The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Summer in the City: Interview with Mr. Gnome

Tuesday, July 31: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Cleveland's Mr. Gnome will perform live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Inspired by a taste for the surreal, Cleveland’s Mr. Gnome has been creating a singular amalgam of gritty, space-psychedelia since 2005, gaining them an ever-growing cult following across North America and Europe, as well as praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Paste, Spin, Bust and more. Singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer/pianist Sam Meister bring an unfiltered approach to their craft, allowing for emotional and sonic variance. With a nod to the off-kiltered, the constantly touring duo are supporting their third full-length album, Madness In Miniature, which was recorded at Josh Homme’s (Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures) Pink Duck Studios in Los Angeles. While the previous two albums offered mere glimpses, the new album is an all-encompassing gaze into two delicate yet roaring, hypnotic and beautifully disconcerting minds that come together to make sense as one. Here, the Rock Hall catches up with Barille and Meister, in advance of their live free concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 1, 2012, as part of the Summer in the City concert series

Rock Hall: What was the first record/CD you ever bought and ...

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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Sonic Reducer"

Wednesday, July 11: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Dead Boys' "Sonic Reducer" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Straight outta Cleveland, the Dead Boys probably were never meant to climb the long and treacherous path to rock stardom. They were too aggressive, too uncontrollable and too willing to do almost anything – no matter how foolhardy or repellent – to engage an audience. Guitarist Gene O'Connor aka Cheetah Chrome had been part of the influential but unrecorded band Rocket from the Tombs. When he and singer Stiv Bators formed the Dead Boys in 1976, they incorporated several of RFTT's best songs into their repertoire, including "Sonic Reducer," with O'Connor's rapid-fire eighth-note guitar riff bolted to the ingenious lyrics of RFTT frontman David Thomas (later of experimental rockers Pere Ubu). In 1977, the song was released as a single with b side "Down in Flames" and also included on the Dead Boys' debut album, Young, Loud and Snotty. After two albums and a couple of chaotic tours, the Dead Boys broke up in 1979. But "Sonic Reducer" became an American punk-rock standard that continues to resonate with new audiences: It was covered by 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees Guns n' Roses and sampled by 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees the Beastie Boys on"Open Letter to ...

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Summer in the City: Interview with Cloud Nothings' Dylan Baldi

Tuesday, July 3: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Cloud Nothings perform live at the Rock Hall on July 11, 2012 / photo by Noah Kalina

Cloud Nothings have gone from making lo-fi indie rock in a parent’s basement in 2009 to releasing an EP, a handful of singles, a compilation album and two studio albums of new material, as well as touring North America and Europe, where their live performances showcase songs full of energy and precision. In 2010, the band recorded in Baltimore’s famed Copycat Building (home to the original Wham City and many of the city’s best musicians). The resulting self-titled album released in 2011 featured group founder Dylan Baldi playing all of the instruments. The band released the critically acclaimed Attack on Memory, which was engineered by Steve Albini, in early 2012 and performed at SXSW in March. Cloud Nothings have been featured in Rolling Stone, Spin and the New York Times.

Here, the Rock Hall catches up with Cloud Nothings founder Dylan Baldi in an exclusive interview. Cloud Nothings headline the first Summer in the City concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 11. RSVP for this free concert here and use #summer2rock to connect with the Rock Hall on Twitter.

Rock Hall: What was the first record ...

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Concert Radar: Bootsy Collins

Tuesday, April 3: 12:20 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Bootsy Collins

This weekend, on Friday, April 6, don't miss a uniquely funky opportunity as 1997 Hall of Fame Inductee Bootsy Collins plays an intimate show at one of Cleveland's great music venues, the Beachland Ballroom. This is the first of many musical performances during the Rock Hall's 11 days of events surrounding this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions Ceremony on Saturday, April 14. 

The charismatic Collins – easily identified by his singular fashion sense: star-shaped glasses, colorful suits and top hats, and  glittery "space bass" – was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Parliament-Funkadelic, alongside his mentor George Clinton (who'll headline the Free Concert for Cleveland with Kid Cudi and Kids These Days at the Q.)

Over the years, the bassist, singer, songwriter and Cincinnati, Ohio, native has released more than a dozen albums, including 2011's Tha Funk Capital Of The World, a deeply grooving history of funk as only Collins and his collaborators could curate. The musicians joining Collins at the Beachland Ballroom include P-Funk alumni and fellow Hall of Famers drummer extraordinaire Frankie "Kash" Waddy and Bernie Worrell, long recognized as a keyboard wizard ...

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Finding The Pied Piper of Cleveland

Monday, March 19: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Chris Kennedy
Bill Haley and Elvis Presley

On Thursday, October 20, 1955, at approximately 1:45 pm, 20-year-old Elvis Presley’s rebel yell of “Wellll, I heard the news, there’s good rockin’ tonight!” smacked off the auditorium walls of Brooklyn (Ohio) High School, as cameras from Universal – International Pictures filmed, in color, the flashpoint of the birth of rock and roll.

This unseen footage, know today as The Pied Piper of Cleveland, remains the lost, Holy Grail of rock and roll. But not necessarily because of Presley’s performance, one of his first out of the South, which by most eyewitness accounts wasn’t so spectacularly mind-blowing, or by the appearances of the other, more established acts on the bill. The Pied Piper of Cleveland retains its mystery and allure simply because it has eluded capture for so many years, and because its producer and star, Cleveland top jock Bill Randle, made sure never to answer questions about the film's fate candidly, never letting its tantalizing specter fade from the rock and roll consciousness. 

For the last eight years, I've dedicated a considerable amount of time peering through nearly 60 years of Randle's smoke and mirrors, attempting to discern exactly what transpired ...

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The Power of Sisterhood

Monday, February 27: 2:56 p.m.
Posted by Allison McClain
Spinderella meets with girls in the Sisterhood program

Recently, a group (Sisterhood) from West Side Community House in Cleveland's Sisterhood program visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum during one of the Museum's education programs. Here, Allison McClain, youth services director at the West Side Community House, explains how music and education come together in the Sisterhood program, and how a special visit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum made for an exciting experience for the girls in the program.

Sisterhood is an after school and summer program at West Side Community House for girls ages 10-15, and girls ages 16-18 can apply to the program as mentors. Sisterhood began as a pilot program in 2008 with a Call to Prayer grant from United Methodist Women. The mission of Sisterhood is to prepare girls for womanhood and their life beyond. Since 2008, the Sisterhood program has served hundreds of girls from the east and west side of Cleveland, providing girls with a safe space to talk about real issues and process ways to learn and grow from those issues. 

The school year curriculum is divided into five cycles: Social Skills and Self Esteem, Family Support and Outreach, Education and ...

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The Lost Photographs of Cleveland Deejay Tommy Edwards

Thursday, January 12: 4 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Tommy Edwards (center) with the Everly Brothers

Many know that rock and roll was christened in Cleveland, Ohio, when DJ Alan Freed coined the phrase to describe the up-tempo R&B music he was beaming out on his popular radio show. Freed opened the doors for countless artists, and for years was the de facto king of rock and roll. But fewer know about the cadre of revolutionary Cleveland disc jockeys who shared the airwaves with Freed. Among them was Tommy Edwards. 

Edwards, who owned a prominent record store, pressed records and was a disc jockey at WERE 1300 AM, was instrumental in bringing Elvis Presley to Cleveland in 1955 for his first performance north of the Mason-Dixon line. Pat Boone headlined the concert, and the supporting bill included Bill Haley and the Comets, the Four Lads, Priscilla Wright and a largely unknown Presley. It was there that Edwards snapped the famous photograph of Presley with Haley, one of the few times the two met. The show was not held in a grand concert hall or big-ticket venue, but in a suburb of Cleveland at Brooklyn High School. The now mythical performance is rumored to have been captured in vivid Technicolor, and dubbed The Pied Piper ...

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Today In Rock: Alan Freed is Born

Thursday, December 15: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Alan Freed

On December 15, 1921, Albert James Freed – the man who famously christened a radical new form of music as "rock 'n' roll" - was born near Johnston, Pennsylvania. Moving to Salem, Ohio, with his family at age 12, Alan (as he was better known) Freed spent his formative years in the Buckeye State, eventually attending Ohio State, where the campus radio station piqued a fascination with radio that would stay with him through all his days. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

By the early 1950s, Freed had settled in to a new DJ position in Cleveland, playing R&B records during a segment sponsored by friend and local record shop owner Leo Mintz, whose inner city store, Record Rendezvous, was selling many records by burgeoning R&B artists. "I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1950, '51, '52," said noted DJ and rock and roll historian Norm N. Nite during the first Hall of Fame Inductions in 1986. "I listened to Alan Freed playing those records on the Moondog show. I knew at that particular time that  it was something special that was going on." It was during this time that Freed first ...

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