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Nine Inch Nails Live at 1994 Woodstock Music & Art Fair

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

Nine Inch Nails had been building its reputation in the industrial music scene since 1988, but with the release of their second full album, The Downward Spiral, in March 1994, the band was poised to take its intense sound to a wider audience. Their aggressive and sometimes haunting evening performance at Woodstock in 1994 was groundbreaking. It had been raining most of the day and the band decided to use the mud that filled the field as part of their show – coating themselves and their equipment in it along with the audience.  The fact that entire thing was broadcast to a pay-per-view audience helped to push them into worldwide mainstream success.

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 ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History, Hall of Fame, Celebrity Sighting, Rare Performances

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

Inside the Collection of Art Collins: A Backstage Pass to the Rolling Stones

Monday, October 21: 5 p.m.
Posted by Anastasia Karel
Art Collins' tour notes on the Rolling Stones used as in-house Atlantic Records bulletin.

For as long as there's been an entertainment industry, an “insider’s scoop” has been a reliable way to gain media attention. Over the years, however, many of those rare glimpses, unique perspectives and behind-the-scenes stories have been lost – or perhaps they were never shared. As we discover almost daily at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library and Archives, many such stories are hidden within the boxes of an archives, waiting to be discovered by researchers. Art Collins has one such story. 

Collins began his career at the age of 22 in the Atlantic Records promotion department, and two years later, in 1977, he joined Rolling Stones Records as the Stones’ tour manager. For the Rolling Stones’ 1978 U.S. tour, Collins traveled with the band from show to show, and he took notes about each stop on a yellow legal pad. These notes were later condensed into a report for the in-house Atlantic Records bulletin. Both versions can be found in Collins’ files, but, for a researcher, the handwritten draft tends to be the more valuable of the two, because it may contain extra information that does not make it into the final ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rolling Stones, Inductee, American Music Masters, Library and Archives

At the Library and Archives: Cleveland Punk Legend Peter Laughner Collection of Recordings and Articles

Wednesday, July 24: 2 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
The Peter Laughner collection at the L&A helps tell the story of Cleveland's underground 70s scene.

The latest addition to the Library and Archives' Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives is the new Collection on Peter Laughner, Cleveland punk legend. In his short lifetime, Laughner co-founded both Rocket from the Tombs – a band described by writer Lester Bangs as "an amphetamine-driven blend of Velvets-Stooges" – and Pere Ubu, and was a contributing writer to rock magazines like Creem and an all-around gadfly of the Midwest and New York rock scenes. Journalist Richie Unterberger wrote of Laughner, "As a singer, songwriter, and performer in numerous Cleveland bands, he was probably the single biggest catalyst in the birth of Cleveland's alternative rock scene in the mid-'70s. 

The Peter Laughner collection at the Library and Archives includes rare vinyl, ¼-inch and audiocassette recordings of Laughner solo and with his bands, as well as performances from his wife, poet Charlotte Pressler. Those keen on learning more about the 1970s Cleveland underground music scene will want to read Pressler's first-hand account in the issue of CLE Magazine, also included in the collection; while those interested in Laughner’s pre-punk career will want to take a look at the poster for his first band, a blues group called Mr. Charlie ...


continue Categories: Library and Archives

Gallery Talk: Robert Lockwood Jr.'s Custom Guitar

Monday, February 18: 1 p.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
Robert Lockwood Jr. with custom guitar, now on exhibit at the Rock Hall in Cleveland

On February 11, 2013, Robert Lockwood Jr.'s custom 12-string electric guitar was placed on permanent exhibit in the Roots of Rock and Roll galleries at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Lockwood Jr.'s widow, Mary Lockwood, joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in presenting the famed bluesman's unique guitar, which was his primary instrument until his death in 2006 at age 91. 

Lockwood was taught to play the guitar by fabled songwriter and guitarist Robert Johnson, the first modern bluesman, and recorded as a solo artist for more than half a century. In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the story behind the guitar Lockwood called "the most beautiful guitar I've ever seen" and why Lockwood was crowned the king of Cleveland blues. 


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Black History Month

Love Rocks: A Special Tour of the Rock Hall

Thursday, February 14: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rock and roll lovebirds Les Paul and Mary Ford.

For decades, love, in all its permutations, has proven among rock and roll's most powerful tonics. From blissful to bawdy, artists have regaled listeners with memorable tales of romance that have inspired and infuriated, giving the language of love a bold voice in the process.

Through February 17, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is sharing the love with a special self-guided tour highlighting artifacts that relate rock's more romantic side. Visitors to the Rock Hall on February 14 will be treated to a special curator-led version of the tour, which covers the Beatles, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Sex Pistols, U2 and more.

Among the artifacts featured are the handwritten lyrics to the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," written by Tony Asher and Brian Wilson, and appearing on 1966's Pet Sounds. Wilson originally disliked the opening line of the song, “I may not always love you,” feeling it was “too negative." After hearing the rest of Asher's lyrics, however, he changed his mind. “God Only Knows” was one of the first pop songs to use the word “god” in its title, and though he feared the worst, Wilson decided ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Event

Cleveland Soul: Interview with Lou Ragland

Wednesday, February 13: 2 p.m.
Posted by Carlo Wolff
Cleveland soul man Lou Ragland will appear live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Musician Lou Ragland was born in Cleveland in 1942. His first instrument was saxophone, his choice after rejecting his high school music teacher’s suggestion he play tuba. Inspired by everyone from Brahms to Nat “King” Cole to Ella Fitzgerald, Ragland locked onto soul at 13, when he heard Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers sing “Goody Goody.” 

In the early ‘60s, Ragland sang in the storied doo-wop group the Sahibs (along with Hesitations founder Art Blakey and current Hesitation George Hendricks, who taught Ragland rudimentary guitar). He first recorded with the Bandmasters, releasing “Never Let Me Go/Party in Lester’s” on Way Out in 1965. The group waxed that 45 at Cleveland Recording on Euclid Avenue. “The Bandmasters was the music and the Sahibs were the voices, and I sang lead, ” says Ragland, who also recorded for Way Out under the name Volcanic Eruption, with George Hendricks. 

“I was the first artist they produced on Way Out, but after they found out that I could engineer and play instruments, they didn’t do anymore on me,” says Ragland. “They didn’t want to lose me to the art world, they wanted me to pump out these songs.” Way Out ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews, Education, Black History Month, Foster Theatre, Event

On Exhibit: The Black Keys

Monday, February 11: 5:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Patrick Carney of the Black Keys' Ludwig bass drum, on exhibit at the Rock Hall

Akron’s Black Keys are guitarist and vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer and producer Patrick Carney. The duo came together in 2001 and released its first album, The Big Come Up, in 2002. Besides traditional CDs or downloads, the Black Keys’ work has gained wide exposure in a number of different media, from film soundtracks to commercials to video games. Their 2010 album, Brothers, won three Grammys and was named Number Two on Rolling Stone magazine’s Best Albums of 2010 list. El Camino, released in 2011, peaked at Number Two on the Billboard 200 chart and was nominated for five Grammys.

On Sunday, February 10, 2013, the Black Keys took home three Grammy Awards, effectively sweeping the rock categories, winning Best Rock Album for El Camino and Best Rock Song for "Lonely Boy." Auerbach won for Producer of the Year. The Black Keys are among the artists featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Right Here, Right Now exhibit. On display are Carney's Ludwig Scotch Marching Bass Drum circa 1958, which is pictured in the artwork of The Big Come Up (left), as well as Auerbach's Maestro Model MFZ Fuzz effects ...


continue Categories: Exhibit
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