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Six Questions with Vinyl Theatre's Nick Cesarz

Tuesday, July 21: 11:25 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Vinyl Theatre Drummer Nick Cesarz interview and photo Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

For over three years, the Milwaukee quartet Vinyl Theatre have been growing a loyal fan base with frenetic live shows driven by the group's imminently danceable rock. With clear reverence for post-punk sounds of the 80s and earning comparisons to such contemporaries as the Killers and Death Cab for Cutie, Vinyl Theatre released their debut full-length Electrogram on Fueled by Raman in 2014.

The Rock Hall caught up with Vinyl Theatre drummer Nick Cesarz on the eve of his group's live Sonic Sessions concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on July 21, 2014.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Can you describe the moment you knew you wanted to make music or play in a band?


Nick Cesarz: I was very young, maybe 8, and I saw the Blue Man Group for the first time. I even got to meet them. After seeing the show, I wanted to try playing drums. When I reached the 5th grade, my name was picked of a hat to play percussion in the school band. I had some good luck that week!

RRHOF: What was the first album you bought with your own money?

NC: Led Zeppelin ...


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Alternative Press Founder Mike Shea Says "Screw It"

Monday, July 20: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

interview with Alternative Press founder and editor Mike Shea Cleveland, Ohio, Rock Hall exhibit 30th anniversary

When Alternative Press was founded in 1985, mainstream music publications just didn't cover music on the fringes – punk, new wave, hardcore. That music had yet to be labeled "alternative," and its fans had few sources for information. Alternative Press set out to change that.

Truly a magazine written by and for diehard music fans, Alternative Press celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015. The Rock Hall caught up with Alternative Press founder Mike Shea to talk about why he was angry about the Smiths, the earliest days of AP, punk rock clubs, an offer from Madonna and finally saying "screw it."

Never Give Up: Alternative Press Magazine at 30 opens at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2015.


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Why did you start Alternative Press?

Mike Shea: I started AP because two things: I was bored, and also, I was angry. I was really mad because the Smiths, in 1985, were not coming to Cleveland. They were touring the U.S., and they didn’t have a Cleveland gig, and I was upset about that and I wanted to know why. So, the short of it is… I ...


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Paul McCartney Shares Behind-the-Scenes Video From 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Tuesday, July 14: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Paul McCartney Behind the Scenes VIDEO 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Cleveland

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Sir Paul McCartney surprised Beatles fans by sharing exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage from the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where he inducted longtime friend and bandmate Ringo Starr.

The four-minute video, which was shared on McCartney's YouTube channel, begins with McCartney arriving at Cleveland’s Public Hall, later delivering a rousing: “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, baby. Cleveland. Oh yea!” 

Several inductees are featured in the video, including Stevie Wonder, who embraces McCartney and congratulates Starr. The two Beatles joke with Wonder, saying: “We’re reforming the group, man. You want to join?” We're sure the world would love to see that happen.

After a quick photo-op with 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, McCartney joins nearly all of the 2015 inductees, performers and presenters onstage to rehearse the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends,” from their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Then, McCartney, Ringo and Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Walsh run through Starr’s 1971 single, “It Don’t Come Easy.” 

After a clip of McCartney and Walsh reliving their glory ...


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

A Fan Response to the Death of Chris Squire

Thursday, July 2: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley

Chris Squire Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live Interview Jason Hanley 2013

Chris Squire changed the way rock musicians thought about the bass guitar – taking the melodic style established by the Who's John Entwistle and pushing into an entirely new level. His bass had a clean sustained tone that frequently moved back and forth between the high and low registers of the instrument. And all the time Squire was singing beautiful vocal harmony with the rest of the band (and with a completely different melody from the bass). 

I'm the Rock Hall's senior director of education, and I'm also a longtime fan of Yes. I can tell you with ultimate clarity the first time I heard the music of Yes on the radio while I was in high school. I imagine it was the same way that many fans of my age did, through the sound of “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” in 1983. That song has always sounded so modern to me (due in part to the stellar production of Trevor Horn), and a key feature of what hooks you in is the foundational bassline played by Squire: it’s simple, memorable and slides right into the groove. When it finally changes up at the two-minute mark ...


continue Categories: History of Rock and Roll, Today in Rock

VIDEO: The Story of Slash's Guns N' Roses-era Custom Leather Jacket

Monday, June 15: 11:28 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Slash of Guns N' Roses guitar, top hat and jacket at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cleveland, Ohio

For more than 30 years, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Slash has left an indelible mark on rock and roll, cutting a singular figure as recognizable as his oft-imitated – never replicated – guitar playing.
 
Slash's embrace of rocker staples like black leather and tattoos evolved alongside his now iconic top hats, creating an image that's become synonymous with rock and roll.
 
This year, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members voted to have displayed in the Museum a leather jacket worn by Slash during Guns N' Roses tours in the 1980s and 1990s.
 
The back of the jacket features images of a skull wearing a top hat, crossbones topped with guitar headstocks, a gun and a rose.
 
The images mirror a tattoo on Slash's upper left arm, along with the acronym "D.T.U.D." – which reportedly stands for "Drink Till U Drop" – a nod to Slash's notoriously wilder days as GNR's rabble rousing lead guitarist. Guns N' Roses were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Want to play a role in what gets exhibited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Check out more benefits of Rock ...


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

Noel Gallagher Interview: What is Rock, Being a Solo Artist, Singing and Neil Young

Wednesday, June 10: 6:29 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Noel Gallagher's role in defining British rock and roll in the 90s and beyond cannot be overstated. Along with younger brother and lead singer Liam, he led Oasis as the group's principle songwriter, lead guitarist and sometimes vocalist, delivering a succession of recordings that deeply resonated with fans around the globe, inspired a legion of similarly styled Britpop acts and turned the working-class lads from Manchester into bona fide rockstars. The group called it quits in 2009, with Noel reemerging in 2011 as Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. His self-titled debut topped the UK charts, and the March 2015 release of Chasing Yesterday sees Noel expanding on his rock repertoire yet still delivering the indelible melodies for which he's well-known.

Noel Gallagher interview Cleveland, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Oasis

We caught up with Noel during a tour stop in Cleveland, Ohio, where he toured the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: You've gone on record with a lot of thoughts on the state of rock and roll. What's Noel Gallagher's definition of rock and roll?

Noel Gallagher: To me,  it’s not a sound –  it’s not an idea. It’s a spirit to ...


continue Categories: History of Rock and Roll, Bob Dylan, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Hall of Fame, Madonna, Exclusive Interviews

Sneak Peek of the 2015 Rock Hall Induction Performances with Green Day, Joan Jett and More!

Friday, May 29: 4:25 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place on April 18, 2015 at Cleveland's Public Hall and the exclusive HBO premiere broadcasts Saturday, May 30 at 8 pm ET!

Sneak peek of the HBO premiere:

Bill Withers Sings "Lean On Me" with Stevie Wonder and John Legend

 

Joan Jett Sings "Crimson and Clover" with Tommy James, Dave Grohl and Miley Cyrus

 

Double Trouble performs "Pride and Joy" with Jimmie Vaughan, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr.and Doyle Bramhall II

 

Green Day performs "American Idiot"


The 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees are (click links for more Hall of Fame stories!):

Special presenters this year include Hall of Fame Inductees Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Steve Cropper and Patti Smith, as well as Peter Wolf, Fall Out Boy and John Mayer.

The star-studded performances this year include Beck, Dave Grohl, Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Walsh, Tom Morello, John Legend, Jimmie Vaughan and more!

2015 special marks the fourth year HBO has presented the Rock and Roll Hall of ...


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Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy Remember B.B. King and Live Performance

Friday, May 15: 4:02 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Testifying on the healing quality of the blues genre he embodied, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee B.B. King once remarked: “I’m trying to get people to see that we are our brother’s keeper. Red, white, black, brown or yellow, rich or poor, we all have the blues.”

On May 14, 2015, the world of music lost a true icon with the passing of King. Among the blues genre’s most recognizable and influential artists, his half-century of success owes much to his hard work as a touring musician who consistently logged between 200 and 300 shows a year. "B.B. King created a new kind of blues, and was a lifelong ambassador for the music," said Rock Hall VP of education Dr. Lauren Onkey. "He played constantly, all over the world, and taught generation after generation  the power of the blues. His singing, single note solos and commanding vocal style made you feel every emotion in his songs."

Through it all, he remained faithful to the blues while keeping abreast of contemporary trends and deftly incorporating other favored forms - jazz and pop, for instance - into his musical overview. He managed to change with the changing ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Event, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, Today in Rock
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