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Hip-Hop Artist Casey Veggies Gets Personal

Tuesday, February 2: 12:18 p.m.
Posted by Carl Harp

Casey Veggies 2016 tour concert in Cleveland, Ohio

As a 14-year-old Inglewood high school basketball star and original member of the Cali super group Odd Future (OFWGKTA), Casey Veggies released his first mixtape, Customized Greatly, spawning a trilogy series. Benching his hoop dreams for a rap career, Veggies continued building off of his early groundwork, landing tour spots with Mac Miller, show dates with west side champs like Kendrick Lamar and Nipsey Hussle, and strategic partnerships with brands like Puma. The autobiography of Casey Veggies consumed the rap globe in the form of his 2015 major label debut LIVE & GROW, a nutritious listen of a young man’s navigation through new adulthood and stardom. 

The Rock Hall caught up with Casey Veggies ahead of his Sonic Sessions concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on February 19.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Your concert comes during the Rock Hall’s Black History Month Celebration. One of our other events is a discussion on “Black Music Matters,” kind of a take on the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Your track, “RIP,” is dedicated to people who have lost their lives to police brutality, gang violence and other senseless violence. Like Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” do you see ...


continue Categories: History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Songs That Shaped Rock: The Eagles' "Take It Easy"

Thursday, January 21: 2:52 p.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Glenn Frey live concert photograph RIP

Photo: Glenn Frey, ca. 1994, photographer unknown. From the Jeff Gold Collection at the Rock Hall's Library & Archives.

It's been a rough start to 2016 for rock fans mourning the loss of two Hall of Fame Inductees: David Bowie and Glenn Frey. Tributes have poured in from around the globe, a testament to the lasting impact and widespread influence of the music each created. Last week, we looked back on some of the David Bowie songs that shaped rock and roll, and this week it's only fitting we rewind to one of the Eagles' most enduring hits: "Take It Easy."

Guitarist Glenn Frey was a rocker from Detroit who headed to Los Angeles, where he befriended fellow musicians Jackson Browne and John David Souther. Drummer Don Henley and Frey met while backing Linda Ronstadt. Guitarist Bernie Leadon had previously done time with Gram Parsons and  Chris Hillman in the Flying Burrito Brothers; bassist Randy Meisner was a founding  member of Poco with Richie Furay and had played in Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band.  And they had all played together on Ronstadt's Silk Purse. No wonder they sounded accomplished from the get-go.

Decades later, in 2014 ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, Rare Performances

The Fabulous Friendship of David Bowie and Jane Scott

Wednesday, January 20: 5:44 p.m.
Posted by Anastasia Karel

autographed David Bowie photo with Cleveland Jane Scott Plain Dealer reporter

Pictured: Jane Scott with David Bowie in the late 70s during one of his Isolar tour stops. Did you see him perform on the Isolar or Isolar II tours?

I’m an archivist at the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives. I'm also a diehard music fan and collector. Bob Dylan is my all-time favorite – I've seen him in concert 60 times – but David Bowie was the first artist that I collected on vinyl. I believe that Bowie is one of those artists whose work should be owned in its original format, if only because of the cover art and sense that you're holding a piece of history. Unfortunately, I never saw Bowie in concert and didn't dive into his entire catalog as so many fans did, and yet, now that he is gone, I realize just how much he was a presence in my life.  And this week, it just so happened that my job created a collision of Bowie, Cleveland, and women in rock journalism.

My days involve a fair amount of detective work, such as forming connections between documents to describe a moment in rock history. One collection that will provide endless opportunities ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Library and Archives, History of Rock and Roll, Exhibit

Madonna Shares Wild Story of First David Bowie Concert

Monday, January 11: 12:52 p.m.
Posted by Madonna

Madonna inducts David Bowie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 speech and video

Before I saw David Bowie live, I was just your normal, dysfunctional, rebellious teenager from the Midwest, and he has truly changed my life.

I’ve always had a sentimental attachment to David Bowie, not just because I grew up with his music, but it’s because it was the first rock concert that I ever saw, and it was a major event in my life. I planned for months to go and see it. I was 15 years old, it was the end of the school year, and leading up to the week of the show, I begged my father and he said, “I absolutely refuse, over my dead body, you’re not going there, that’s where horrible people hang out,” so of course I had to go. So my best friend spent the night at my house and when we thought everyone was asleep, we snuck out of my window, which was no mean feat, as I was wearing my highest platform shoes and a long black-silk cape. Don’t ask.

We couldn’t drive, so we hitch-hiked into Detroit and I don’t know who was scarier ... the drivers that picked us up, or us in ...


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

How Cynthia Robinson Made Sure We Were All Cool

Wednesday, November 25: 11:48 a.m.

Sly and The Family Stone Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Cynthia Robinson dead at age 69

I was just an elementary school kid when I first heard “Dance to the Music,” Sly and the Family Stone’s first hit single, in spring 1968. The song was on the radio all the time. If it wasn’t on the Top 40/pop stations WIXY or CKLW, you just had to dial up to WJMO or WABQ, the R&B/ soul stations, to hear Cynthia Robinson’s cheeky introductory demand:  “Get up and dance to the music! Get on up and dance to the funky music!”

Cynthia Robinson was one half of the horn section of the Family Stone and the de facto MC – that’s MC in the early days of hip-hop sense – the “mic controller” who would punctuate dance tracks with enjoinders to “get up” or “get down” to the music to keep dancers engaged and moving on their feet. Cynthia was doing it 10 years before the Sugarhill Gang or Grandmaster Flash dropped their first beat.

That’s just one more way that Cynthia was ahead of her time, a pioneer, showing the rest of us the way. She was a strong female presence in a band – not a vocalist, as was the usual position ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews

The Sound of California Craze Goes Live with Brian Wilson

Thursday, November 19: 4:20 p.m.
Posted by Carl Harp

Brian Wilson Beach Boys live concert Cincinnati, Ohio, set list November 2015

Brian Wilson has long been an inspiration to his contemporaries and hopeful songwriters around the globe. Much of the popular music that has followed in his creative wake owes a debt to the much-mythologized (and biopic friendly) frontman.  

“Brian Wilson is a genius,” says two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Graham Nash in a video featured in the Rock Hall's Touching the Flame exhibit. “Pet Sounds was a journey from start to finish, and I think that was recognized by John (Lennon) and Paul (McCartney) when they started Sgt. Pepper's… The idea of turning a long-playing record into an actual mental journey was brilliant. Brian Wilson started it, and John and Paul really finished it off.”

But decades later, how would that translate live? Was Brian Wilson a charismatic live performer able to carry the interest of a crowd or better suited to his own devices in the studio? Would any former Beach Boys bandmates reunite with Wilson? I had questions, and on Saturday, November 14, Brian Wilson brought his “No Pier Pressure” tour to the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati, Ohio, giving me answers.

Brian Wilson and Al Jardine Beach Boys live concert Taft Theater Cincinnati Ohio November 2015

The setlist mostly featured Beach Boys songs penned by the eldest Wilson ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Graham Nash, Event, The Beatles, Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame

Dead & Company Raise Spirits on Night of Paris Attacks

Wednesday, November 18: 5:02 p.m.
Posted by Carl Harp

Dead & Co concert John Mayer November 13 2015 columbus ohio

Compassion, peace and a celebratory atmosphere have loyally followed the Grateful Dead for five decades, yet the reformed group's November 13, 2015 concert began on a somber note.
 
After taking the stage with his Dead & Company bandmates, grabbing his guitar and briefly warming his fingers, Bob Weir started the show with a eulogy: “So to begin, we have some bad news from Paris. And really I think the best thing we can do, all of us are doing, is remember, celebrate the lives of the 60 or so Parisian concertgoers who died today at the hands of religious extremists, who if they had their way, would outlaw music in all the world." He implored Deadheads to celebrate the lives of those who lost their lives in the Paris attacks "and the joy that they found in music.”

For the hours leading up to the Dead & Company tour stop at Columbus, Ohio’s Nationwide Arena, social media feeds and news reports were filled with the news unfolding across the globe; and with tragedy occurring at a concert, I could not help feel grief, slight paranoia and empathy.

Dead & Co concert John Mayer November 13 2015 columbus ohio

Following Weir’s dedication, he and the band (John Mayer on guitar and ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Hall of Fame, Rare Performances

JoJo Interview: Love, Songwriting, the Jackson 5 and Smokey Robinson

Wednesday, November 4: 3:22 p.m.
Posted by JoJo

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, JoJo will perform as part of the Rock Hall's Music Masters tribute to Smokey Robinson presented by Klipsch audio. Get your tickets before they're all gone!

Video interview with singer JoJo talking love and Jackson 5 and Smokey Robinson and Motown

I didn't even realize the impact that Smokey Robinson had on me until a few years ago, but his influence is so far-reaching. You can't listen to music - particularly American music - without being touched by Smokey.

I think my first introduction to him was through the Jackson 5, through [the Jackson 5 song] "Who's Lovin' You."

And I was just a huge Jackson 5 fan. I knew all the songs. I loved the Motown sound and just music that was coming up from that time.

I didn't know until a few years ago that Smokey Robinson had written ["Who's Lovin' You"].
So, the fact that I'm going get to sing it to honor him at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is really trippy.

It's such an incredible song. The way he writes about love is unparalleled. He is the original person to sing, to write about, to really capture the feeling of longing, and being in love, and ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, American Music Masters, Exclusive Interviews
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