The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


July 2013 | Blog Archives

The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger Celebrates 70th Birthday

Friday, July 26: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
A younger Mick Jagger strums a guitar.

Today, Rolling Stones frontman and songwriter Mick Jagger celebrates his 70th birthday – and he has much to celebrate. Fresh off the successful "50 & Counting" tour and a triumphant return to Hyde Park, the Rolling Stones singular musical juggernaut has been delighting, beguiling, inciting and confounding fans and critics alike for more than five decades. The Rolling Stones discography includes 29 studio albums and 18 live albums, and Jagger has recorded five solo albums. There have been three dozen Top 10 Rolling Stones albums on the Billboard 200 chart, and the band has an estimated 66.5 million RIAA-certified US albums sold and sales awards. Hot Rocks alone has sold more than 12.5 million units according to the RIAA. The group's epic touring schedules and larger than life productions have helped make the Stones among the top grossing touring acts of all time. And Jagger isn't slowing down.

See highlights from the Rolling Stones' career in this colorful Rolling Stones infographic

"I'm very proud to work with this group of musicians for 25 years," said Jagger in his 1989 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction speech. Jagger was joined on stage by Rolling Stones guitarist Mick ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Exclusive Interviews

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 ...


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Rod Argent of the Zombies Delivers Letter to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Monday, July 22: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rod Argent
(l-r) Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent of the Zombies in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

On a rare day off on our recent U.S. tour, both The Zombies and the band supporting us, Et Tu Brucé had the honour of being given a fantastic V.I.P. tour of Cleveland's superb Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

We have actually visited before – as far as we can recall, though, not for eight years or so – but were absolutely stunned by the way the place has grown in that time, both in a physical sense and also the nature of what it has to offer. In actual fact, we stayed about three hours, and only managed to wander around about a third of it! It's an absolutely fascinating place, and one that now definitely demands to be visited several times – there's just too much to be packed in on one visit.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Zombies Tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

We started off by being given a kind and warm welcome by Greg Harris, who is, I believe, the head of the whole operation. Then we were shown around the vaults, to get glimpses of some of the stuff not presently available to be shown to the ...


continue Categories: Celebrity Sighting, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

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 ...


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Rock Hall Members Vote for Madonna in Museum

Saturday, July 20: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Jewelry worn by Madonna live during "Like A Virgin" era on exhibit through July 2014 at Rock Hall

Each year, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum members play a role in determining a new artifact to be exhibited at the Museum, the Members Choice artifact. Hundreds of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members voted from a list of artifacts including Joan Jett’s jewelry, belt, and jacket she wore in the “I Hate Myself for Loving You” video and Peter Buck of R.E.M.’s 1989 Rickenbacker guitar. When all the votes were counted, the 2013 nod went to the Material Girl, the Queen of Pop and Hall of Fame Inductee: Madonna.

As a woman who has lived life on her own terms, Madonna has been an icon to many since bursting on the scene in 1981.

No one in the pop realm has manipulated the media with such a savvy sense of self-promotion. Madonna’s appearance on the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards broadcast live on September 14, 1984 is a case in point. Wearing a white lingerie-cum-wedding dress ensemble, she writhed across the stage at Radio City Music Hall while performing her hit “Like A Virgin,” shocking sensibilities and setting the stage for her reputation as one of the most uninhibited and ...


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Smashing Design: Building the Rock Hall's Piano

Wednesday, July 17: 11:31 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Testing the "smashed guitar" built into the Rock Hall's piano.

This week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in partnership with Play Me, I'm Yours unveiled a unique piano designed by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit designer John Sloboda. "The represented act of smashing the guitar through the top of the piano is an attempt to catch the 'lightening in a bottle' moment when something happens where there's a little bit of danger mixed with excitement," says Sloboda of the Rock Hall's piano design that features a guitar "smashed" into the top of the piano. "Plus, having the electric guitar with the piano feels a little more rock and roll, and seemed fitting because the Rock Hall sponsored the piece."

Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland International Piano Competition teamed up to present Play Me, I'm Yours, curating an interactive art installation composed of 25 uniquely decorated pianos that will be placed throughout Northeast Ohio, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The idea is to encourage people to meet, connect, communicate and express themselves through the shared experience of musical performance.

Dubbed "Black Magik," the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's piano was inspired by ...


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New Guitars on Exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Tuesday, July 16: 1:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
A unique bass played by Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea is among the newly installed instruments

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s artifact collection represents a diverse group of artists – much like the genre of rock and roll itself. The exhibits chronicle rock and roll history from its earliest days right through the new millennium, and visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will find clothing, handwritten lyrics, personal effects and much more. Among the Museum's most treasured pieces are the instruments.

The Museum's collection of rare instruments used in recordings and live performances includes drums, microphones, even flutes and a dulcimer, and the instrument most often associated with rock and roll: the guitar. There are approximately 20 guitars on permanent exhibit in the Museum’s atrium alone, and the instruments are rotated every six months. The guitars focus on Hall of Fame Inductees as well as non-inductee artists – both legendary and contemporary. Today, 10 new guitars that represent Inductees – including Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Cliff, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and 2012 inductee, Steve Fossen of Heart – and non-inductees Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello and Mike Dirnt of Green Day were placed on exhibit ...


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Gallery Talk: Beggars Banquet and the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park

Friday, July 12: 1:05 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
From pie fights to Hyde Park in 1969, the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet promo wall has seen a lot.

This month, the Rolling Stones returned to Hyde Park for two concerts, 44 years after the group's 1969 performance at the landmark venue. Delivering a set on July 6 that echoed that fabled show with performances of such classics as "Sympathy for the Devil" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," Mick Jagger reportedly asked: "Anybody here that was here in 1969?"

On July 5, 1969, the Rolling Stones took to a stage at London's Hyde Park, dedicating the show to founding member Brian Jones who had died just two days earlier. The performance in front of more than half a million people marked the first appearance of guitarist Mick Taylor with the group.

Jagger quoted poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in tribute to their departed bandmate, and two large panels promoting 1968's Beggars Banquet that pictured Jones were placed on the stage. The panels were enlarged from the original gatefold sleeve of Beggars Banquet, with its medieval-menagerie scene of the band. The promo panels were first used during the album's infamous press launch – an event that quite literally left the Rolling Stones and the heads of Decca Records with pie on their faces.

In the above ...


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