The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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Celebrating the Intersection of Rock & Politics

Thursday, May 19: 5 a.m.

Louder than Words

Sponsored post
by Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide 

By nature of their profession, rock and roll artists live their lives on the road. Throughout history, they have left their mark on cities and people around world, traveling across continents and cultures to perform their music. And their fans follow. 

While I am not exactly a rock star, I can relate to the passion these musicians feel. I am the executive vice president of global brands for Hilton Worldwide, and as a classically trained pianist, I know the power that music has to inspire, entertain and educate an audience. I incorporate music into presentations and speeches with my colleagues globally to connect with them on a more emotional level. This connection is a key component of the hospitality industry – and helps ensure that guests have a positive personal experience with our hotels when they stay with Hilton. 

With the opening of Hilton Cleveland Downtown just around the corner, there’s a lot of excitement about Cleveland within the walls of Hilton, but today I’m excited about another important opening: the Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics exhibit here at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ...


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Fan Picks: Old School Beastie Boys!

Friday, January 29: 10:45 a.m.
Posted by Rachel Keck

2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Beastie Boys exhibit in Cleveland

As the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland unveils its new Beastie Boys collection, we sat down with Rock Hall curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger to find out why curating this exhibit was personal.

RRHOF: Do you remember the first time you heard the Beastie Boys?

MR: I lived in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. I worked at a record store and one day when I went to work there was this crazy thing on the turntable that was somebody prank calling a Carvel store and then it turned into this rap song. And [the song] kept repeating –"Cookie Puss, Cookie Puss" - which was the tasty treat that Carvel ice cream stores made. I immediately had to find out what this record was because it was just so funny, and it turned out it was the Beastie Boys. I fell in love. I was like, "Who are these kids?! This is so genius!"

So curating the new Beastie Boys exhibit at the Rock Hall must have been a trip down memory lane...

This is really the first time that I've worked on an exhibit with an artist that I've watched from the very ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Alternative Press Magazine Celebrates 30 Years with a special exhibit at the Rock Hall

Tuesday, June 16: 10:50 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

AP at 30

Since its early days as a pasted-up fanzine in the mid-’80s, Alternative Press has been revered as one of the largest music magazines in the world, all while being independently owned and operated. Renowned internationally as the publication that ultimately broke groups such as Nirvana, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and others, it’s no surprise that Alternative Press Magazine is recognized as the #1 youth music magazine in the world.

This month, Alternative Press Magazine celebrates 30 years of bringing fans the hottest artists and cultural trends upfront with their the announcement of a special dedicated exhibit within the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, saluting the incredible story of this wonderful, independently published music magazine.

Alternative Press founder and CEO Mike Shea offers his thoughts on this history of his magazine that he started in his childhood bedroom, and its transition into the great entertainment periodical it has become. “In May of 1985, I had asked a couple of skater kids and a few music fans to whip together a bunch of reviews of new and classic punk records along with a few sentences ...


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The Rock Hall's Guide to the Essential Bill Withers Songs

Wednesday, April 15: 2 p.m.

In a recording career that lasted only 15 years, but left a lasting legacy, 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Withers mastered the vocabularies of the acoustic singer-songwriter, R&B, disco and even mainstream jazz, while maintaining a distinctive personality as a composer and vocalist. Here are my picks for essential Bill Withers songs.

2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Withers

“Ain’t No Sunshine”
A breakthrough hit from Just As I Am (produced by Hall of Fame Inductee Booker T. Jones), “Ain’t No Sunshine” set the framework for the Bill Withers sound with its sparse arrangement, direct,  no-frills lyric and in the pocket groove. It was also a bona fide hit, reaching Number Three on the Billboard 100 in 1971.

“Grandma’s Hands”
“I was one of those kids who was smaller than all the girls. I stuttered. I had asthma. So I had some issues," recalled Bill Withers. "My grandmother was that one person who would always say that I was going to be OK. … When you're a weaker kid, whoever champions you becomes very important to you." This song is a tribute to those healing hands.

“Who Is He (and What is He to You?)”
Just the right undertone ...


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8 Incredible Items in the 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee Exhibit

Monday, April 6: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

The 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee exhibit opens April 11, 2015, and will feature amazing stories and incredible pieces from this year's class: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the "5" Royales, Green Day, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Ringo Starr, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and Bill Withers.

Here are eight of our favorite items in the new exhibit, from a mirrored-star shirt designed by Slash's Mom to an infamously muddy outfit that was at the center of a near-riot at Woodstock '94.

2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Withers

1. Bill Withers' Main Guitar

Bill Withers was in many ways an anomaly in the music business. In the “Black Power” era of funk and flash, as he put it, “[In] 1970, 1971 or something, you know, I’m this black guy coming out sitting on a chair with an acoustic guitar.” His songwriting and performance style was understated, subtle, simply and straightforwardly constructed, and both articulate and honest. Withers' Martin acoustic guitar model D-35 was his main instrument, used to write and record with, and on stage for live performances.

2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Green Day Woodstock 1994 Billie Joe Armstrong

2. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day's Woodstock '94 Outfit

Woodstock '94 in Saugerites, New York, was ...


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10 Essential Beastie Boys Songs

Thursday, January 29: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Taking influences from hardcore and hip hop, the Beastie Boys mixed and mashed musical styles to deliver infectious grooves and wickedly funny lyrics. Like fellow New Yorkers Run-D.M.C., they disregarded the color line dividing rock and rap in the Eighties. The roots of the Beastie Boys date back to 1981, with the definitive trio configuration of ADROCK (Adam Horovitz), MCA (Adam Yauch) and Mike D (Michael Diamond) coalescing at mid-decade. After a series of 12-inch records, the Beastie Boys brashly announced themselves to the world with the full-length Licensed to Ill (1986). While it typecast the Beastie Boys as beer-swilling party animals, the group exploded any notions of one-dimensionality with its ambitious followup, Paul’s Boutique (1989). On Check Your Head (1992) and Ill Communication (1994), the Beastie Boys – who are capable instrumentalists – performed most of the music while integrating an array of samples, beats and witty wordplay into an ever-intriguing sonic smorgasbord.

Subsequently, the Beastie Boys have issued three full-length albums of words and music – Hello Nasty (1998), To the 5 Boroughs (2004) and Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (2011) – along with a few EPs and 2007’s all-instrumental The Mix-Up. With each release, the Beastie Boys ...


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Where did Joe DiMaggio go? Paul Simon tells the story of "Mrs. Robinson"

Wednesday, October 29: 2:11 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Who was Mrs. Roosevelt and what's her relation to Mrs. Robinson? Where did Joe DiMaggio go? Where does Paul Simon come up with his lyrics?

What is the meaning of the lyrics to "Mrs. Robinson?" Paul Simon explains.

"So goodbye to Mrs. Roosevelt, all along the road down to glory hallelujah," Simon recites from an old handwritten lyric manuscript (pictured) featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's new exhibit, Paul Simon: Words and Music. "I don't think of what I do as writing poetry, but the language may have imagery in it."

Watch Hall of Fame Inductee Paul Simon talk about how "Mrs. Roosevelt" became the famous "Mrs. Robinson," the real background to the "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio" lyric and more:

Opening on October 30, 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland's new exhibit Paul Simon: Words & Music will feature exclusive candid commentary gathered from hours of filmed interview footage that walks the audience through the personal story of Simon’s life and his creative process. This opening marks the Museum’s first-ever exhibit anchored by first-person narration by the artist. In addition to the autobiographical films, there will be videos of select performance highlights from Simon’s ...


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Alan Freed

Monday, August 4: 9:03 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is not diminishing Alan Freed's presence in the museum. Alan Freed was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in our inaugural year, he will continue to be prominently displayed in our exhibitions, his story is an important part of our education programming, his collection is a major part of our Library & Archives, and we will continue to support the annual Moondog Coronation Ball, which celebrates the world's first rock and roll concert that Alan Freed produced here in Cleveland.

Since 2002, we have exhibited Alan Freed’s cremated remains in the Museum.  Nearly a year ago, we initiated a conversation with the Freed family about the possibility of returning the ashes so that they could be moved to a more appropriate resting place. In the past year, we have met with Lance Freed and Cleveland City officials to discuss more suitable locations, including Lake View Cemetery – the final resting place of many important historical figures, including John D. Rockefeller, President Garfield, Elliott Ness and other dignitaries. We are hopeful that is where the ashes will ultimately reside, as it’s important to us that Alan Freed ...


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