As part of the Rock Hall's Celebration Day, the Museum will screen the Bill Withers documentary, Still Bill, at 5pm ET. In this post, the film's co-director (along with Damani Baker) Alex Vlack, shares how he found Bill Withers, his hero, and transformed the experience into a movie.
Everyone who's ever turned on the radio, walked into a restaurant, been in a bar, lived in this country for more than a few days knows Bill Withers' biggest songs. But most people don't know his name, and most people don't know most of his music.
I didn't really discover it until college, when my friend Jon Fine turned me on to Still Bill, Withers' second record. We listened to it on cassette over and over and over. I'd grown up on blues and jazz and rock, and thought I was pretty well-versed – when you're 18 years old, you can think of yourself as a lot of things! – so how could an album like this have slipped past me? It was, simply, the best album I'd ever heard. Fine and I started a band, and one of the first things we did was ...
On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Peter Gabriel is coming back to the US for a special concert event – this time at a cinema near you.
Captured live in October 2013 at London’s famed arena, The O2, Peter Gabriel: Back to Front showcases the recent Hall of Fame Inductee and one of the most innovative artists of modern times, and will screen in theaters nationwide. The performance reunites Gabriel with his original touring band from 1986 to cover his most well-known hits, including “Solsbury Hill,” “Digging in the Dirt,” “Sledgehammer,” “Mercy Street” and “Don’t Give Up.”
“It has been wonderful working with [director] Hamish Hamilton again and his very talented team,” said Gabriel of the film. “I feel they have really caught what was unique about the ‘Back to Front’ tour, both visually and emotionally. My own sound crew has also done a brilliant job.”
The film event comes just weeks after Gabriel was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Chris Martin of Coldplay during the April 10, 2014 ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “I’d like to read from the Book of Genesis,” Martin ...
Debates about the predominance of singer over song (or vice versa) reign eternal. The Temptations' "My Girl" makes a case for the song. It has one of the most memorable melodies of the rock era, one of Smokey Robinson's most memorable lyrics, and a choral structure that could serve any harmony group from early-1950s doo-woppers to Boyz II Men. Here, meaning comes just as much from atmospheric production and arrangement (also by Robinson, with fellow Miracle Ronnie White) as it does from the song itself. The sound has the ozone-intoxicated feeling you get after a summer thunderstorm. Bass and guitar parts – particularly that unforgettable intro – rank with the era's most exquisite, and also set up the declamatory crooning of lead vocal. Perhaps the most thrilling moment comes with the soaring bridge: strings and guitar shimmer against the Temptations' hey hey hey, out of which Ruffin emerges with a swooping yet understated oooh yeah. The offhanded ejaculation gives the rest of the lyrics' romanticism complete credibility.
The Temptations are among the artists featured in the Detroit section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Cities and Sound exhibit, part of the Museum's permanent collection.
Born on March 1, 1944, Roger Daltrey injected the Who's songs with expressive muscularity and passion. Daltrey made a natural rock and roll frontman, theatrically swinging the microphone and proving the ideal, angst-projecting foil to Who songwriter/guitarist Pete Townshend's "windmill" strumming and instrument destroying antics and drummer Keith Moon's explosive – sometimes literally – playing. With rock-steady bass virtuoso John Entwistle, the four evolved from purveyors of Mod-era "maximum R&B" to visionary, literary creators of concept album narratives and singular rock opera productions. Simply put: the Who created some of rock and roll's most enduring and powerful anthems.
In mid-1965, Daltrey and the Who were unflagging devotees of R&B, though their reverence ultimately started to stifle creativity. Hoping to shake things up on the compositional front, manager Kit Lambert demanded a new anthem to go with the image they didn't have yet. Pete Townshend responded with a primitive home demo of "My Generation." Arranged as a talking blues number, it didn't sound much like his generation. With a terse order to make it beefier, Townshend returned with a version deemed chunky enough to warrant a group whack at a demo session, which Lambert ...
Remembered not only as a peerless songwriter but also as a formidable personality and cheerful raconteur, 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Doc Pomus was one of the real characters from rock and roll’s golden era. Atlantic Records producer and co-owner Jerry Wexler succinctly described his sphere of influence: "If the music industry has a heart, it would be Doc Pomus."
Pomus authored among the greatest songs in rock and roll history: "This Magic Moment" (recorded by the Drifters), "A Teenager in Love" (recorded by Dion and the Belmonts) and "Save the Last Dance for Me" (recorded by Ben E. King). Elvis Presley recorded at least 20 Pomus originals. In Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's collection includes the hand-written lyrics to "Save the Last Dance for Me," which Pomus wrote at his wedding, while watching his new bride, Wilma Burke, dancing (pictured below).
Born Jerome Solon Felder in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on June 27, 1925, he adopted the name Doc Pomus to hide his singing from his parents. Stricken with polio as a child, Pomus was confined to crutches and a wheelchair, though it never slowed him down. For ...
On October 9, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its latest exhibit: Collecting the Counterculture: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. in the Museum’s Patty, Jay and Kizzie Baker Gallery. It's an exhibit that all started two years ago, in Geneva, Switzerland.
My job as the registrar at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has afforded me many opportunities to travel. One of those trips brought me to Geneva, where in November 2011 I assisted Rock Hall curators Craig Inciardi and Howard Kramer as they pored over the unique and vast collection of the late Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.
When my colleagues and I arrived at the sprawling, discreet office space housing the Santo Domingo collection, I was immediately impressed and overwhelmed – there seemed to be treasures everywhere. The complex of rooms was filled with big rolls of movie and band posters, pinball machines, miscellaneous pop culture artifacts, floor-to-ceiling shelves of music and art books, and an expansive array of counterculture and drug-related paraphernalia and literature. As an Andy Warhol buff, I was particularly pleased to see one of Warhol’s small art prints, propped against a reading chair ...
Interview with award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, who visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, and sat down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after his visit to share his impressions of the Museum, learning more about the roots of rock and roll, the history of rock and roll and the films featured in the exhibits; as well as hearing Motown for the first time in Vietnam; a time when rock and roll was "trashed," the importance of preserving pop culture, how "music is supposed to transcend" and more. Click here to plan your visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum this summer!
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to a singular collection of Jimi Hendrix artifacts that help tell his story, from his boyhood days in Seattle, Washington, through his meteoric rise to superstardom.
In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer tells the story behind two of the guitars featured in the Rock Hall's Jimi Hendrix exhibit: the 1967 Gibson Flying V dubbed "Love Drops" and the 1960s 12-string Zemaitis acoustic made famous when Hendrix played it in the 1973 movie A Film About Jimi Hendrix.