Wednesday, March 14: 1 p.m.
ICON: The Influence of Elvis Presley is a new exhibit at Graceland
One of the strongest and most enduring relationships the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has enjoyed is the one we have with Elvis Presley Enterprises/Graceland. As the Museum was being developed, Graceland was on board from the beginning to loan items for exhibition. They’ve always strongly felt that Elvis Presley should have a prominent presence in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and we’re grateful for it.
Every few years, I meet with Angie Marchese, Graceland’s director of archives, in Memphis, to update and gather new items for the Rock Hall's Presley exhibit. Few people in the world are as knowledgeable about Presley’s life and career as Marchese, and she’s been instrumental in helping the Museum curate our exhibit dedicated to “the King of Rock and Roll.”
Two years ago, Marchese reached out to the Rock Hall with an idea for an exhibit that examined Presley’s influence on other artists – and she wanted our help. She didn’t have to ask twice, as it was a fantastic idea and a perfect opportunity for our respective institutions to collaborate. It is Graceland's mission to tell ...
Monday, February 6: 3 p.m.
Bob Marley (2/6/45 – 5/11/81)
Born on February 6, 1945, Bob Marley was reggae's foremost practitioner and emissary, embodying its spirit and spreading its gospel to all corners of the globe. His extraordinary body of work embraces the stylistic spectrum of modern Jamaican music – from ska to rock steady to reggae – while carrying the music to another level as a social force with universal appeal. Few others changed the musical and cultural landscape as profoundly as he did. "He wanted everything at the same time and was everything at the same time: prophet, soul rebel, Rasta man, herbs man, wild man, a natural mystic man, ladies' man, island man, family man, Rita's man, soccer man, showman, shaman, human – Jamaican!" said U2 frontman Bono during his 1994 induction of Marley into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
There’s no question that reggae is legitimately part of the larger culture of rock and roll, partaking of its full heritage of social forces and stylistic influences. In Marley’s own words, “Reggae music, soul music, rock music – every song is a sign.” His lyrics mixed religious mysticism with calls for political uprising, and Marley delivered them in a passionate, declamatory voice.
Marley was a ...
Thursday, July 28: 11:41 a.m.
Bono performs during final stop of the 360° Tour. Photo courtesy of Ivor Karabatkovic
U2 played the next-to-last show on their 360° World Tour on Tuesday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. I was fortunate to have been there to witness this amazing spectacle. The tour kicked off back in 2009, ostensibly in support of the band’s No Line on the Horizon album, and it has grossed more than $700 million. The stage set is unbelievable, with a claw-shaped stage structure that is 168 feet tall, with massive video screens. I’ve never seen a stage set that comes close to this one.
U2 opened the concert with four songs from their 1991 Achtung Baby album: “Even Better Than the Real Thing,” “The Fly,” “Mysterious Ways” and “Until the End of the World.” They then played “I Will Follow” from their 1980 debut album, Boy. “Get on Your Boots” and “Stay” followed. Astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, then appeared on the giant video screens to say, “Hello, Pittsburgh!” and introduce the next song, “Beautiful Day.” From that point, the show continued to get better and better, as U2 played hit after hit, including “Elevation,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “City of Blinding Lights,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Vertigo,” “Walk On ...
Thursday, October 15: 4:22 p.m.
The first U2 shirt can be found in the Rock Hall's permanent U2 exhibit. Photo: Rock Hall/Design Pho
In about 10 days, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its new, state-of-the-art theater. The Foster Theater was made possible by a generous donation from Gregg and Madolyn Foster, and it features a fantastic 3-D viewing experience and enhanced audio.
To inaugurate the theater, the Museum will be presenting U2 3D, the brilliant 3-D concert film featuring the Hall of Fame inductees. The movie was filmed in South America during the final leg of U2’s Vertigo tour in 2006. The movie captures all of the excitement and energy of a U2 stadium show. And the 3-D effects and awesome sound make the audience members feel as if they are right in front of the stage. It’s as if Bono, Larry, Edge and Adam are right there in the room with you.
I have had a long relationship with U2, dating back to 1980, when I became the first American journalist to write about the band. I was the Music Editor at Rolling Stone at the time, and the headline on that first story was “U2: Here Comes the ‘Next Big Thing’.” I proceeded to write several other stories about the band during my ...