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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 ...


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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 ...


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On the Beatles 50th Anniversary, Sean Ono Lennon Plays "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"

Thursday, February 6: 1:08 p.m.
Posted by Alexandra Fagan

In 1988, a young Sean Ono Lennon – John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s only son – took to the podium as the Beatles accepted their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors. Obviously nervous and encouraged by Ringo Starr to say a few words, Sean explained: “I’m pretty young to know about this still, but I still love the Beatles, and I’m pretty proud to be up here today for doing nothing.” Twenty-six years later, Sean Ono Lennon, a talented musician and composer, was again paying tribute to the legacy of the music his father and the Beatles created. This time, prompted by the 50th  anniversary of the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan

In honor of the Beatles anniverary, artists from all genres have been performing together on The Late Show With David Letterman. Last night, the Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon covered the Beatles' psychedelic rock classic “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Lead singer, Wayne Coyne, stood tall on a road case with shimmering ribbons dangling from his arms and a tangled tentacle arrangement of LED lights adorning his mic stand. Lennon donned the same hat his dad wore in the cover art of the 1970s compilation ...


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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 ...


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Ringo Starr's Photo Album of His Life: Now on View at the Library & Archives

Wednesday, February 5: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Ringo Starr self-portrait / Courtesy of Genesis Publications and Ringo Starr

"This is how we saw most of the world when it got big for the Beatles," says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Ringo Starr of his PHOTOGRAPH tome from Genesis Publications. "You'll find several of the shots in this book are from my point of view, looking out of a car window. That's just how it was. You had to get to the gig, and then get away from the gig to wherever you were going next."

PHOTOGRAPH gives rock fans a first-hand look into Starr's life behind – and away from – the drum kit. With more than 250 rare and unseen photographs from Starr's personal collection, PHOTOGRAPH compiles mementos and memories from his childhood, the Beatles and beyond. "I love pictures put together, showing different times of your life," says Starr. "At the time, I never thought that there would be a whole book of my photographs."

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

2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Brian Epstein with Paul McCartney and the Beatles in 1964Beatles fans will get rare and candid looks into the Fab Four's inner circle, with photos of George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon through the decades, with early archival ...


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The Beatles 50th Anniversary and an Unsolved Fab Four Mystery

Friday, January 31: 11:56 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Beatles live at Carnegie Hall on February 12, 1964 / Courtesy of Carnegie Hall Archives

The Beatles first arrived in America on February 7, 1964, at New York's Kennedy Airport. Two days later, on February 9, the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show broadcast from New York City, reaching an audience of more than 70 million people.  The Fab Four would perform again on Ed Sullivan on February 16, in Miami. Those landmark performances are well documented, but one performance on February 12, 1964 has an element of great mystery: missing Beatles concert footage that would be of interest to any Beatles fan!

The Beatles made their Carnegie Hall debut on February 12, 1964. The show was typical of the nascent days of Beatlemania – screaming fans, confused adults, rock and roll. But behind the Beatles, sitting on the Carnegie Hall stage sat a group of individuals, including a woman with a film camera. Who is that woman and what did she capture from that momentous performance? And where is that footage?

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

With the help from our friends at the Carnegie Hall Archives, we are enlisting Beatles fans from all over the world to assist Carnegie Hall’s ...


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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 ...


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Celebrating George Harrison on his Birthday

Monday, February 25: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
George Harrison would've turned 70 on February 25, 2013

Born in Liverpool on February 25, 1943, George Harrison was the more subdued, pensive – "quiet" – Beatle, and he carried this persona with him into his solo career. With 11 studio albums, including his sprawling masterwork 1970's All Things Must Pass and a late-career gem, 1987's Cloud Nine, Harrison's rock and roll legacy is enduring. Deft at seamlessly bridging his immersion in Hindu religion, Krishna consciousness and Vedic philosophy, with pure pop sensibility, Harrison's solo oeuvre resulted in such hits as “My Sweet Lord” (from All Things Must Pass), ”Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)" (from 1973's Living in the Material World), "All Those Years Ago" (from 1981's Somewhere in England) and the infectious soul remake "Got My Mind Set On You" (from Cloud Nine).

"He often said he wasn't pursuing a solo career at all – he never hired a manager or had an agent," recalled Tom Petty at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, when he and Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra inducted Harrison. "He just loved playing music with his friends. And he loved guitars. And he loved rock and roll. And he loved ...


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