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Peter Hook kicks off his U.S. tour at the Rock Hall

Monday, December 6: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Peter Hook performs at the Rock Hall's Legends Series event.

Bassist Peter Hook has been the pulse of two of rock’s most enigmatic groups: Joy Division and New Order. He discussed the history of both bands at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Tuesday evening, November 30. The Legends Series session featured a sit-down interview and performance. The event’s free tickets disappeared quickly, and it streamed live via rockhall.com. If you missed it, some highlights are here. 

It was a busy week for Hook, who stopped in Cleveland between a concert in Italy and a show at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club. The DC show was the opening night of a US tour for Hook’s latest band, the Light. The Light is playing original material, but opens their set with Joy Division’s entire debut album, Unknown Pleasures. The Joy Division set is hotly anticipated and long overdue: In 1980, singer Ian Curtis committed suicide the night before the band was scheduled to leave for an American tour.

Hook sat for a two-hour Q&A session with Rock Hall Director of Education Jason Hanley, but first the Foster Theater screened the same short film that is preceding the Light’s live ...


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Now this is the way to start a new year!

Thursday, January 6: 3:24 p.m.
Fats Domino with his 2010 American Music Masters Award.

My favorite Christmas present arrived by email: a photo of a smiling Antoine “Fats” Domino in his home in Louisiana, holding his 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame American Music Masters Award. Domino’s daughter sent it to us in December. We wish Fats could have made it to Cleveland in November, but we all stayed in touch over the week with photos and streaming video and text messages, so it felt like Fats and his family were close by. This year’s program honoring Fats and Dave Bartholomew was a great success—it brought together all the Museum’s resources: exhibits, classes for students and adults, distance learning classes to New Orleans, interviews, a conference, and a course the great tribute concert—topped off with the Rebirth Brass Band playing in the lobby of the Palace Theater. We just couldn’t say good night too soon! You can see photos from the week and some videos from the conference here.

The New Orleans music magazine Off Beat will be honoring Dave Bartholomew with a Lifetime Achievement Award later this month, and they just published a great story on Dave and American Music Masters, written by Domino’s biographer ...


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These Women Rock

Monday, May 23: 4:56 p.m.
Inductees Darlene Love and Wanda Jackson plus Cyndi Lauper attend the Women Who Rock opening.

This past week the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened its new exhibit devoted to telling the story of some of rock and roll’s most iconic artists to rave reviews. The Wall Street Journal called Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power “thoroughly entertaining” and the Huffington Post said “It’s a must-see.” Here’s a look back at opening night from Meredith Rutledge, who lead the exhibit’s curation.

The opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s new Women Who Rock was a grand series of “wow” moments that are difficult to put into words. The first happened when Darlene Love looked at her section in the new inductee exhibit and then her display in the Women Who Rock exhibit.  If that wasn’t a big enough thrill, I was lucky enough to witness Darlene, Cyndi Lauper and Wanda Jackson all meeting for the first time. The three legends hugged and traded compliments with laughter and tears. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, inductee Ronnie Spector made a surprise appearance on the main stage, grabbing the microphone. I thought my head was going to explode when I saw Darlene step over ...


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Our wonderful time with Jerry Ragovoy

Monday, July 18: 4:51 p.m.
Jerry joined us for the American Music Masters tribute to Janis Joplin.

We were saddened to hear the news about the death of Jerry Ragovoy. Jerry was one of the greatest rock and soul songwriters and producers. His passionate, beautifully crafted songs continue to resonate: “Time is On My Side,” “Stay With Me,” “Get It While You Can,” “Ain’t Got Nobody to Give It To” and “Piece of My Heart,” to name just a handful. I was honored to interview Jerry at the Rock Hall’s American Music Masters tribute to Janis Joplin in 2009. He shared some great stories about how he wrote songs and what drew him to rhythm and blues. He talked extensively about working with Joplin (she recorded five of his songs: “Piece of My Heart,” “Cry Baby,” “Get It While You Can,” “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)” and “My ...


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Knee-Deep in Funk with George Clinton

Monday, August 22: 1 p.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
He's got the funk: George Clinton

On July 30, I hosted a Hall of Fame Series interview with George Clinton, founder and leading light behind Parliament and Funkadelic, who treated a sold-out audience in the Museum's Foster Theater to stories and insights he's gathered during his singular career.

One of the most creative individuals in music, Clinton was very generous in talking about his youth in New Jersey, his move to Detroit and the long gestation of Parliament and the birth of Funkadelic.

Clinton likened his role in Parliament-Funkadelic to that of a jazz bandleader working with different musicians from session to session, though recording under a single moniker. For decades, Clinton has been an innovative maestro, the visionary leading a rotating cast of musicians that is the Parliament-Funkadelic family.

Each time The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has an Inductee share his or her story as part of the live Hall of Fame Series, there are moments that really take the event to another level – and this event was no exception. The conversation got deep when we were joined on stage by several members of the group, including Lige Curry, Michael “Clip” Payne, and inductees “Billy Bass” Nelson and Michael ...


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Five Minutes With Fame: Robyn

Wednesday, August 24: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bookmark our blog for a new video from a different artist each week!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with Microsoft Zune for Five Minutes with Fame, an exclusive video series on the Zune Marketplace featuring singers, songwriters and bands at the forefront of today's music. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, we sit down to talk with each artist about their music, their road to success, inspirations, being on tour and of course, some of their favorite artists and artifacts highlighted in the Museum. This week's featured artist is Robyn.

Much like her Swedish pop-loving brethren, Scandinavian singer-songwriter Robyn has a gift for crafting indelible melodies, though it's not all sunshine and bubblegum. Her songs often favor a R&B groove and she sings with soulful conviction, a style cultivated by listening to her parent's American soul records. Her latest releases reflect an ambitious rethinking of what a pop song can be – and spotlight a woman who rocks.

Prompted by continued frustrations with record labels after more than a decade of making music, Robyn returned in 2005 on her own terms, releasing a self-titled album on her newly formed Konichiwa imprint. The album featured collaborations with a host of fellow ...


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Hearts of Heart: Ann and Nancy Wilson

Friday, August 26: 4:07 p.m.
(l-r) Ann and Nancy Wilson / Photo by Norman Seeff

When we discussed potential artists to include in the Women Who Rock exhibit, everyone wanted Heart included. Breaking out in the mid-1970s, Heart mixed hard rock riffs with intensely rhythmic acoustic songs and powerful harmonies, crashing onto FM radio like they owned it. Since then, they’ve managed to navigate changing trends and definitions of rock in the MTV and grunge eras with both hits and critical acclaim, and their most recent album, Red Velvet Car (2010), ranks with their best.

Ann and Nancy Wilson visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week for a terrific Legends series. They sat down with me for an interview, and then performed acoustic versions of “Dog and Butterfly,” “WTF,” “Sand” and “Crazy on You.” It was a great night. They shared their thoughts on the history of women in rock and roll, their influences and heroes, and their songwriting craft. They were funny and insightful, and obviously big time rock and roll fans.

Heart came out of the gates strong with their first album, Dreamboat Annie, which was released in the U.S. in February of 1976 and quickly climbed the charts behind the “Crazy on You” and “Magic Man” singles ...


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Today in Rock: Chrissie Hynde is Born

Wednesday, September 7: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Pretenders led by Chrissie Hynde

Akron native Chrissie Hynde is a rock pioneer and for decades the only constant in the lineup of 2005 Rock and Roll of Fame inductees, the Pretenders.  Born on September 7, 1951, she was one of the first women to front a popular rock band - not only as the singer, but also as main songwriter and bandleader - presenting a hard, unsentimental image that was far removed from the likes of Linda Ronstadt or Stevie Nicks. She seemed tough, and her songs, including “Tattooed Love Boys,” “Up the Neck” and “The Phone Call,”  could at times be unsparing, though she’d counterpoint those with sweeter tunes like “Kid” and “Don’t Get Me Wrong.”

In the early 1970s, Hynde moved to London in hopes of finding her footing in the music business. By 1978, budding vocalist and guitarist Hynde assembled the definitive Pretenders lineup with guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon and drummer Martin Chambers – all from rustic Hereford. The band took off almost instantly, mastering the blistering pace and aggression of punk (fitting as she was friendly with members of the Sex Pistols and The Clash) though with added dimension. Hynde's songs possessed the melodic sheen of well-turned pop ...


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