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Interview with Alan Parsons: The Beatles Final Live Performance, Abbey Road and Rock History

Wednesday, May 21: 11:34 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Alan Parsons donates stage outfits to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Audio engineer, record producer, composer and musician Alan Parsons visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, during a tour stop that's taken him coast to coast in the United States. During his visit, Parsons donated two stage jackets to the Rock Hall's collection, and shared firsthand accounts of his remarkable career: from landing a job at Abbey Road at age 19, to working on the Beatles rooftop performance at Apple Studios in 1969; from his work on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon to his role in some of the Hollies' greatest hits; to his own music with the Alan Parsons Project and as a solo artist.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: You got a job at the fabled Abbey Road when you were quite young…
Alan Parsons: I already had a job with EMI, which is the part company of Abbey Road Studios, and I worked in a sort of associated department, which was called 'tape records.' We were making reel-to-reel quarter-inch albums on tape back then… actually making Beatles albums on quarter-inch tape. And, there was a link from that department to Abbey Road. I wrote to ...


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

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Whole Lotta Love"

Wednesday, May 7: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
"Led Zeppelin II" gets re-release with new versions of "Whole Lotta Love" and more.

This week, it was announced that Hall of Fame Inductees Led Zeppelin would be reissuing their first three albums with a series of box sets featuring previously unheard mixes, live versions and one unreleased track. In advance of Led Zeppelin II's re-release, the group shared a radio edit of a rough mix of the classic cut "Whole Lotta Love" that sounds quite different than the famous radio-staple studio version, most notably Jimmy Page's guitar parts and Robert Plant's vocals. It's a mix as intriguing to listeners as the song's controversial – sometimes litigious – history.

Experience the world's greatest music festivals past, present and future at the Rock Hall in Cleveland!

Plant remembers the first time he noted similarities between a Zep-credited composition and an obscure but not that obscure blues. JPage's response was "shut up and keep walking."  Led Zeppelin almost got away with "Whole Lotta Love." The crunching riff and relentless thud that opens Led Zeppelin II could be attributed to few other bands in 1969. But as the lyrics unfolded, certain listeners got a dose of deja vu. "Whole Lotta Love" distinctly recalled the Small Faces' number "You Need Loving." Had the ...


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

Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) talk History of Punk

Saturday, March 22: 11:43 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

On a stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, during their Punk Goes Acoustic tour, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) talk the history of the Sex Pistols, recording the punk rock classic anthem "Anarchy in the UK," "being the first" punk band and more.

Explore the history of punk rock at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio!

 


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

On her 81st birthday, Yoko Ono Opens Up in Interview

Tuesday, February 18: 12:50 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Yoko Ono

Although her relationship with John Lennon is often paramount in the rock world's esteem of her, Yoko Ono remains a pivotal figure in the evolution of conceptual art, challenging perceptions with avant-garde and experimental installations, music, fashion and more. For decades, Ono has also been a champion of peace and understanding, and a tireless activist: from the "Bed-ins for Peace" with husband John Lennon in 1969 that ultimately beget "Give Peace a Chance" to creating Artists Against Fracking in 2012 with her son, Sean Lennon, to protest the controversial drilling method.

On her 81st birthday, Yoko Ono opens up on her relationship with Paul McCartney, recording with members of the Beastie Boys, writing about and with her son Sean Lennon and celebrating her late husband's legacy. 

 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist back in 1994. Paul McCartney inducted him and read a letter to him, and you accepted the award. What was that like?

Yoko Ono: It was good, but it was a long time ago. I was very, very happy that John was inducted, and it was very sweet of Paul to ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Today in Rock, The Beatles, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, History of Rock and Roll

Stories from the Birth of Rock and Roll with Sun Records’ The Miller Sisters

Monday, October 7: 5 p.m.
Posted by Hank Davis
The Miller Sisters: (l-r) Millie and Jo reunited after decades.

When Colin Escott, Martin Hawkins and I produced the three Bear Family Sun box sets that came out earlier this year, we were dealing with music history – and some pretty special history at that. For us, little was more important than Memphis music in the mid 1950s: the birth of rock & roll with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, and a host of seminal artists who cut their teeth at Sun Records.

We were faced with selecting the 250-plus tracks for each box set,choosing the photos and writing the liner notes. We were delving deep into rock and roll history, but there were also some opportunities to deal in the present tense. We could use the gala release event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to bring out of the shadows some of the less famous artists who were actually there when Sam Phillips was busy making music history in his tiny storefront studio on Union Avenue in Memphis.

There weren’t many chances. Most of the artists who had recorded for Sun during its Golden era were gone. But not all. The Miller Sisters recorded about a dozen titles ...


continue Categories: Elvis Presley, Hall of Fame, History of Rock and Roll

Collection Highlights at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

Monday, July 22: 2 p.m.
Posted by Ned Denby
Recordings for the "underground" from the KQRS collection includes early interview with Patti Smith

Since beginning my internship at the Library and Archives this summer, I've had the unique opportunity to process a number of collections, digitizing analog audio and video materials and organizing paper-based collections. Along the way, I've uncovered some real treasures. Here are some of my favorites:

The first collection I processed was the Jay Ruby Rock ‘n’ Roll Conference Lecture, an audio recording of the lecture, “'You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here': The Social Implications of Rock 'n' Roll,” given by the donor, Jay W. Ruby, at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Conference at Mills College in 1967. I really enjoyed this lecture, because Ruby focuses on describing the musical communities of the time to an academic audience that may or may not have been familiar with them, going into detail about the connection between rock music and hallucinogenic drugs and religion.

I also processed the KQRS Collection, donated by Shel Danielson, a long-time disc jockey at the KQRS radio station in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The bulk of the collection consists of reel-to-reel recordings of commercials for concerts and albums that the station broadcasted from 1973 to 1976.  Some commercials exist in two versions: one that was broadcast ...


continue Categories: Library and Archives

At the Library and Archives: The Smith Tapes 1969-1972

Tuesday, April 23: 10 a.m.
Posted by Amanda Raab
(l-r) John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Howard Smith

Howard Smith was a man both on the scene and of the scene in late-1960s New York. As a photographer, columnist and broadcaster, Smith immersed himself in the emerging subculture of music and art while maintaining a keen journalist’s eye on the revolution happening around him. The interviews that comprise the set, The Smith Tapes 1969-1972, recently acquired by the Library and Archives, are raw, unedited recordings with those at the forefront of the hippie subculture as well as the era’s rock superstars, including John Lennon, Abbie Hoffman, Lou Reed, the authors of Hair, and Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper talking about their new film Easy Rider

Within this compelling collection there are some true gems. A USB flash drive – cleverly housed in a replica audio cassette with faux-stained labels – contains a collection of reports from the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, where Smith describes both the serenity of the fans and the struggle of organizers amidst the rain and near-overwhelming crowds. On one of the final discs in the collection is a brief phone interview with Janis Joplin who, when questioned about the burgeoning women’s liberation movement, initially dismisses it but encourages women not to settle ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Library and Archives

Cleveland Soul: Interview with Lou Ragland

Wednesday, February 13: 2 p.m.
Posted by Carlo Wolff
Cleveland soul man Lou Ragland will appear live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Musician Lou Ragland was born in Cleveland in 1942. His first instrument was saxophone, his choice after rejecting his high school music teacher’s suggestion he play tuba. Inspired by everyone from Brahms to Nat “King” Cole to Ella Fitzgerald, Ragland locked onto soul at 13, when he heard Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers sing “Goody Goody.” 

In the early ‘60s, Ragland sang in the storied doo-wop group the Sahibs (along with Hesitations founder Art Blakey and current Hesitation George Hendricks, who taught Ragland rudimentary guitar). He first recorded with the Bandmasters, releasing “Never Let Me Go/Party in Lester’s” on Way Out in 1965. The group waxed that 45 at Cleveland Recording on Euclid Avenue. “The Bandmasters was the music and the Sahibs were the voices, and I sang lead, ” says Ragland, who also recorded for Way Out under the name Volcanic Eruption, with George Hendricks. 

“I was the first artist they produced on Way Out, but after they found out that I could engineer and play instruments, they didn’t do anymore on me,” says Ragland. “They didn’t want to lose me to the art world, they wanted me to pump out these songs.” Way Out ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews, Education, Black History Month, Foster Theatre, Event
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