In honor of the 69th birthday of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Eric Clapton, the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives is pleased to feature Clapton’s beautiful new limited edition book Six-String Stories: The Crossroads Guitars in its main reading room.
“One by one these guitars were the chapters of my life,” says Clapton about the book. Personally signed by Clapton himself, the 376-page volume documents his entire career through the tools of his trade: his guitars. Six-String Stories is told through Clapton's own words, with background information for each instrument and archival photography spanning five decades.
“As an avid rock or blues fan I would look at all the pictures in this book,” says Clapton. Nearly 300 pieces from Clapton's collection, sold across three Crossroads auctions, are brought together here for the very first time. Six-String Stories presents a “family tree,” making connections between Clapton's instruments and amps, and placing them in the chronology of his career.
“These guitars have been really good tools,” says Clapton. “They're not just museum pieces. They all have a soul, and they all come alive.” Every piece has been photographed, showing the beauty of the design ...
As glam rock hit its platformed stride in early 1972, Mott The Hoople was fading fast.
Born in mid-1969 as the brainchild of Island Records' mad genius Guy Stevens, the band was now deep in debt after four albums. Despite local notoriety helped by a riot-causing performance at London's Albert Hall (resulting in a "permanent" ban on rock and roll at the venerable venue), they had stiffed stateside and had just been dropped by their American label.
As Mott half-heartedly entered the studio that February to record demos for their next venture, a package awaited; in it, a tape and a note reading: "A song for you to hear. Hope you'll ring me and tell me what you think. David Bowie." The tape featured a demo of "Suffragette City," the song that would soon climax Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" breakthrough. After Mott turned down the tune, they set out on a miserable tour of Switzerland and officially broke up on March 26, 1972 (a series of events that would be later chronicled on "The Ballad of Mott the Hoople (26th March 1972, Zürich)" off of 1973's Mott).
Back in London, bassist Pete "Overend" Watts called Bowie ...
Born Reginald Dwight in Middlesex, England, the future Elton John discovered his destiny early, tinkering with the piano as a tot of three. Teenager Reg won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and studied there five years before signing on with Long John Baldry's band Bluesology in the mid 60s. Taking his name from Baldry and bandmate Elton Dean, Elton John left Baldry and teamed up with the man who would become his longtime writing partner, lyricist Bernie Taupin.
The sweetly sentimental "Your Song," John's 1970 breakthrough hit, was far from his first single. The 1968 dud "I've Been Loving You" was an ill-conceived attempt to capitalize on the popularity of big ballad singers like Engelbert Humperdinck and Tom Jones; 1969's "Lady Samantha" didn't score either, but found John on the verge of discovering his artistic voice, and was covered by Three Dog Night. Since "Your Song," it's been full speed ahead, of course.
During a career spanning five decades, the Rocket Man has released more than 30 albums, and is one of the top-selling artists of all time, with more than 300 million records sold worldwide.
Sir Elton continues to influence ...
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.
Young Guru's impressive resume highlights more than a decade of experience in sound engineering and production, as well as his role as A&R for Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. However, he's most lauded for his work behind the boards, shaping some of hip-hop's brightest talents: mixing 10 of Jay-Z's 11 albums, and DJing on the Watch the Throne tour, as well as Jay-Z's legendary Carnegie Hall and Barclays Center shows. On several recordings, Jay-Z himself offers verbal acknowledgements of Guru's importance.
As one of audio's most important minds and essential voices, Guru has elevated the discourse of audio engineering philosophy, science and technology. On March 19, 2014, Young Guru sat down with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame education director Jason Hanley for an exclusive interview, sharing stories from his years in the music industry. "The best music, in my opinion, is made by small groups of people in these small areas," says Guru. "If you go to Detroit and look at the Motown house, it's little – it's super little – but you think about the immense amount of music that came out of that house; or if you go ...
Although it originated in Ireland, the tune and melody of "Londonderry Air" is known worldwide, its flowing cadence inextricably linked to Irish heritage. When English lawyer and songwriter Frederic Weatherly was introduced to the tune in 1913, he recast lyrics he'd previously penned to match the "Londonderry" melody, giving rise to "Danny Boy,"arguably the most celebrated version of the song.
For more than a century, the stirring folk ballad has been adapted by a diverse cast of performers, including various Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. Here, we look at versions of "Danny Boy" by Sam Cooke, Johnny Cash, Jackie Wilson, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Eric Clapton.
Cooke cut a beautifully soul-infused version of "Danny Boy" for his 1958 self-titled debut album, adding a charismatic lilt to the arrangement.
Cash recorded a hauntingly solemn version of "Danny Boy" for his 1965 Columbia Records release Orange Blossom Special, an album that included various folk and country standards as interpreted by the incomparable Man in Black.
Wilson, who could effortlessly transition from rock to blues to soul, transformed "Danny Boy" – reportedly one of his mother's favorite songs – in ...
James Taylor's 1970 hit single, and the album that spawned it, Sweet Baby James, helped launch the singer/songwriter boom of the early 70s. "Fire And Rain" reflected the movement's best qualities: limpid acoustic guitars, soulful double bass and Carole King's rippling piano are the backdrop for a sorrowful lament for a "lost" friend. More folk than rock, the song nevertheless boasts a deceptively tough edge, thanks to Russ Kunkel's popping drums and Taylor's in-your-face misery. The singer/songwriter era was often criticized as a self-indulgent, whiny time, but the best efforts, such as "Fire And Rain," could be as compelling as the blues. Though just 22 when he achieved fame, Taylor already had many reasons to sing the blues.
The offspring of an affluent family with roots in both Boston and North Carolina, he'd been in and out of mental institutions and struggled with hard drugs. His first serious foray into music came with friend Danny Kortchmar in the group Flying Machine, mentioned in "Fire And Rain." His self-titled ...
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum presents its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience, which will open on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an immersive and engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience.
Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists – both old and new – or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe.
Fan vote and fan-curated exhibit
Beginning Tuesday, March 11 fans around the world will have the opportunity to vote for the Top 10 rock festival performance moments of all-time. From Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bob Dylan’s performance in Newport in 1965 to Daft Punk’s Coachella performance in 2006, fans will vote for 10 breakout performance and highlights from the last 50 years of festivals. The fan vote will close on Wednesday, April 2 at 5 p.m. ET. The Top 10 festival moments of all-time as voted by fans will ...