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inductee :: Blog

Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, has passed away at age 64

Thursday, April 8: 4:49 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
The Sex Pistols were inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2006.

As the guiding force behind the British punk pioneers and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren played a key role in changing the course of rock and roll music. McLaren was an expert at creating over-the-top events that would grab the media’s attention, and he used that expertise to make the Sex Pistols a household name in England. And the band, with its raw, aggressive, minimalist style, put punk rock on the map, popularizing a style of music that was in stark contrast to what had been popular at the time.

Read more about the Sex Pistols, listen to song clips and more on the bands' inductee bio page.


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California Music Month: Celebrating Brian Wilson

Thursday, April 8: 12:17 p.m.
Posted by Cory Frye

In commemoration of California Music Month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and K·Swiss pay tribute to the artists, groups, and movements that helped shape its sounds.

It’s hard to imagine California without Brian Wilson. He may not have been the one to put the state on the map, but he did much for our perception of it as a surfer’s mecca under a perpetual summer sun. Back in the ’60s, the Beach Boys’ intricate harmonies vividly evoked an endless paradise. The music they made continues to thrill generations of fans worldwide — even the ones surrounded by land, with nary a beach in sight.

Appropriately, Wilson was born in the summer, on June 20, 1942, in Inglewood, California, the eldest child of Murry and Audree Wilson. He was joined two years later by a brother, Dennis. The growing family then moved seven miles south, to the city of Hawthorne, where final Wilson brother, Carl, arrived in 1946.

Visitors to the house at 3701 West 119th Street would have instantly seen how important music was to the Wilson family. It went way beyond the piano in the living room. Murry was something of a composer himself, although ...


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The Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen Joins the Rock Hall in Tribute to Janis Joplin

Thursday, November 12: 12 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley
Jorma Kaukonen performs in the Rock Hall's Foster Theater on November 11, 2009. Photo: Rock Hall/Jan

American Music Masters is in full swing.  Last night our signature Hall of Fame Series featured Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Jorma Kaukonen – a founding member of two legendary bands, the Hall of Fame Inducted Jefferson Airplane, and the still-touring Hot Tuna.  The packed audience was treated to a special evening of live music and conversation that gave us all an insider’s look into the San Francisco music scene that Janis Joplin was a part of in the 1960s.

Some of the most fascinating discussion of the night came when Kaukonen talked about how in the early 1960s he had moved from Washington D.C. to Ohio, and finally out to San Francisco.  As a new student at Santa Clara University Kaukonen walked into a small club that was featuring a hootenanny (a term typically used at the time to describe a folk-music party).  That night he met several people who would become his friends, among them Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin.  When asked about his time with Janis he described how they were all learning about music together.  Everyone was caught in the folk craze, looking back at classic blues and country music.  Jorma described how ...


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Rock Hall Inductee Jerry Wexler’s Life and Legacy Celebrated

Thursday, November 5: 2:56 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
The Rock Hall's Atlantic Records exhibition case in the Main Exhibit Hall.

While the Rock Hall team was in New York for the 25th Anniversary Concerts, a celebration of the late Jerry Wexler’s life and his legacy was held at the Director’s Guild.  This tribute was a lively event meant to rejoice in all of the music that Hall of Fame Inductee Jerry was responsible for or had touched in his inimitable way.

Jerry’s daughter and son, Lisa and Paul, got it started with a few words about their Dad. Both discussed how much he meant to each of them and what a powerful influence he had been on their lives as well as so many others in the music industry.

The program was divided into two parts: first, speakers who gave personal remembrances; and second, a group of performers doing renditions of songs that Jerry produced and/or loved…..or both.

Many of the speakers gave testimony as to what Jerry had meant to their lives.  Several talked of his being a “rabbi” of sorts.  David Ritz,  who co-authored Jerry’s autobiography and is the dean of musical biographers, even provided the audience with some very specific legal advice that Jerry had proffered in response to one of ...


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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Les Paul, passes away

Thursday, August 13: 5:45 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Photo from the 2008 American Music Masters tribute concert, courtesy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fa

It’s a very sad day for everyone who loves music. Les Paul passed away. He was truly one of the greats. He was a great guitar player. He was a great innovator, responsible for the solid-body electric guitar and for multi-track recording. He had an amazing life. He spent 94 years here on earth. And his mind stayed sharp the entire time, and he continued to perform, playing at a New York club every Monday night until recently. I had the privilege to know Les. When we were first working on the Museum, I called him and he told me he was giving all of his things to the Smithsonian. A few years later, he called me and said he was coming to Cleveland to see his doctor and he wanted to see the Hall of Fame. I gave him a tour, and at the end he said, “Jim, you are right. This is where my stuff belongs. If I gave everything to the Smithsonian, I would be lucky if they put one guitar on the wall. And it would probably be next to Judy Garland’s red slippers and no one would care about my guitar.” We then ...


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