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 ...
Rarely does a performer debut as a fully formed artist. The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s appearance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival instantly secured the group's reputation – and that of its hyper charismatic frontman – as the most incendiary in rock and roll and made a legend of Hendrix.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience. Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe. Visit Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience to immerse yourself in this story.
After shaking the nation with his performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969, rock legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Jimi Hendrix, will now be honored by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Hendrix is joining Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles in the USPS' music icon stamp series on Thursday, March 13, 2014.
The debut of the stamp will be at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference at Butler Park in Austin, Texas, featuring a special all-star unveiling concert. This Jimi Hendrix celebration will include performances by Hall of Fame Inductees Slash and Robby Krieger of the Doors, as well as the MC5’s Wayne Kramer and Paul McCartney’s longtime guitarist Rusty Anderson, Dave and Phil Alvin of the Blasters and others.
In what's shaping up to be a big year for Hendrix fans, the stamp announcement comes alongside new Jimi Hendrix presence at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. The Museum recently acquired a handful of new Jimi Hendrix artifacts to add to its already abundant Jimi Hendrix exhibit, including various outfits, shirts and his purple “applejack” style suede cap. One of the outfits ...
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum presents its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience, which will open on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an immersive and engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience.
Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists – both old and new – or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe.
Fan vote and fan-curated exhibit
Beginning Tuesday, March 11 fans around the world will have the opportunity to vote for the Top 10 rock festival performance moments of all-time. From Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bob Dylan’s performance in Newport in 1965 to Daft Punk’s Coachella performance in 2006, fans will vote for 10 breakout performance and highlights from the last 50 years of festivals. The fan vote will close on Wednesday, April 2 at 5 p.m. ET. The Top 10 festival moments of all-time as voted by fans will ...
It only takes one song to start a rock revolution. That trigger, in late 1991, was “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” an exhilarating blast of punk-rock confrontation by Nirvana, a scruffy trio from Seattle. “Teen Spirit,” its moshpit-party video and Nirvana’s kinetic live shows propelled their second album, Nevermind, to Number One and turned singer-guitarist-songwriter Kurt Cobain into the voice and conscience of an alternative-rock nation sick of hair metal and the conservative grip of the Reagan-Bush ‘80s. Founded by Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in the logging town of Aberdeen, Washington, Nirvana were underground stars when they made 1989’s Bleach with drummer Chad Channing. Moving from the indie Sub Pop label to Geffen, the band – with drummer Dave Grohl – packed Cobain’s corrosive riffs, emotionally acute writing and twin passions for the Beatles and post-punk bands like the Melvins and the Pixies into Nevermind. A multi-platinum seller, it included the hits “Come As You Are” and “Lithium” and opened the mainstream gates for Green Day, Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins. In 1993, Nirvana released the caustic masterpiece, In Utero, and gave a historic performance on MTV’s Unplugged. But in April 1994, Cobain – suffering from drug addiction and ...