Inductions are always an exciting time at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, made even more so when a new inductee is in the house! Terry Sylvester, lead singer of 2010 inductees the Hollies, made an appearance on the Museum’s Main Stage on March 10. Sylvester performed six songs, including Hollies’ hits “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress) ,” “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and “Bus Stop.” Inspired by the Rock Hall’s featured Bruce Springsteen exhibit, Sylvester performed the Hollies’ version of Springsteen’s “The Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).” Sylvester reminded the enthusiastic mid-day audience that the Hollies recorded the first-ever cover of a Springsteen song with “Sandy,” in 1975, well before Springsteen’s break though into superstardom.
After his performance, Sylvester stopped by the Hall of Fame to check on the installation of the New Inductees exhibit. Sylvester handed over the acoustic guitar used on the Hollies 1974 hit “The Air That I Breathe” for the exhibit, giving me information about the guitar for the exhibit text. It’s a curator’s dream to have an exhibit donor at hand to provide pertinent details about the artifacts!
This year’s group of inductees is eclectic and reflects the diversity of rock and roll. My fellow curator Craig Inciardi and I travelled to the U.K. to collect from the Hollies, ABBA and Genesis. I met with a representative of ABBA at the groups’ touring exhibition, ABBAWorld, currently on display at Earls Court in London. I then traveled to Manchester to meet Hollies’ drummer and group archivist Bobby Elliot. After securing the Genesis collection, Craig, who is based in New York City, collected artifacts closer to home for our Non-Performers – songwriters Otis Blackwell, Mort Shuman, Jesse Stone, and the Brill Building teams Jeff Barry / Ellie Greenwich and Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil. Craig also met with this year’s Ahmet Ertegun Award recipient, David Geffen, in Los Angeles. Curatorial Director Howard Kramer didn’t have far to travel to collect from Michigan natives, the Stooges. In fact, the Museum already had an impressive collection from the late Ron Asheton of the Stooges, which was donated back in 1997.
We make every effort to get our New Inductees exhibit installed in time for the induction ceremony. The exhibit is ready and opened during the Museum’s Induction Ceremony Viewing Party. The balance of the exhibit will be opening the following week. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2010 Inductees!
Click here to see more photos of this exhibit.