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The Surprising Stories Behind Four Bowie Classics

Monday, January 11: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

David Bowie Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Most Popular David Bowie Songs

It's rare to talk of an artist truly being without equal, but that's exactly who David Bowie was. A remarkable visionary, Bowie was a font of wild creativity, a transformative presence constantly evolving to address and help define our times. His art entertained, challenged and enlightened us all - and that will be an enduring legacy celebrated for many generations to come.

With tributes to the 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee powering in from around the world, we take a look at the stories behind four classic David Bowie songs and fan favorites: "Fame," "Space Oddity," "Changes" and "Ziggy Stardust."

David Bowie Young Americans album the story of David Bowie's "Fame" recording

David Bowie and John Lennon Break into "Fame" ... and Lennon Forgets It

Two weeks after finishing the mix on a David Bowie album called The Gouster, one of the producers, Tony Visconti, got a call from the artist: "David phoned to say that he and John Lennon had got together one night and recorded this song called "Fame." I hope you don't mind, Tony, but it was so spontaneous and spur of the moment... He was very apologetic and nice about it, and he said he hoped I wouldn't mind...I said that it ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event

Madonna Shares Wild Story of First David Bowie Concert

Monday, January 11: 12:52 p.m.
Posted by Madonna

Madonna inducts David Bowie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 speech and video

Before I saw David Bowie live, I was just your normal, dysfunctional, rebellious teenager from the Midwest, and he has truly changed my life.

I’ve always had a sentimental attachment to David Bowie, not just because I grew up with his music, but it’s because it was the first rock concert that I ever saw, and it was a major event in my life. I planned for months to go and see it. I was 15 years old, it was the end of the school year, and leading up to the week of the show, I begged my father and he said, “I absolutely refuse, over my dead body, you’re not going there, that’s where horrible people hang out,” so of course I had to go. So my best friend spent the night at my house and when we thought everyone was asleep, we snuck out of my window, which was no mean feat, as I was wearing my highest platform shoes and a long black-silk cape. Don’t ask.

We couldn’t drive, so we hitch-hiked into Detroit and I don’t know who was scarier ... the drivers that picked us up, or us in ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews

Talking Heads' David Byrne Reflects on Music of David Bowie

Monday, January 11: 12:35 p.m.
Posted by David Byrne

David Byrne of Talking Heads Inducts David Bowie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996

When David Bowie came along, well, rock and roll needed a shot in the arm and when I first saw him it was a shock, and yet it was very familiar. It was very necessary. It was something that was needed. It was essential. And like all rock and roll, it was tasteless, it was glamorous, it was perverse, it was fun, it was crass, it was sexy, it was confusing. And like all rock and roll, it was freedom, it was pain, it was liberation, it was genocide, it was hope, it was dread, it was a dream and it was a nightmare.

It was about sex and drugs, it was about combining literature with rock and roll, with art, with anything you could name. It was about sex as an idea, and sex as a reality, and sex as a liberating force. It was about rebellion, it was about rebellion as a cliché, it was rebellion as an idea. It was about rebellion as a billboard, as an advertisement. It was about the joy of reckless prophecy. It was ironic when rock and roll became self-reverential. It was about joy and terror and confusion in our lives. It ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews

Rock Hall 2015: Who's Getting Inducted, How to Get Ceremony Tickets and the New Exhibit in Cleveland

Tuesday, December 16: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

who are the 2015 rock and roll hall of fame inductees

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is proud to announce the 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees. The Rock Hall's 2015 class includes the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and Bill Withers, all in the performer category.

This year's class also recognizes the "5" Royales with the early influences award, and former Beatle and solo artist Ringo Starr enters the Hall of Fame – the last of the Fab Four to be inducted as a soloist, following John Lennon in 1994, Paul McCartney in 1999 and George Harrison in 2004.

“As we mark 30 years of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, we’re proud to honor these artists,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President Joel Peresman. "These Inductees epitomize rock and roll’s impact over the past 50 years and continuing through today."

Leading up to the April 18, 2015 ceremony, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will host a series of special events, including the grand opening of the major new 2015 Inductee exhibit, which will serve as an introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame visitor ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, The Beatles, Hall of Fame

Remembering 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Ian McLagan

Wednesday, December 3: 5:37 p.m.

The Small Faces and Faces created some of the most inventive and lasting music of their time. Ian McLagan’s Hammond organ provided depth to the soulful aesthetic of the earlier mod group, and color to its later, and rowdier, incarnation featuring Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart.  

After the Faces broke up in 'mid-70s, McLagan went on to a solo career and was an in-demand session musician, working with the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and many others. For the last several years, he led the Bump Band, based out of Austin, Texas.

Just days before the Faces/Small Faces induction into the Rock Hall in 2012, McLagan, Wood, and Kenney Jones visited the newly opened Library and Archives in Cleveland for a book event. The intimate gathering provided a unique insight into the popular 60s and 70s groups. 

The following year, McLagan and they also recently deceased Bobby Keys took the stage at the Annual Music Masters tribute concert honoring the Rolling Stones. 

Mac’s talents and warm personality will be missed by fans, his many friends in music and all of us at the Museum. We were honored to count him as a friend and ...


continue Categories: Library and Archives, Rolling Stones, Inductee

From the Big Pink to the Waldorf Astoria: A Brief History of "The Weight"

Tuesday, November 25: 1:52 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

The Band's "The Weight" live at the Last Waltz and Bob Dylan

The Band, more than any other group, put rock and roll back in touch with its roots. With their ageless songs and solid grasp of musical idioms, the Band reached across the decades, making connections for a generation that was, as an era of violent cultural schisms wound down, in desperate search of them. They projected a sense of community in the turbulent late 60s and early 70s – a time when the fabric of community in the United States was fraying. Guitarist Robbie Robertson drew from history in his evocative, cinematic story–songs, and the vocal triumvirate of bassist Rick Danko, drummer Levon Helm and keyboardist Richard Manuel joined in rustic harmony and traded lines in rich, conversational exchanges. Multi-instrumentalist Garth Hudson provided musical coloration in period styles that evoked everything from rural carnivals of the early 20th century to rock and roll revues of the 50s.

In an era of divisive politics, the Band produced music that crossed generational and historical borders. They did so with an ensemble brilliance borne of many years spent playing on the road.

Everything great about the Band can be found on "The Weight," the central piece of their 1968 debut, Music From Big ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Bob Dylan, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees

Tuesday, December 11: 10:41 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

At a press conference today at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist and 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Flea announced the list of performer inductees and Ahmet Ertegun Award recipients for induction. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees for 2013 are:

Performer Category:
·    Heart
·    Albert King
·    Randy Newman
·    Public Enemy
·    Rush
·    Donna Summer

Ahmet Ertegun (non performer) Award:
·    Lou Adler
·    Quincy Jones

Scheduled for Thursday, April 18, 2013, the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. This marks the first time since 1993 that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on the West Coast. The ceremony will again be open to the public, as it was in 2009 and 2012 in Cleveland.

Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said, “We are thrilled to announce this year’s class of inductees, which again represents the broad, compelling and significant definition of rock and roll.”

The induction ceremony will broadcast on HBO on Saturday, May 18 at 9pm ET/PT. Said Michael ...


continue Categories: Inductee

McCartney's Letter to Lennon

Wednesday, November 23: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Paul McCartney inducts John Lennon

In 1994, John Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. His longtime friend and musical collaborator Paul McCartney, making his first Hall of Fame appearance, inducted Lennon. More personal than the traditional induction speech, McCartney read a "letter" to Lennon, recounting a number of moving memories and thanking Lennon.

McCartney shared stories from their earliest attempts at writing songs together, teaching Lennon guitar chords and visiting Lennon's "Mum's house." He talked of their hotel visits with Little Richard and Gene Vincent, and spending time with Elvis Presley. He recalled Lennon's advice for handling the vocals on the Beatles' "Kansas City" and the "sneaky little look" they shared during the writing of "A Day In The Life." McCartney discussed meeting "this girl called Yoko Ono" – who later accepted Lennon's Hall of Fame Award on behalf of her late husband. The heartfelt letter moved many to tears.

"The joys you told me about how you were baking bread now and how you were playing with your little baby Sean," said McCartney of reconnecting with Lennon later in life. "That was great for me, because it gave me something to hold ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Event
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