A commanding stage presence is an essential element of the rock and roll spectacle. Beyond captivating audiences with their music, artists from Abba to ZZ Top have projected their quirks, singular identities and personas via unique stage costumes. Some artists' costume choices are icons to themselves – think Michael Jackson’s gilded glove or Elvis Presley’s bejeweled jumpsuit. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to many of these iconic costumes and ground-breaking designs. Here are some of our favorites, which you can see when visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum!
David Bowie's Suit, 1972 / Design by Freddie Burretti
David Bowie’s breakthrough came with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), a thoroughly modern album that promulgated the notion of rock star as space alien. Bowie melded rock with theater, creating the provocative character and alter ego “Ziggy Stardust." Bowie wore his lightning-bolt emblazoned suit onstage during his tour to support the album.
The Supremes' Dresses, 1969 / Design by Bob Mackie
The Supremes rose from the poverty of ...
In this exclusive interview with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, author, musician and .38 Special founding member and guitarist Jeff Carlisi shares his thoughts on legendary guitarist and Hall of Fame inductee Jimi Hendrix, including seeing Jimi Hendrix live in 1968.
"I actually saw Jimi Hendrix, and I still have photographs, I was a school photographer. I guess it was 1968 in Jacksonville, Florida. I don't remember anything about it. I look at the pictures, and I don't even remember being there, but I remember I had to see this guy because I remember sitting next to my grandmother's radio in Boston, Massachusetts, waiting all night long to hear this song that my cousin told me about, "Purple Haze." He couldn't describe it to me. I said, 'What does it sound like?' I had been playing guitar for a while and he said 'it was like nothing you've ever heard.' Finally it comes on and it was like, 'Oh my God -- you're kidding me.'
"Hendrix was a brilliant guitar player in the sense that he didn't play guitar -- guitar was his paintbrush. It was an extension of his mind. You could ...
In this exclusive Rock and Roll Hall of Fame interview with Hall of Fame Inductee Graham Nash, the musician talks about his experience getting high with Jimi Hendrix at a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention concert, looking for Rolling Stones member Brian Jones.
"Jimi Hendrix and I once went to the Royal Albert Hall to see Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. During the intermission, we spotted Brian Jones up in one of the boxes, and we wanted to go and get high with Brian. So, we got up from our seats, and we started to move along the seats and a spotlight found us. Now, quite frankly we were both on acid, so this bright light hitting us in the face when we thought that we were invisible was quite shocking to us, but we managed to make it all the way to Brian, to the box that Brian was in, and we managed to get higher than we were."
Over the course of a short career that only lasted a little more than five years, the Doors had a tremendous impact on rock and roll. They were a truly unique group, with a singer, Jim Morrison, who was a genuine poet with an almost mythical persona. Unlike most bands at the time, the Doors did not have a bass player. Ray Manzarek played the bass lines on his keyboards. John Densmore was a solid, steady drummer. And Robby Krieger was an elegant guitarist with a distinctive style unlike the blues-based guitar leanings favored by most his six-string peers. 20 years after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Robby Krieger sits down for an exclusive interview with the Rock Hall, reflecting on the passing of friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek, patching up differences with John Densmore, the Doors' greatest moments, where the Doors would've gone had Jim Morrison lived, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, what he's listening to now and more.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: First, let’s talk about Ray Manzarek’s death…. Did you see that coming? Had he been sick for a while?
Robby Krieger: Not really ...