The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


bass :: Blog

A Fan Response to the Death of Chris Squire

Thursday, July 2: 3:32 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley

Chris Squire Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live Interview Jason Hanley 2013

Chris Squire changed the way rock musicians thought about the bass guitar – taking the melodic style established by the Who's John Entwistle and pushing into an entirely new level. His bass had a clean sustained tone that frequently moved back and forth between the high and low registers of the instrument. And all the time Squire was singing beautiful vocal harmony with the rest of the band (and with a completely different melody from the bass). 

So let's just get this out of the way: Yes is not inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, as the Rock Hall's Senior Director of Education, I can tell you that Yes has a legion of fans at the Museum here in Cleveland. I'm one of them. I can tell you with ultimate clarity the first time I heard the music of Yes on the radio while I was in high school. I imagine it was the same way that many fans of my age did, through the sound of “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” in 1983. That song has always sounded so modern to me (due in part to the stellar production of Trevor Horn ...


continue Categories: History of Rock and Roll, Today in Rock

Is this the Greatest Photograph in Rock History?

Tuesday, January 20: 5:23 p.m.
Posted by Randal Doane

Discover more amazing Clash stories in the Rock Hall's punk rock exhibit and plan your visit today.

Below is an excerpt from Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of the Clash by Randal Doane.

The Clash Paul Simonon London Calling bass smash album cover punk rock history

With her Pentax camera in hand, Pennie Smith stepped onto the left wing of the stage of the Palladium, just behind the curtain, and waited for The Clash to return for their encore. It was September 21, 1979, the second of a two-night stint for The Clash in New York City. WNEW-FM, the album-oriented rock station that had recently found felicity in punk and new wave, supplied a live simulcast for the tri-state region. On the opposite stage wing, Richard Neer, the on-air host, gushed: “If you’ve never seen The Clash it’s an experience, I’ll tell you that. I was out front for a bit and it’s so loud. I’m used to loud music but it is loud to the point of real distortion, and the people are just totally enveloped in the music. . . . They’re dancing, they’re jumping up and down and they are just totally into it!” Back onstage, The Clash offered the audience a respite from ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Punk Goes Acoustic: Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) Bring Sex Doll Tour to Rock Hall

Friday, February 28: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Former Sex Pistol and punk rocker Glen Matlock to perform live at the Rock Hall.

In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Glen Matlock has made indelible contributions to music as the original bass player with the Sex Pistols, founder of the New Wave act Rich Kids, and collaborator with a variety of artists ranging from Iggy Pop to fellow original School of ’76 Brit Punk Rockers the Damned to neo-rockabilly singer Robert Gordon – all while pursuing his own musically distinctive direction. Matlock released Born Running in 2010, and has been taking the coveted bass playing role in the reformed Faces with fellow Hall of Fame Inductees Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.
 
On the other side of the Atlantic from Matlock, before joining the New York Dolls in 1971, Sylvain Sylvain was a member of the band Actress, also featuring the Dolls' Arthur Kane, Johnny Thunders and former fashion partner Murcia. He played rhythm guitar in the proto-punk group the New York Dolls (replacing Rick Rivets), from 1971 until the group’s final dissolution in 1977.

On Tuesday, March 18 at 7 p.m., in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's intimate Foster Theater, Matlock and Sylvain will perform an ...


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

Yes Talks About Future of Progressive Rock, Performing in China, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tour

Friday, August 9: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Chris Squire and Alan White of Yes in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Founded in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, Grammy-award winning recording artists Yes have created some of the most important and influential music in rock history. Throughout their career, Yes has been known for their esoteric lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and expansive songs, such as “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart” – to name a few. Having sold millions of records over a four-decade career, the band has overcome a generational shift in its audience, and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. They are currently on a world tour, playing three albums of their classic albums The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Going For The One in their entirety.

Recently, members of Yes – singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White and keyboardist Geoff Downes – were interviewed by education director Jason Hanley before a live audience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Following the interview, the group surprised the crowd with a short set ...


continue Categories: Education, Exclusive Interviews, Event

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 ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

A Long, Strange Trip: Pete Sears' One-of-a-Kind Bass Guitar, "Dragon"

Monday, July 1: 12:29 p.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
Pete Sears with his long-lost custom bass guitar named "Dragon"

In June 1978, Pete Sears and his Jefferson Starship bandmates narrowly escaped a riot following a cancelled concert in Germany. Amid the chaos, much of the band's gear was left behind, including Sears' one-of-a-kind bass created by famed luthiers Doug Irwin and Tom Lieber – the men responsible for Jerry Garcia's most iconic instruments. Sears never played the guitar live, and he never thought he'd see it again. Thirty-five years later, however, the missing bass has resurfaced. 

While a member of Jefferson Starship in 1976, Sears commissioned Irwin and Lieber (the latter working at the Doug Irwin Custom Shop) to build a custom bass dubbed "Dragon." Grateful Dead fans will recognize the work of both artisans, as they had hands in creating a series of iconic Jerry Garcia guitars, including "Rosebud," "Lighting Bolt" and "Tiger," which were all exhibited as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip exhibit that was on view from April 12, 2012 to March 24, 2013. 

The bass' resemblance to Garcia's famous guitars was no coincidence: the designers used the same piece of wood as Garcia's "Tiger" to build Sears' "Dragon ...


continue Categories: Today in Rock, Exclusive Interviews

30 Years After New Order's "Blue Monday": Interview with Peter Hook

Thursday, March 7: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Peter Hook shares the story of New Order's "Blue Monday" in interview with Rock Hall

Released on March 7, 1983, New Order's "Blue Monday" was a smash. Designed by Factory Records' Peter Saville, the original 12-inch sleeve packaging cleverly replicated a floppy computer disk and included little information about New Order (neither the name of the group nor the single title appeared). Although rumored that the cost of producing the complex die-cut sleeve represented a loss on each single sold by Factory, the seven-minute-plus track would become among the best-selling 12-inch singles of all time. The original single is part of a special Joy Division/New Order exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 

New Order Blue Monday original single 30-year anniversary"Blue Monday," which took nearly four months to record, was driven by a host of sequencer and synthesizer effects, including the throbbing synth bass line (overlayed with Peter Hook's lead bass stylings), and drum machine beat. The song contained no chorus, instead revolving around a series of verses. "It does come down to songwriting," said Hook of "Blue Monday" during a 2010 interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio . "Whilst everyone may have the equipment in their little box, not everybody [has] the ability to write a ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews, Exhibit, Education, Foster Theatre, Event

Rare Performances: Cream in 1993 – "Sunshine of Your Love"

Friday, January 11: 3 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Eric Clapton on stage with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Cream, performing "Sunshine of Your Love"

“It was a group of talented musicians that made up – three guys that expressed, power…creating a sound that everybody in this room can relate to and certainly set the stage for our outfit.” – Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top inducting Cream into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Formed in July 1966 and widely regarded as being the first successful supergroup, Cream was a British rock outfit made up of guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. By the time the trio came together, they were far from rock and roll neophytes, as each member of the group had found success in other acts during the 1960s. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were members of Blues Incorporated until the band broke up in 1963, while Clapton was a member of the Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965. The same year Clapton exited the Yardbirds, Bruce joined John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (which also featured Clapton on guitar). By 1966, Bruce was a member of Manfred Mann and continued to collaborate with Clapton as a member of Powerhouse, which included Hall of Fame inductee Steve Winwood

In their short 28-month run, Cream became a commercial success ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances
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