Rock and Roll Night School starts its third year by taking a look at the lives and the music of the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. This exciting and diverse group of inductees includes a groundbreaking girl group - The Ronettes, a classic hard rock band - Van Halen, Punk rock’s poet laureate - Patti Smith, hip-hop originators - Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and alternative rockers - R.E.M.
This month’s Rock and Roll Night School was presented in conjunction with the Museum’s Black History Month celebration of Reggae.
This month the Rock and Roll Night School looks at the end of the 1950s by examining rock and roll’s move into pop. It was a time after the music of the early rock and roll architects and before the sounds of the 1960s, and artists such as Neil Sedaka, Paul Anka, and Bobby Darin filled it with pop hits galore.
The early 1960s saw the formation of numerous “girl groups,” who topped the charts in the years before the British Invasion. With songs written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, and Gene Pitney, and production by Phil Spector it was no surprise that these groups revived the energy of early rock and roll. This class will examine recordings from The Shirelles, The Ronettes, The Chiffons, The Crystals, The Dixie Cups, and the Shangri-Las.
The Doors are often seen as one of the most influential and most controversial bands of the 1960s. Hailing from LA, they mixed aspects of the blues, jazz, and eastern music, and wrapped it all together in the psychedelic spirit of the 1960s counterculture. This month we will examine the career of the Doors and listen to some of their biggest hits, along with special guest speaker Jim Henke, the Vice President of Exhibitions and Curatorial at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The program was presented in conjunction with the Summer Teacher Institute, entitled “Electrifying Your Classroom” and the special exhibit Catch a Wave: The Beach Boys, the Early Years.
An Evening with Lou Adler, co-founder and organizer of the Monterey International Pop Festival. On the evening of the exhibit opening, festival co-founder and organizer Lou Adler will have a conversation with Dr. Warren Zanes in the Museum’s 4th Floor Theater beginning at 7 p.m. Adler will take questions from the audience and will sign memorabilia including Monterey International Pop Festival-related DVDs and CDs.
More than any other group from the early 1960s, the Beach Boys created the iconic image of California as a Promised Land for those who would revel in youth, surf, sand, and rock and roll. This month we will examine the early career of the Beach Boys from their first single “Surfin” released on Candix Records to some of their biggest hits on Capitol Records including “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and “Catch A Wave.” This event is presented in conjunction with the special exhibit Catch a Wave: The Beach Boys, the Early Years.
Even though the Beach Boys made the surf rock sound famous around the world, there were many other bands that recorded in the style. This month’s Rock and Roll Night School digs deeper into sounds, artists, and songs of surf rock - from the blazin’ guitar instrumentals of Dick Dale and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Duane Eddy to the vocal harmonies of Jan and Dean. We will also listen to some classic tunes such as the The Surfaris’ “Wipe Out” and The Chantays’ “Pipeline.” Surf’s up dudes, so grab your boards and join us!
The Life and Music of Jerry Lee Lewis This month’s Rock and Roll Night School explores the life and music of the 2007 American Music Master honoree, Jerry Lee Lewis. Lewis helped to create the archetype of the rock and roll rebel artist with his mix of musical acumen and unbridled energy. His voice projects an urgent yet polished rhythm and his live-in-the-moment, piano-pounding, bench-kicking stage presence has forever left its mark on rock and roll history. We will listen to and discuss music from his early career recordings on Sun records including “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “High School Confidential,” and more.