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In the Museum: The Who's Roger Daltrey

Saturday, March 1: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Who's Roger Daltrey celebrates his 70th birthday on March 1, 2014

Born on March 1, 1944, Roger Daltrey injected the Who's songs with expressive muscularity and passion. Daltrey made a natural rock and roll frontman, theatrically swinging the microphone and proving the ideal, angst-projecting foil to Who songwriter/guitarist Pete Townshend's "windmill" strumming and instrument destroying antics and drummer Keith Moon's  explosive – sometimes literally – playing. With rock-steady bass virtuoso John Entwistle, the four evolved from purveyors of Mod-era "maximum R&B" to visionary, literary creators of concept album narratives and singular rock opera productions. Simply put: the Who created some of rock and roll's most enduring and powerful anthems. 

In mid-1965, Daltrey and the Who were unflagging devotees of R&B, though their reverence ultimately started to stifle creativity. Hoping to shake things up on the compositional front, manager Kit Lambert demanded a new anthem to go with the image they didn't have yet. Pete Townshend responded with a primitive home demo of "My Generation." Arranged as a talking blues number, it didn't sound much like his generation. With a terse order to make it beefier, Townshend returned with a version deemed chunky enough to warrant a group whack at a demo session, which Lambert ...


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Stories behind the Guitars of Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

Tuesday, August 20: 12:21 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Picture of Keith Richards' 1959 Gibson ES-355 electric guitar

In 1975, Ronnie Wood replaced Mick Taylor as guitarist for the Rolling Stones. It was another turning point for the band: “Ronnie was damn good glue for the band. He was a breath of fresh air,” said Richards. He and Richards went back to the band’s default rhythmic style, playing together to create the sound of a single intricate guitar. This compositional style had not been played consistently since Brian Jones’ tenure in the band. Wood helped to revitalize the band’s music and spirit, and it proved to be exactly what the Stones needed.

“’Beast of Burden’ is a good example of the two of us twinkling felicitously together,” said Richards. Wood’s slide guitar and pedal steel work made a big impact when recording and also on stage, and the chemistry between Wood and Richards can be heard when listening to Rolling Stones songs such as "It's Only Rock and Roll," "Hey Negrita," "Miss You," "Far Away Eyes" and "Start Me Up." 

These two Rolling Stones video clips go behind the scenes, highlighting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's latest major exhibit Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, on view through March ...


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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 ...


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Interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

Monday, September 16: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

Best Coast's 2013 tour dates recently included a stop at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. After the concert, during a rare moment of free time, band members Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where they were struck by such artifacts as the handwritten lyrics to the Beach Boys' classic song "God Only Knows." 

Based in Los Angeles, Best Coast formed in 2009 around the duo of Cosentino and Bruno, quickly releasing a host of 7" and EP recordings. In 2010, the group's single "When I'm With You" proved a breakout hit and was followed that July by Best Coast's debut album, Crazy For You. All the material showcased Cosentino and Bruno's lo-fi aesthetic and pop-hook sensibility, with references to the surf rock and girl groups of the Sixties the band admired.

With extensive touring and popular music videos – including 2011's "Our Deal" directed by Drew Barrymore – the band's star continued to rise. The band's sophomore effort, The Only Place, was released in 2012.

In this interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, the singer and songwriter talks about her influences – from Blink 182 ...


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Jim Morrison Says to Millions: "Girl, We Couldn't Get Much Higher"

Tuesday, September 17: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Fan photo of the Doors collection at the Rock Hall, shared using hashtag #rockhallsatisfaction

In addition to the Jim Morrison–led call to arms “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” the Doors self-titled debut album included “Light My Fire.” Penned by guitarist Robby Krieger in his first songwriting attempt, the song catapulted the group to stardom, topping the charts for three weeks during the Summer of Love. For purposes of AM-radio airplay, the single version of “Light My Fire” was edited from its nearly seven-minute album sprawl to just under three minutes. With the Doors quickly gaining a loyal following – and notoriety owing largely to the charismatic if untrammeled personality of Morrison – the group were booked as a musical guest on The Ed Sullivan Show airing September 17, 1967. It didn't go as the producers had hoped, as the resulting episode followed keyboardist Ray Manzarek's assessment of the mid Sixties: "the battle was between the hip and the non- hip, the heads and the straights, the psychedelics and the squares – and that was basically the battle – the establishment against the hippies." 

Scheduled to perform their Number One hit "Light My Fire" before millions on the same show that had helped make the likes of Elvis Presley and the Beatles household names ...


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Gallery Talk: Duane Allman's 1959 Gibson Les Paul Guitars

Thursday, September 19: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Duane Allman's highly prized 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitar, on exhibit at the Rock Hall

Please note that these guitars are no longer on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Few guitarists made as lasting an impression in such short order as Duane Allman. Beyond his work with the his namesake group and principal architects of Southern rock, the Allman Brothers Band, Duane was an in-demand session musician. A fixture at Muscle Shoals, Duane's playing can be heard on records by Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, among others, and he famously traded licks with Eric Clapton on Derek and the Dominos' 1970 release Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

This 1959 cherry sunburst Gibson Les Paul was acquired by Duane in the fall of 1970, after he fell in love with the instrument jamming with a band called the Stone Balloon in Daytona Beach, Florida. The guitar can be heard on the seminal Allman Brothers Band live concert recording At Fillmore East. Recorded at the famed NYC concert hall on March 12 and 13, 1971, sprawling jams such as "Whipping Post," inspired blues including a cover of "Statesboro Blues" and fiery, jazz-inspired epics like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" showcased Allman's near-singular dexterity and versatility ...


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What do Andy Warhol, John Lennon, Syd Barrett and Mad Magazine have in Common?

Wednesday, October 2: 3 p.m.
Posted by Amanda Pecsenye
A collector like no other: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.

On October 9, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its latest exhibit: Collecting the Counterculture: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. in the Museum’s Patty, Jay and Kizzie Baker Gallery. It's an exhibit that all started two years ago, in Geneva, Switzerland.

My job as the registrar  at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has afforded me many opportunities to travel.  One of those trips brought me to Geneva, where in November 2011 I assisted Rock Hall curators Craig Inciardi and Howard Kramer as they pored over the unique and vast collection of the late Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.  

When my colleagues and I arrived at the sprawling, discreet office space housing the Santo Domingo collection, I was immediately impressed and overwhelmed – there seemed to be treasures everywhere. The complex of rooms was filled with big rolls of movie and band posters, pinball machines, miscellaneous pop culture artifacts, floor-to-ceiling shelves of music and art books, and an expansive array of counterculture and drug-related paraphernalia and literature. As an Andy Warhol buff, I was particularly pleased to see one of Warhol’s small art prints, propped against a reading chair ...


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Can We Borrow Janis Joplin's Porsche?

Thursday, October 10: 4:22 p.m.
Posted by Jun Francisco
Janis Joplin's Porsche goes for a ride.

It's not every day that the Rock Hall gets a serious request to borrow Janis Joplin's iconic Porsche 356C cabriolet from our collection. Almost daily, visitors and fans from around the world ask questions like "Can I take it for a test drive?" But this time was different. We agreed to hand over the keys – though it wasn't quite that simple.

The Rock Hall’s collections department receives regular requests from museums, galleries, schools, event organizers and even television shows to borrow an artifact or two for their projects. They come from all over the United States, but more and more are streaming in from overseas. Just within the last year we have had inquiries from Brazil, Japan, the Philippines, Hungary, Russia, Dubai and Canada. Many are compelling, interesting and hard to pass up, while some are downright quirky. 

One of the more exciting inquiries we have received this year is from the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. They asked to borrow Janis Joplin’s 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet to include in their exhibition entitled Porsche By Design: Seducing Speed, a 22-car display of rare Porsche automobiles owned by such personalities as Steve McQueen and ...


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