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Interview with Curt and Cris Kirkwood of The Meat Puppets: Influences, Live, Playing with Nirvana, 20th anniversary of In Utero

Friday, October 4: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Meat Puppets / Photo by Jaime Butler

For more than three decades, brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood have been at the helm of the Meat Puppets. They got their start as a punk act in the Eighties, signing with Greg Ginn of Black Flag's SST Records and releasing a series of albums that quickly distinguished them from their punk and hardcore peers. While those and subsequent recordings – such as Meat Puppets II and Up On the Sun – delivered on the Puppets' knack for brash punk blasts, they also found the group cultivating a singular sound that embraced folk, country, psychedelia and blues-rock elements without skipping a beat. By the close of the Eighties, the Meat Puppets had found a cult following, thanks in part to popularity on college radio and the American underground scene.

After moving to major label London in the Nineties, the Meat Puppets were named as the opening act on Nirvana's In Utero tour beginning in 1993. That November, at the request of Kurt Cobain, Cris and Curt Kirkwood appeared on the taping of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged, performing three Meat Puppets' songs. By the summer of 1994, the Meat Puppets single "Backwater" (from Too High to Die) had become a hit ...


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

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

Interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

Monday, September 16: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

Best Coast's 2013 tour dates recently included a stop at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. After the concert, during a rare moment of free time, band members Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where they were struck by such artifacts as the handwritten lyrics to the Beach Boys' classic song "God Only Knows." 

Based in Los Angeles, Best Coast formed in 2009 around the duo of Cosentino and Bruno, quickly releasing a host of 7" and EP recordings. In 2010, the group's single "When I'm With You" proved a breakout hit and was followed that July by Best Coast's debut album, Crazy For You. All the material showcased Cosentino and Bruno's lo-fi aesthetic and pop-hook sensibility, with references to the surf rock and girl groups of the Sixties the band admired.

With extensive touring and popular music videos – including 2011's "Our Deal" directed by Drew Barrymore – the band's star continued to rise. The band's sophomore effort, The Only Place, was released in 2012.

In this interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, the singer and songwriter talks about her influences – from Blink 182 ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Interview with Coliseum Singer and Guitarist Ryan Patterson

Monday, August 12: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Coliseum band (l-r): Kayhan Vaziri (bass), Carter Wilson (drums), Ryan Patterson (vocals/guitar)

After a decade of delivering their own riff-heavy brand of metallic rock harkening back to the punk, hardcore and post-hardcore sounds of their predecessors, Coliseum – vocalist and guitarist Ryan Patterson, bassist Kayhan Vaziri and drummer Carter Wilson – will perform live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Summer in the City concert on August 14, 2013. 

The group recently released their fourth full-length, Sister Faith, a 13-track blast of galvanized melodies at the collision point between punk and noise-rock. "Though punk rock may have been the template (and paradigms do shift), songwriting and emotional content have become Coliseum's focus," noted John Baizley of metal contemporaries Baroness. "And to that end, they have gracefully transitioned from the unrelenting anger, rage and rawness of youth to a more thought-provoking, yet no-less-powerful or insightful sound that is entirely their own."

The Rock Hall caught up with Ryan Patterson of Coliseum to talk rock and roll – everyone from Tom Petty, Run DMC, Les Paul and Bad Brains to the Beatles, the Who, Sex Pistols and Public Enemy.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: What artists did you listen to when you were growing up and what about them appealed to you ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Members of Rise Against, the MC5, Rage Against the Machine and Gaslight Anthem Cover Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad"

Wednesday, August 7: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
RATM guitarist Tom Morello with Lead Belly's guitar at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Released in November 1995, The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen was a far cry from the celebratory rock and roll marathons of Born in the USA, sharing more in common with the sheer production and pointed commentary of his masterpiece, Nebraska. A largely acoustic album of spectral songs about marginalized characters struggling to survive in an increasingly troubled America, The Ghost of Tom Joad – and its gripping title track – recently found a new rock and roll audience. 

Nearly 17 years after its release, in September 2012, the Chicago punk quartet Rise Against breathed new life into the powerful narratives and blunt political commentary of Springsteen's "Joad" at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Joined on stage by Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon, the MC5's Wayne Kramer and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, the members of Rise Against delivered a bold recasting of "The Ghost of Tom Joad." The song will appear on the forthcoming Rise Against rarities compilation, Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013 (scheduled release date is September 10, 2013). 

"I remember watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th-anniversary special where Tom Morello played this song with Springsteen himself and ...


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At the Library and Archives: Cleveland Punk Legend Peter Laughner Collection of Recordings and Articles

Wednesday, July 24: 2 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
The Peter Laughner collection at the L&A helps tell the story of Cleveland's underground 70s scene.

The latest addition to the Library and Archives' Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives is the new Collection on Peter Laughner, Cleveland punk legend. In his short lifetime, Laughner co-founded both Rocket from the Tombs – a band described by writer Lester Bangs as "an amphetamine-driven blend of Velvets-Stooges" – and Pere Ubu, and was a contributing writer to rock magazines like Creem and an all-around gadfly of the Midwest and New York rock scenes. Journalist Richie Unterberger wrote of Laughner, "As a singer, songwriter, and performer in numerous Cleveland bands, he was probably the single biggest catalyst in the birth of Cleveland's alternative rock scene in the mid-'70s. 

The Peter Laughner collection at the Library and Archives includes rare vinyl, ¼-inch and audiocassette recordings of Laughner solo and with his bands, as well as performances from his wife, poet Charlotte Pressler. Those keen on learning more about the 1970s Cleveland underground music scene will want to read Pressler's first-hand account in the issue of CLE Magazine, also included in the collection; while those interested in Laughner’s pre-punk career will want to take a look at the poster for his first band, a blues group called Mr. Charlie ...


continue Categories: Library and Archives

Rare Performances: The Stooges Perform "Search and Destroy" Live

Monday, March 25: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Iggy Pop performs live during the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The original Stooges seemed to push rock and roll as far as it could go before they flamed out in 1970. However, in 1973, with encouragement from David Bowie, Iggy Stooge returned, though he now called himself Iggy Pop. His reconstituted Stooges rocked with even more abandon. On the aptly named 1973 Raw Power album, the Stooges achieved an incendiary sound that was thrilling and dangerous. "The Stooges define a moment in rock and roll history. They symbolize the destruction of flower power and they introduce us to raw power," said Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, when he inducted the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. "When I think of the sound of war, chaos and demolition; sex, sensuality, poetry and brutal truth, I think of the Stooges. It's the sound of blood and guts, sex and drugs, heart and soul, love and hate, poetry and peanut butter."

"Search and Destroy" was among the album's standout tracks. On the brash recording, Iggy's distorted vocals carried lyrics that spoke for Vietnam vets, disenfranchised youth and anyone else who felt left out in 1973. The music bubbled with urgency, with James Williamson's ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

10 Essential Irish Rockers

Friday, March 15: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
East German Trabant cars from U2's Zoo TV tour, on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

From the Northern Ireland counties to the southern cities of the Republic, Ireland has been – and continues to be – home to some of the world's best known and most-beloved musicians. With a diverse cast of voices and music, Ireland's contributions to rock and roll have expanded the boundaries of the genre. Artists have acted as a force for change and forward thinking, while providing a record of tradition. Songwriters have delivered uniquely Irish narratives, though rich with universal themes and the human experience.

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum shares its 10 essential Irish rockers.

10 Essential Irish Rockers

Them – "Gloria"

Released in 1964 as the b-side to "Baby, Please Don't Go" (itself a smoldering cover of the Big Joe Williams' song), the Van Morrison–penned "Gloria" became a garage-rock classic, with artists such as the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and Patti Smith later covering it. Its three chords, speak-sing vocal delivery and indelible "G-L-O-R-I-A" chorus inspired legions of budding musicians and, along with "Here Comes the Night," gave the Belfast group among its first tastes of success. 

Horslips – "Dearg Doom"

Innovators steeped in tradition, Horslips emerged ...


continue Categories: Inductee, 10 Essential Songs
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