles, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, History of Rock and Roll

Exclusive Interview with Robby Krieger of the Doors: Remembering Ray Manzarek, reconnecting with John Densmore and the Doors' Greatest Moments

Saturday, December 7: 9 a.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Robby Krieger

Over the course of a short career that only lasted a little more than five years, the Doors had a tremendous impact on rock and roll. They were a truly unique group, with a singer, Jim Morrison, who was a genuine poet with an almost mythical persona. Unlike most bands at the time, the Doors did not have a bass player. Ray Manzarek played the bass lines on his keyboards. John Densmore was a solid, steady drummer. And Robby Krieger was an elegant guitarist with a distinctive style unlike the blues-based guitar leanings favored by most his six-string peers. 20 years after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Robby Krieger sits down for an exclusive interview with the Rock Hall, reflecting on the passing of friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek, patching up differences with John Densmore, the Doors' greatest moments, where the Doors would've gone had Jim Morrison lived, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, what he's listening to now and more.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: First, let’s talk about Ray Manzarek’s death…. Did you see that coming? Had he been sick for a while?

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarak

Robby Krieger: Not really ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, Today in Rock

Highlights From Lollapalooza 2012

Wednesday, August 8: 4:19 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Gary Clark Jr at Lollapalooza 2012

Ever since Perry Farrell moved his Lollapalooza festival to Chicago, I have managed to attend it every year. In fact, it’s become something of an annual ritual for my older son, Arthur, and me. Like me, Arthur is consumed by music. I have been taking him to concerts since he was a young boy, and I took him to see many established artists, including U2 and Bruce Springsteen. Then as he got more into music, he introduced me to younger up-and-coming artists, and we would go to local clubs together. Arthur now has his own electronic dance music group called Busted Bass, and they have been playing clubs around Cleveland. 

Unlike a lot of other festivals, Lollapalooza features a wide mix of music. This year’s lineup included everyone from 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Black Sabbath to Ohio’s hugely popular Black Keys, from such hot electronic dance music artists as Bassnector and Kaskade to the hot British soul singer Michael Kiwanuka, from the folksy young band Dawes to the soulful young band Alabama Shakes.

One of my favorite artists at this year’s festival was the singer-guitarist Gary Clark Jr. The Austin, Texas ...


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Spotlight Exhibit: Bonnie Raitt's Jacket and Fender Stratocaster

Monday, August 6: 12 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Bonnie Raitt's signature Fender Stratocaster

From her self-titled debut album in 1971, Bonnie Raitt has established herself as a virtuoso blues musician who sings blues with gritty passion and plays slide guitar with authority, as if the genre’s fundamentals had been etched in her soul. With mentors that included Sippie Wallace, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Son House, Raitt has demonstrated a studied reverence for old-school country-blues tempered with a contemporary outlook and willingness to experiment. She recorded eight albums for Warner Bros. Records from 1971 to 1986, progressively moving from straight blues into more pop-oriented areas without losing sight of her roots. Raitt's move to Capitol Records was followed by her 1989 breakthrough Nick of Time, which netted four Grammy Awards in 1990 and prompted her to note: “It means so much for the kind of music that we do. It means that those of us who do rhythm & blues are going to get a chance again.”

In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum VP of exhibitions and curatorial Jim Henke shares the story behind the development and impact of Bonnie Raitt's signature Fender Stratocaster and the jacket she was wearing on one of the most rewarding ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit

Curating the Beatles

Monday, June 11: 1 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
The Beatles at Shea Stadium on August 23, 1966 original concert poster

the Beatles exhibit at the rock and roll hall of fame and museum in ClevelandThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is very fortunate to have what is most likely the finest, most extensive Beatles exhibit anywhere in the world. That exhibit is the result of relationships we have built over the years. I have been the chief curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland since 1994, before the Museum opened, and one of the first people I contacted when I got the job was Yoko Ono.

Prior to joining the Museum, I was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine, where I had interviewed Yoko. In addition, Jann Wenner, the editor and publisher of Rolling Stone and one of the founders of the Hall of Fame, was friends with Yoko and John Lennon. Having made those connections, I first arranged to meet Yoko at her apartment at the Dakota in New York City in 1994. Much to my surprise, she had an enormous amount of material related to her late husband John, going back to things like his school report cards and a swimming certificate. She also had many of his handwritten lyric manuscripts, guitars, clothing and other personal effects. Yoko agreed to ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Event

Remembering Levon Helm

Thursday, April 19: 3:59 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Levon Helm (1940-2012)

The only non-Canadian member of the Band, Levon Helm was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice and his creative drumming style, which was highlighted on many of the Band's recordings, including "The Weight,” "Up on Cripple Creek,” "Ophelia" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Helm was born in Marvell, Arkansas, and grew up in Turkey Scratch, a hamlet west of Helena, Arkansas. He saw Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys when he was six and decided to become a musician. He began playing the guitar at the age of eight, and he took up drums shortly thereafter. After graduating from high school, Helm was invited to join rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins' band, the Hawks. Shortly after Helm joined the Hawks, the group moved to Toronto, Canada, where, in 1959, it signed with Roulette Records. In the early 1960s, Helm and Hawkins recruited an all-Canadian lineup of musicians: guitarist Robbie Robertson, bassist Rick Danko, pianist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson. In 1963, the band parted ways with Hawkins and started touring under the name Levon and the Hawks and, later, as the Canadian Squires before finally changing back to the Hawks. Then, in 1965, Bob ...


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Bruce Springsteen Exhibit Moves to the Streets of Philadelphia

Monday, February 20: 1 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum VP of exhibitions and curatorial Jim Henke talks Springsteen

From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen opened at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this past weekend. The Rock Hall curated the exhibit, and it was the major temporary exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum from April 2009 to February 2011.

The Springsteen exhibit was not originally intended to travel, but after representatives from the Constitution Center came to Cleveland to see it, they thought it would be a great fit for their museum. We had several discussions with them, and we worked with Springsteen’s management to see whether moving it was a possibility. In the end, we all agreed that it made sense to take the exhibit to the Constitution Center. After all, Springsteen’s roots go back to the Jersey Shore, an area not that far from Philadelphia. Moreover, Springsteen is a truly American musician and songwriter, someone who has given voice to the restlessness, hopes and dreams of ordinary Americans. Millions of listeners have found their experience of the American dream reflected in his songs about the lonely, the lost, the unemployed, immigrants and military veterans. The City of Brotherly Love was ...


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Spotlight Exhibit: The Band

Wednesday, January 18: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Robbie Robertson of the Band visits the Rock Hall and checks out the new Band exhibit.

Recently, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a new Spotlight Exhibit devoted to the Band. Located in the Museum’s main gallery, the exhibit features an extremely rare electric guitar/mandolin that was manufactured by Gibson back in 1961. Band guitarist Robbie Robertson played the instrument when the group performed “The Weight” at the Last Waltz. The exhibit also includes a mandolin that was played by Levon Helm, the original handwritten lyric manuscript to “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” the original artwork for the cover of the group’s Cahoots album, Martin Scorsese’s shooting script for The Last Waltz and a jacket that Robertson wore onstage during a 1971 New Year’s Eve concert in New York City. That concert was recorded and released on the album Rock of Ages. Robbie Robertson got to check the exhibit out when he made a visit to the Museum on January 17.

Watch Robertson playing the 1961 Gibson electric guitar/mandolin in The Last Waltz:


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit, Hall of Fame
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