The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

March 2013 | Blog Archives

Gallery Talk: Angus Young of AC/DC

Sunday, March 31: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
AC/DC guitarist and Hall of Fame inductee Angus Young featured in the Rock Hall of Fame and Museum

"Clichéd as it might be, we've always been a good, hard rock and roll band," Angus Young has said of his group, 2003 Hall of Fame inductees AC/DC. More than simply "good," AC/DC has reigned as one of the best-loved and hardest-rocking bands in the world for decades.

In this Gallery Talk clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the story behind the iconic schoolboy outfit worn by AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. This outfit – along with other items from AC/DC's lengthy career – is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, in the heavy metal section of the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit.

continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Inductee, Exhibit

In the Museum: 9/11 Memorial Guitars

Friday, March 29: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Two of three 9/11 Memorial Fender Stratocasters on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Tommy Clarke is a native New Yorker and was a first-responder at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His experience at the tragedy profoundly changed his life. Clarke felt a duty to keep alive the memory of those who died that day, as well as the survivors who still suffer effects from the attacks and the collapse of the towers.

Clarke enlisted his longtime friend and three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Eric Clapton to create something to honor the three services of first responders – the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Clapton brought in master luthier Todd Krause from the Fender Guitar Custom Shop and legendary graffiti artist Lee Quinones to design and build three guitars.

Quinones interviewed many 9/11 survivors to get their thoughts and impressions about the events. With their stories as inspiration, Quinones and Clarke conceptualized the renderings that Quinones then painted on the back of each guitar. Clarke secured authentic badges and commendation bars, and Krause installed them on the instruments he built himself. Clapton brought these guitars on tour with him in 2011 and played ...

continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit

In the Museum: Aretha Franklin

Monday, March 25: 6 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Aretha Franklin on the cover of Time Magazine in 1968, on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Aretha Franklin was only 24 years old when she signed with Atlantic Records in November 1966, but she had already been making records for much of her life, first as a child gospel singer, then as a pop singer of only modest success. 

Born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, Aretha Franklin was raised in Detroit. Her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, was the charismatic pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church, which he turned into a large and thriving institution. From an early age, Aretha sang at her father’s behest during services at New Bethel. Her first recordings turned up on an album called Spirituals, recorded at the church when she was only 14. Although she was firmly rooted in gospel, Franklin also drew from such blues and jazz legends as Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughn as she developed her singing style. On the male side, she was inspired by Ray Charles, Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke (both with and without the Soul Stirrers). From the emerging world of youthful doo-wop groups and early soul, Aretha enjoyed the likes of LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, Little Willie John, the Falcons (featuring Wilson Pickett) and Frankie Lymon ...

continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit

Rare Performances: The Stooges Perform "Search and Destroy" Live

Monday, March 25: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Iggy Pop performs live during the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The original Stooges seemed to push rock and roll as far as it could go before they flamed out in 1970. However, in 1973, with encouragement from David Bowie, Iggy Stooge returned, though he now called himself Iggy Pop. His reconstituted Stooges rocked with even more abandon. On the aptly named 1973 Raw Power album, the Stooges achieved an incendiary sound that was thrilling and dangerous. "The Stooges define a moment in rock and roll history. They symbolize the destruction of flower power and they introduce us to raw power," said Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, when he inducted the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. "When I think of the sound of war, chaos and demolition; sex, sensuality, poetry and brutal truth, I think of the Stooges. It's the sound of blood and guts, sex and drugs, heart and soul, love and hate, poetry and peanut butter."

"Search and Destroy" was among the album's standout tracks. On the brash recording, Iggy's distorted vocals carried lyrics that spoke for Vietnam vets, disenfranchised youth and anyone else who felt left out in 1973. The music bubbled with urgency, with James Williamson's ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

10 Essential Irish Rockers

Friday, March 15: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

From the Northern Ireland counties to the southern cities of the Republic, Ireland has been – and continues to be – home to some of the world's best known and most-beloved musicians. With a diverse cast of voices and music, Ireland's contributions to rock and roll have expanded the boundaries of the genre. Artists have acted as a force for change and forward thinking, while providing a record of tradition. Songwriters have delivered uniquely Irish narratives, though rich with universal themes and the human experience.

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, here are 10 essential Irish rockers.

10 Essential Irish Rockers

Them – "Gloria"

Released in 1964 as the b-side to "Baby, Please Don't Go" (itself a smoldering cover of the Big Joe Williams' song), the Van Morrison–penned "Gloria" became a garage-rock classic, with artists such as the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and Patti Smith later covering it. Its three chords, speak-sing vocal delivery and indelible "G-L-O-R-I-A" chorus inspired legions of budding musicians and, along with "Here Comes the Night," gave the Belfast group among its first tastes of success. 

Horslips – "Dearg Doom"

Innovators steeped in tradition, Horslips emerged at the dawn of the 70s as a hard-rocking ...

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Out of Dublin: The Early Days of U2

Friday, March 15: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
1979 U2 poster from music venue McGonagles in Dublin, on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Inductees U2 – vocalist Bono (born Paul Hewson), guitarist the Edge (Dave Evans), bass player Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. – formed at Mount Temple School in Dublin in 1976. The four originally dubbed themselves Feedback, then later the Hype. On St. Patrick's Day in 1978, the Hype – now calling themselves U2 – traveled from Dublin to the city of Limerick in the midwest of Ireland to perform at a talent contest sponsored in part by CBS Records and Guinness. U2’s three-song performance won first prize, including a trophy that's part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's U2 Featured Collection, £500 and a demo recording session. That session led to the group's EP called U2-3

Watch the video below as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger shares the stories behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's U2 collection, and a time when the group were playing in Irish clubs with £1 covers and writing their own press releases "full of lies."


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Remembering Bobby Rogers of the Miracles

Tuesday, March 12: 1:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bobby Rogers – 2/19/40 – 3/3/13

For someone who wasn’t a star in the Motown stable of artists, Bobby Rogers was a recognizable figure among fans and commanded the respect of his peers. Tall, strapping and bespectacled, Rogers was a founding member of the Miracles, who distinguished himself through his role as a foil to his better-known band mate, Smokey Robinson, and as a collaborator in the only group on Motown that wrote and produced the bulk of its own material.

Bobby Rogers and Smokey Robinson were fated to be friends and musical partners. They were born on the same day – February 19, 1940 – at the same hospital in Detroit, and grew up together singing. Their first musical group, the Five Chimes, formed in the basement of Rogers’ cousin Claudette’s home. With her, Pete Moore and Ronnie White, they became the Matadors. Eventually taking the name the Miracles, they were spotted at a local talent show by Berry Gordy Jr., then a fledgling songwriter with dreams of his own record label. He saw potential in the suave nature of the group. Gordy produced their debut single, “Got a Job,” an answer record to the Silhouettes “Get a Job,” and licensed it to United ...

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Album Notes: The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St.

Friday, March 8: 10 a.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
The Rolling Stones' 1972 release "Exile on Main St."

I was seven years old when Exile on Main St. was released in 1972. It wasn't until later in the decade that I first heard the album, though I was already a Rolling Stones fan by then. My earliest rock and roll mentors – friends and family, and musicians and writers that I admired – told me Exile was the Stones record to have, so I picked up a used, well-worn copy on vinyl. The dog-eared double LP jacket was ragged and looked like hell; long gone were the dozen postcards that came with the original packaging. However, the scratched wax delivered an electric sound. 

Those sounds – like my battered copy's packaging – were gritty, rough, perfectly unpolished. The album was filled with bravado, the songs seemingly shambolic, unrehearsed and the playlist was sprawling, with more than a dozen tracks. The Stones tapped into America's eclectic songbook, borrowing lines from country, blues, soul, swamp and the heyday of the rock and roll era – and it all sounded genuine. The recording of Exile was shrouded in mystique, a model of rebellion amid tales of wild decadence and hedonism at Nellcôte, the French mansion-cum-studio rented by Keith Richards. Even the ...

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