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Nirvana Live at 1992 Reading Festival

Tuesday, March 11: 7 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Rumors swirled around the 1992 Reading Festival that Kurt Cobain’s reported ill-health would force Nirvana to bail on their headlining gig. Cobain, clad in a hospital gown and ridiculous wig, was pushed onto the stage in a wheelchair and faked a dramatic swoon before leading the band through a blistering, brilliant set. Reading 1992 sealed Nirvana’s legacy as the most important new band of the decade.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience. Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe. Visit Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience to immerse yourself in this story.

Get more of the story at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives!


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Rare Performances

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 ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Punk Goes Acoustic: Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) Bring Sex Doll Tour to Rock Hall

Friday, February 28: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Former Sex Pistol and punk rocker Glen Matlock to perform live at the Rock Hall.

In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Glen Matlock has made indelible contributions to music as the original bass player with the Sex Pistols, founder of the New Wave act Rich Kids, and collaborator with a variety of artists ranging from Iggy Pop to fellow original School of ’76 Brit Punk Rockers the Damned to neo-rockabilly singer Robert Gordon – all while pursuing his own musically distinctive direction. Matlock released Born Running in 2010, and has been taking the coveted bass playing role in the reformed Faces with fellow Hall of Fame Inductees Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.
 
On the other side of the Atlantic from Matlock, before joining the New York Dolls in 1971, Sylvain Sylvain was a member of the band Actress, also featuring the Dolls' Arthur Kane, Johnny Thunders and former fashion partner Murcia. He played rhythm guitar in the proto-punk group the New York Dolls (replacing Rick Rivets), from 1971 until the group’s final dissolution in 1977.

On Tuesday, March 18 at 7 p.m., in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's intimate Foster Theater, Matlock and Sylvain will perform an ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Exclusive Interviews, Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Foster Theatre

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

50 Years Ago: Beatlemania and the Instruments that Conquered America

Friday, February 7: 10:53 a.m.
Posted by Andy Babiuk
The Beatles rehearse before appearing on Ed Sullivan in 1964

Sunday, February 9, 1964 was the day that changed music and pop culture forever. The Ed Sullivan Show was one of the most popular television programs in the United States and at 8pm Eastern Standard Time, the Beatles made their live debut on American national television before an estimated 73 million people. This single television appearance mesmerized an entire generation. How many future musicians’ dreams began that day? How many kids were inspired to form bands and be like the Beatles? Virtually every famous American rock musician would say later: “When I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan it changed my life.”

It was on that Sunday night that the Beatles conquered America and Beatlemania had taken hold of the nation. Their music, mop-top hairstyles, matching suits and "Beatle" boots all helped create the image that we all know and love, but it was their instruments that also made a huge impression on everyone watching. Paul McCartney’s Hofner 500/1 bass, John Lennon’s 325 Rickenbacker guitar, George Harrison’s Gretsch Country Gentleman and Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum set, all became extensions of each of their personalities.

This instrumental lineup was a major part of America’s first ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, The Beatles, Inductee, Hall of Fame

A Beatles' Dozen: 12 Memorable Rock Songs Covered by the Beatles

Wednesday, February 5: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Beatles "Twist and Shout" EP from 1963

The members of the Beatles fell under the spell of rock and roll early on. When the new sound first broke in 1955 and 1956, it caught the attention of Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The lads bought rock and roll records and went to movies where they could see rock and roll stars perform. 

As a band, the Beatles are often regarded as being second-generation rock and rollers, but as kids and as players, they were very much inspired by rock's first generation. They fell in love with rock's “big bang” moment; artists like Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and other artists that would be key to their sound and genesis as a band. As the formative Beatles coalesced, they covered songs by the artists they liked, adding early rock and roll cuts to the set lists as they honed their group dynamic.

Be part of the Beatles 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Rock Hall on February 9, 2014

The Beatles Please Please Me Album Cover Art

Sometimes the Beatles are said to have saved rock and roll. However, at the time the group landed stateside in 1964, Motown had already been cranking out hits ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, The Beatles, Hall of Fame

Beatlemania Comes to the United States

Monday, February 3: 10:15 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Beatles – "I Want to Hold Your Hand"

By December 1963, England had enjoyed nearly a year of Beatlemania. The Fab Four – George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – had sold millions of records for EMI's Parlophone imprint. The group’s first single, “Love Me Do”/”P.S. I Love You,” briefly dented the U.K. Top 20 in October 1962, but their next 45, “Please Please Me,” formally ignited Beatlemania in their homeland, reaching the Number Two spot. It was followed in 1963 by three consecutive chart-topping British singles: “From Me to You” “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They conquered the U.K., even inducing a classical music critic from the Sunday Times to declare them “the greatest composers since Beethoven.” Moreover, they were the greatest rockers since the composer of “Roll Over Beethoven” – Chuck Berry. Still, success in America remained elusive for manager Brian Epstein and his young charges, as Capitol – EMI's American label – refused to release the Beatles' first four British singles, one label executive noting, "We don't think the Beatles will do anything in this market." Everything would change with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

Be part of the Beatles 50th Anniversary Celebration ...


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

Hall of Famers Rock the 2014 Grammy Awards

Monday, January 27: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Alexandra Fagan
Paul McCartney live at the 2014 Grammy Awards / Kevin Mazur/WireImage

It was star-studded night at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. With artists – new and old – coming together, and a handful of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees taking to the stage. The night included rememberances of Hall of Fame Inductees Lou Reed and Phil Everly, as well as 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Dave Grohl taking honors for best rock song for “Cut Me Some Slack,” a collaboration from his Sound City soundtrack that features Paul McCartney, former Nirvana bandmate and fellow 2014 Inductee Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear. From Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to  Madonna to Stevie Wonder, there were numerous Inductees getting into the live act at the Grammy Awards. 

Dozens of couples, representing all demographics: gay, straight, interracial, young and old said “I do” during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love” featuring Mary Lambert and Rock Hall Inductee and seven-time Grammy Award–winner Madonna. Lewis, the group’s producer, told The New York Times, the wedding “will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.”

Carole King joined Sara Bareilles (who performed songs by Laura Nyro at the 2012 ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Today in Rock, Event, The Beatles, Hall of Fame, Madonna, Rare Performances
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