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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "God Only Knows"

Friday, May 16: 4:51 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Inspired by the Beatles' Rubber Soul album, Brian Wilson responded with Pet Sounds, the Beach Boys' masterpiece. And like many other prescient works through the ages, it puzzled the public.

While hardly a commercial failure-it hit Top Ten and spawned two Top Ten singles-it performed poorly by Beach Boy standards, failing to sell gold. Coming immediately after the carefree (and more popular) Beach Boys' Party, Pet Sounds was all the more confusing.

"God Only Knows" exemplifies Pet Sounds in its confessional tone and sensitive arrangement. Tony Asher wrote the lyrics, as he did for most of the album. Wilson was nervous about what he considered the unprecedented use of the word god in a pop song title. (Apart from quasi- patriotic kitsch like Johnny Burnette's 1961 hit "God, Country And My Baby", was Wilson unaware of a regional hit nearly as touching as his own, only a decade  earlier- the Capris' "God Only Knows").

As on the rest of the album, none of the Beach Boys play instruments; Brother Carl Wilson's vocal is virtuostic.  In the U.S., "God Only Knows" dented the Top 40 as the B-side of a bouncier Pet Sounds track, "Wouldn't It Be ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

New Jimi Hendrix Goes Worldwide (and to Cleveland)

Friday, March 7: 3:04 p.m.
Posted by Alexandra Fagan

After shaking the nation with his performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969, rock legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Jimi Hendrix, will now be honored by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Hendrix is joining Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles in the USPS' music icon stamp series on Thursday, March 13, 2014. 

The debut of the stamp will be at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference at Butler Park in Austin, Texas, featuring a special all-star unveiling concert. This Jimi Hendrix celebration will include performances by Hall of Fame Inductees Slash and Robby Krieger of the Doors, as well as the MC5’s Wayne Kramer and Paul McCartney’s longtime guitarist Rusty Anderson, Dave and Phil Alvin of the Blasters and others.

In what's shaping up to be a big year for Hendrix fans, the stamp announcement comes alongside new Jimi Hendrix presence at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. The Museum recently acquired a handful of new Jimi Hendrix artifacts to add to its already abundant Jimi Hendrix exhibit, including various outfits, shirts and his purple “applejack” style suede cap. One of the outfits ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, Jimi Hendrix, Rare Performances, History of Rock and Roll

On the Beatles 50th Anniversary, Sean Ono Lennon Plays "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"

Thursday, February 6: 1:08 p.m.
Posted by Alexandra Fagan

In 1988, a young Sean Ono Lennon – John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s only son – took to the podium as the Beatles accepted their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors. Obviously nervous and encouraged by Ringo Starr to say a few words, Sean explained: “I’m pretty young to know about this still, but I still love the Beatles, and I’m pretty proud to be up here today for doing nothing.” Twenty-six years later, Sean Ono Lennon, a talented musician and composer, was again paying tribute to the legacy of the music his father and the Beatles created. This time, prompted by the 50th  anniversary of the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan

In honor of the Beatles anniverary, artists from all genres have been performing together on The Late Show With David Letterman. Last night, the Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon covered the Beatles' psychedelic rock classic “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Lead singer, Wayne Coyne, stood tall on a road case with shimmering ribbons dangling from his arms and a tangled tentacle arrangement of LED lights adorning his mic stand. Lennon donned the same hat his dad wore in the cover art of the 1970s compilation ...


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

Exclusive Interview with Robby Krieger of the Doors: Remembering Ray Manzarek, reconnecting with John Densmore and the Doors' Greatest Moments

Saturday, December 7: 9 a.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Robby Krieger

Over the course of a short career that only lasted a little more than five years, the Doors had a tremendous impact on rock and roll. They were a truly unique group, with a singer, Jim Morrison, who was a genuine poet with an almost mythical persona. Unlike most bands at the time, the Doors did not have a bass player. Ray Manzarek played the bass lines on his keyboards. John Densmore was a solid, steady drummer. And Robby Krieger was an elegant guitarist with a distinctive style unlike the blues-based guitar leanings favored by most his six-string peers. 20 years after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Robby Krieger sits down for an exclusive interview with the Rock Hall, reflecting on the passing of friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek, patching up differences with John Densmore, the Doors' greatest moments, where the Doors would've gone had Jim Morrison lived, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, what he's listening to now and more.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: First, let’s talk about Ray Manzarek’s death…. Did you see that coming? Had he been sick for a while?

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarak

Robby Krieger: Not really ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, Today in Rock

.38 Special Founding Member Jeff Carlisi Recalls Hearing Jimi Hendrix for the First Time

Wednesday, November 27: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Jimi Hendrix live in 1968 / photo by Jeff Carlisi

 

In this exclusive interview with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, author, musician and .38 Special founding member and guitarist Jeff Carlisi shares his thoughts on legendary guitarist and Hall of Fame inductee Jimi Hendrix, including seeing Jimi Hendrix live in 1968.

"I actually saw Jimi Hendrix, and I still have photographs, I was a school photographer. I guess it was 1968 in Jacksonville, Florida. I don't remember anything about it. I look at the pictures, and I don't even remember being there, but I remember I had to see this guy because I remember sitting next to my grandmother's radio in Boston, Massachusetts, waiting all night long to hear this song that my cousin told me about, "Purple Haze." He couldn't describe it to me. I said, 'What does it sound like?' I had been playing guitar for a while and he said 'it was like nothing you've ever heard.' Finally it comes on and it was like, 'Oh my God -- you're kidding me.'

"Hendrix was a brilliant guitar player in the sense that he didn't play guitar -- guitar was his paintbrush. It was an extension of his mind. You could ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Jimi Hendrix, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, History of Rock and Roll

What do Andy Warhol, John Lennon, Syd Barrett and Mad Magazine have in Common?

Wednesday, October 2: 3 p.m.
Posted by Amanda Pecsenye
A collector like no other: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.

On October 9, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its latest exhibit: Collecting the Counterculture: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. in the Museum’s Patty, Jay and Kizzie Baker Gallery. It's an exhibit that all started two years ago, in Geneva, Switzerland.

My job as the registrar  at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has afforded me many opportunities to travel.  One of those trips brought me to Geneva, where in November 2011 I assisted Rock Hall curators Craig Inciardi and Howard Kramer as they pored over the unique and vast collection of the late Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.  

When my colleagues and I arrived at the sprawling, discreet office space housing the Santo Domingo collection, I was immediately impressed and overwhelmed – there seemed to be treasures everywhere. The complex of rooms was filled with big rolls of movie and band posters, pinball machines, miscellaneous pop culture artifacts, floor-to-ceiling shelves of music and art books, and an expansive array of counterculture and drug-related paraphernalia and literature. As an Andy Warhol buff, I was particularly pleased to see one of Warhol’s small art prints, propped against a reading chair ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rolling Stones, History of Rock and Roll, Exhibit

Gallery Talk: Janis Joplin's 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet

Saturday, January 19: 9 a.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
Janis Joplin and her band Big Brother on the front left fender of her 1965 Porsche

Born January 19, 1943, Janis Joplin brought her powerful, bluesy voice from Texas to San Francisco’s psychedelic scene, where she went from drifter to superstar. She has been called “the greatest white urban blues and soul singer of her generation.” 

In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the full story behind 1995 Hall of Fame inductee Janis Joplin's famously psychedelic 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet. The car is among the featured artifacts at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Inductee, Exhibit

Spotlight Exhibit: Pink Floyd's The Division Bell Sculptures

Friday, August 24: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Pink Floyd's Division Bell sculptures in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Based on a drawing by Keith Breeden and sculpted by Aden Hynes and John Robertson, the Division Bell sculptures appeared on the cover of Pink Floyd's last studio album, The Division Bell, in 1994. It was the fourth album of the band's career to reach Number One on the Billboard charts, helping make the two figures gracing the cover among Pink Floyd's most recognizable contributions to the iconography of rock and roll. Since 2001, they've also made quite an impression on visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, towering atop the entrance to the Hall of Fame on the Museum's third floor. 

In 2001, the Rock Hall's VP of Exhibitions and Curatorial Jim Henke connected with Pink Floyd's management to discuss adding the famous Division Bell "heads" to the Rock Hall's collection. At the time, both sculptures were being stored in a warehouse in Bedford, England, and transporting them to Cleveland presented a number of logistical issues. Despite their imposing presence – standing approximately 20 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep – the base of each is a simple wooden frame, surrounded by lightweight ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit
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