The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Posts by Meredith E. Rutledge-Borger

New at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: A Jackson 5-era Outfit Worn by Michael Jackson

Friday, September 13: 4 p.m.
Michael Jackson sports outfit from his Jackson 5 days, now on exhibit

Starting this week, visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, will be able to see a new addition to the Rock Hall's Michael Jackson collection: an outfit worn by the King of Pop early in his Jackson 5 days.

I clearly remember the first time I saw this newest addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection. I got an extreme close-up look at Michael’s orange, yellow and red ensemble, with my nose inches from the television screen. I was watching the Jackson 5’s second television special, which aired on November 5, 1972. Michael and his brothers wore a succession of colorful, fashionable, individualized yet coordinated outfits on the television special.

The warm, saturated colors, double-knit fabric, turtleneck and bellbottom design of this particular outfit were the apogee of early 1970s hip fashion, seen on fashion runways from couturiers like Halston and Yves St. Laurent, accessible and readily adaptable for the ready-to-wear market.

The stylish turtleneck top of the outfit with the heart-embellished “J5” logo is actually a body suit – clearly a necessity to accommodate Michael’s athletic dancing. Michael was growing up fast, but ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

The Man Who Set The Stage: Mark Fisher Dies at 66

Friday, June 28: 3 p.m.
Portion of "The Wall" set at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

Mark Fisher, the talented and prolific creator of environments that helped take the experience of rock concerts to a new and more spectacular level, passed away on June 26, 2013. He was 66. Fisher was responsible for the stage design of iconic and groundbreaking concert environments for such Hall of Fame Inductees as the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and U2, among others.

With news of his passing, the Rolling Stones issued the following statement, quoted in the Daily Mail newspaper: “We are all extremely saddened to hear of the death of dear friend Mark Fisher. The remarkable sets he designed for us over last two decades played a major part in the success of all those tours. His passion, dedication and professionalism was infectious. We all loved his dry sense of humor and unflappable demeanor ... a quietly soft spoken genius.”

Among his credits, Fisher designed the set for the Rolling Stones’ 1989 Steel Wheels tour and ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters' The Wall extravaganza in 1990, when he performed the 1979 album The Wall at Potsdamer Platz, the site of the Berlin Wall. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is proud to display examples of Fisher’s ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock

Celebrating Record Store Day In Cleveland – and Beyond

Friday, April 19: 4 p.m.
Record Store Day is on April 20, 2013

I’m a native Clevelander, and have always been a keen record shopper. I bought my first record with my own money, Lulu’s “To Sir, With Love,” at the Disc record store in Severance Center mall, across  from the cinema where my Mom and I had just seen the movie starring Sidney Poitier. As a kid I shopped ‘em all: Record Revolution and the Record Exchange on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights; Tommy Edward’s Record Heaven in the Memphis-Fulton Shopping Center in Cleveland and the venerable Record Rendezvous in downtown Cleveland, among others. 

When I moved to New York City in the late Seventies, my record jones sent me out on regular excursions around Greenwich Village, both east and west. Sounds on St. Mark’s Place was my East Village haunt, while Bleeker Bob’s, closer to the West Side, was a little more out of the way. It took awhile for me to warm up to Bleeker's – or rather – for the store to warm up to me. I experienced my own ...


continue Categories: Event

Gallery Talk: The Beatles' Apple Boutique

Monday, February 4: 11 a.m.

Opened in December 1967 on London's Baker Street, the Beatles' Apple Boutique closed less than a year later in July 1968. Paul McCartney initially described the shop as "a beautiful place where beautiful people can buy beautiful things." At the time of the shop's closing, however, his enthusiasm had waned. On display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in the Museum's Beatles exhibit is a mandarin collard green velvet jacket from the Apple Boutique. In this clip, assistant curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger discusses the Apple Boutique and how it and this jacket were indicative of an era. Visit the Beatles exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, to see more from the Fab Four.


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Spotlight Exhibit: 2-Tone Records

Tuesday, December 4: 5 a.m.
2 Tone is the focus of new Spotlight Exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

In this post, Rock Hall curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger, who traveled to the UK to collect and research for a new 2-Tone Records exhibit, shares background on the label and its lasting impact on popular culture.

Between 1979 and 1986, the 2-Tone label released 28 singles – 20 of which charted in the U.K. – including hits by the Specials, the Selecter, Madness, the Bodysnatchers and the Beat (known as the English Beat outside of the U.K.). Although only the English Beat –and to a lesser extent, Madness – ever had much success outside of the U.K., the 2-Tone movement combined infectious dance music and progressive ideals to confront the status quo. 2-Tone laid the groundwork for the success of such American artists as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Toasters, Fishbone, Smash Mouth, Sublime, Reel Big Fish, the Pietasters and the multi-platinum selling No Doubt.

Two Tone record label exhibit reggae punk ska2-Tone was a group of black and white kids from Coventry, Birmingham and London, England – white punk rockers and black rude-boys and -girls who stood against the economic policies of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government and the Neo-Nazi National Front, promoted racial harmony through the irresistible and exuberant rhythm of ska music and revolutionized ...


continue Categories: Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit

Rock and Roll vs. Censorship

Thursday, August 23: 9 a.m.

Given the recent fervor over Russian feminist punk rock collective Pussy Riot's arrest and subsequent sentencing and incarceration after staging a performance art protest in a Russian Orthodox cathedral, the Rock Hall started thinking about how censorship has always been a hot button issue in rock and roll. What’s happening in Russia now is not terribly far removed from repressive reactions to the emergence of rock and roll in the 1950s, and reactions to various other manifestations of the artform throughout its history.

Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich said this in her closing statement at the group’s trial: “On the one hand, we expect a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. The whole world now sees that the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial.”

The National Coalition Against Censorship (with thanks to Eric Nuzum) notes these milestones in the infamous history of music censorship. Many of these milestones are covered in the Museum’s Don’t Knock the Rock exhibit, a video-driven exhibit about the protests against rock and roll ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit

Rare Performances: Chuck Berry Live in 1994

Tuesday, July 31: 10 a.m.
Chuck Berry honored Willie Dixon in 1994 and performed "Roll Over Beethoven"

At the 1994 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Chuck Berry paid tribute to his Chess Records label mate and frequent collaborator Willie Dixon with a moving induction speech and stirring performance of “Roll Over Beethoven.” Dixon contributed his robust and propulsive bass playing to numerous Berry hits, including “Maybellene” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” Berry’s performance that evening reflects the sheer joy that he brings to every performance. Berry’s generosity as a performer is also evident, as he leaves plenty of room for members of Paul Shaffer’s Induction Ceremony house band the opportunity to shine, along with Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Grateful Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby and Blues Traveler’s John Popper. The Rock and Roll Hall Fame and Museum is delighted to honor Chuck Berry as this year’s American Music Masters honoree.

WATCH: Chuck Berry performs "Roll Over Beethoven" live


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances, Event

Rare Performances: the Velvet Underground Live in 1996

Wednesday, July 18: 1:17 p.m.
The Velvet Underground performed a song dedicated to band member Sterling Morrison in 1996.

“No, I didn't attend his funeral. I dedicated a song to him from the stage of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – I wanted his name to be heard on TV and to the crowds watching the show. I wanted to play "Sweet Jane" for him one last time.” – Lou Reed, quoted in The Austin Chronicle, 2000

On September 2, 1995, Lou Reed performed “Sweet Jane” onstage at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, in front of a crowd of more than 63,000 and millions more around the world watching the concert broadcast on HBO. The occasion was the Concert for the Hall of Fame, celebrating the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Reed’s fellow guitarist and Velvet Underground bandmate, Sterling Morrison, had passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma just three days before. Reed’s performance, dedicated to Morrison, gently reminded the world of Velvet Underground’s impact, and Morrison’s unique contributions to the band. The surviving members of the Velvets would pay tribute to Morrison once more upon their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on January 17, 1996, with a poignant performance of a song especially written for ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances
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