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At the Library and Archives: Storm Thorgerson Retrospectives

Tuesday, April 23: 4 p.m.
Posted by Amanda Raab
Storm Thorgerson designed the iconic cover of Pink Floyd's 1973 release "Dark Side of the Moon"

Storm Thorgerson, arguably best known as the designer of Pink Floyd’s album cover for Dark Side of the Moon, died Thursday, April 18, 2013, after a battle with cancer. He was both a close friend to the band and integral to their artistic vision. The Library and Archives has two compendiums of his career, which lasted from the 1960s well into 2012. The first, Mind Over Matter : the Images of Pink Floyd, concentrates on his breakthrough work with the influential rock band and 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. The second is a lavish, limited edition set by Genesis Publications called Taken by Storm : the Album Art of Storm Thorgerson (pictured below), which features a 203-page book edited by Thorgerson himself, as well as full-color prints, a bonus retrospective book on SunStorm Studios and a 3-D Viewmaster of cover images.

 Taken by Storm : the Album Art of Storm ThorgersonThe Library and Archives also holds several album cover collections edited and compiled by Thorgerson: 

Classic album Covers of the 60s / compiled and written by Storm Thorgerson

Album Cover Album / edited by Storm Thorgerson & Roger Dean 

Album Cover Album : the Second Volume / edited by Storm Thorgerson, Roger Dean & David Howells

Album Cover Album : 5 / compiled by Roger ...


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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 ...


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The Rock Hall's Library and Archives: Our First Year

Friday, February 1: 3 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
Rock Hall director of Library and Archives Andy Leach at the L&A's information desk

It’s hard to believe the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives has already been open for a year. Ever since we first opened our doors to the public in January 2012, visitors of all kinds have been steadily flowing in to use our resources for their research and to expand their knowledge of rock and roll and its history.

During 2012, the Library and Archives welcomed nearly 4,000 visitors, many of whom conducted research using one-of-a-kind archival materials in our Archives Reading Room. Our visitors included scholars from around the country, students and teachers from local colleges and universities, authors, documentarians and music fans. The Library and Archives staff also handled more than 800 reference queries, most of which arrived via phone and e-mail.

Many notable people visited the Library and Archives during our first year, including Hall of Fame Inductees Ron Wood, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagan of the Faces, Chuck Berry, Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead), and Glyn Johns; music writer Peter Guralnick; scholars Craig Werner, David Brackett, and Andy Flory; former National Endowment for the Arts Chairman John Frohnmeyer; Govinda Gallery founder and director Chris Murray; Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux; and Hank LoConti, owner ...


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Video: Interview with Bruce Springsteen Biographer Peter Ames Carlin

Tuesday, December 18: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Author and Journalist Peter Ames Carlin discusses his Bruce Springsteen biography, "Bruce."

The first biography of Bruce Springsteen in 25 years to be written with his cooperation, Bruce covers four decades of the musician and Hall of Fame inductee's career in intimate detail. With unprecedented access, biographer and journalist Peter Ames Carlin collected candid interviews with Springsteen, his family and inner circle to weave a rich narrative chronicling the life and times of the Jersey-born rock luminary. 

This month, Carlin spoke at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Library and Archives, part of the Author Series, which brings journalists, critics and scholars to the Library and Archives for free readings and discuss sessions. In this interview, Carlin shares the art of being a biographer, separating objectivity from fandom, how he gained Springsteen's trust, the incredible stories he gathered while researching the book and more.

Learn more about the Rock Hall Library and Archives' collection of Bruce Springsteen materials here.


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Interview with James Brown Biographer RJ Smith

Monday, August 27: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Author RJ Smith discusses 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee James Brown

After presenting at the Rock Hall Library and Archives in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 23, 2012, RJ Smith, author of The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where he discussed discoveries made while researching The One and how James Brown influenced many rock and roll musicians, including the Rolling Stones and the Who. Here, RJ Smith talks with the Rock Hall in the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit, in front of the "Respect – the Sound of Soul" display containing, among other artifacts, James Brown's "Sex" jumpsuit, which he wore on stage during the 1970s.


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