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Essential Eddie: Van Halen’s Greatest Guitar Solos

Monday, January 26: 3:59 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley

Eddie Van Halen Greatest Guitar Solos of All time

In the pantheon of rock and roll's greatest guitarists, there is a cadre of fabled axemen who consistently bubble to the top, including such Hall of Fame Inductees as Jeff Beck, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, BB King and Jimmy Page – all artists represented at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. And no discussion of six-string masters would be complete without Eddie Van Halen, the innovative firebrand that turned the world of guitar playing on its ear in the late 70s and early 1980s.  "I was so used to doing old blues licks with the first three fingers," Van Halen once explained to a reporter. "When I started using my pinky and finding more spread things, that's when I started getting my own style." That style went on to influence millions of budding shredders. Here are five tracks that contributed to that influence:

Guitar Solo, from Live Without a Net (1986)
Van Halen went out with something to prove during the live tour for the 5150 album. With new singer Sammy Hagar, the band had to show fans and critics alike that it could keep rocking without Diamond Dave ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Jimi Hendrix, Hall of Fame

Is this the Greatest Photograph in Rock History?

Tuesday, January 20: 5:23 p.m.
Posted by Randal Doane

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives’ Author Series will welcome Randal Doane for a discussion about his new book, Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of the Clash on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 7 pm.

Below is an excerpt from Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of the Clash by Randal Doane.

The Clash Paul Simonon London Calling bass smash album cover punk rock history

With her Pentax camera in hand, Pennie Smith stepped onto the left wing of the stage of the Palladium, just behind the curtain, and waited for The Clash to return for their encore. It was September 21, 1979, the second of a two-night stint for The Clash in New York City. WNEW-FM, the album-oriented rock station that had recently found felicity in punk and new wave, supplied a live simulcast for the tri-state region. On the opposite stage wing, Richard Neer, the on-air host, gushed: “If you’ve never seen The Clash it’s an experience, I’ll tell you that. I was out front for a bit and it’s so loud. I’m used to loud music but it is loud to the point of real distortion, and the people are just totally enveloped in the music. . . . They’re dancing ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

5 Unbelievable Facts About Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On"

Friday, January 16: 12:18 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Marvin Gaye What's Going On Album Cover Art Rock Hall Cleveland

Don't miss the Rock Hall's 14th annual free admission day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 19!

Released in the Spring of 1971, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On was a transformative recording for Gaye and his Motown label. The nearly operatic concept album mused deeply on such issues as Vietnam, drugs, the decline of northern cities, the economy and the environment, all over a free-flowing musical backdrop that drew on jazz, pop and classical forms. Gaye referred to the album as a “gift from God,” and the album’s spiritual dimension found overt expression in his liner notes: “We’ve got to find the Lord. Allow him to influence us. I mean, what other weapons have we to fight the forces of hatred and evil?” With his inimitable voice, he provided nuanced perspective that immediately resonated with audiences – and has so for generations.

"My phone would ring, and it’d Motown wanting me to start working and I’d say, ‘Have you seen the paper today? Have you read about these kids who were killed at Kent State?’ The murders at Kent State made me sick," explained Marvin Gaye. "I couldn’t ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Hall of Fame, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Henry Rollins Weighs in on Cleveland's Punk Rock Past

Tuesday, January 13: 4:20 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Pere Ubu and David Thomas and Cleveland punk rock history

Recently, former Black Flag frontman, solo artist and writer Henry Rollins shared his top 10 underground songs of all time with Esquire magazine. So what does that have to do with Cleveland's rock history? Turns out, a lot.

DEVO Akron, Ohio, art rock "Whip It" yellow outfits Mark Motherbaugh at Rock HallMid-70s Cleveland was the perfect breeding ground for a band like Pere Ubu. The city had seen better days, and amid the post-industrial bleakness, a group of young creative men formed Pere Ubu. "Ohio was one of the most fertile grounds for what could be called underground music. I could make this list only using bands from this state and do just fine," Rollins said. "David Thomas, Pere Ubu's vocalist and leader of the band to this day, has been making records under the Pere Ubu moniker as well as solo for decades. He is one of my favorite performers, and I see him whenever the opportunity presents itself. The band's early singles are now fairly pricey items... What is true of [the Pere Ubu track] 'Final Solution' is true of this initial batch of Ubu. It is visionary stuff from the schools of rock, what would be called punk, and art, all mixing with time, place, and restless ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews

5 Must-See Items in the Rock Hall's New Paul Simon Exhibit

Tuesday, December 23: 11:15 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

After countless hours researching, interviewing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Paul Simon and collecting for Paul Simon: Words and Music, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum lead curator Craig Inciardi shares some of his favorite things in the new Paul Simon feature exhibit, which opened October 30, 2014.

What was Paul Simon's first guitar? Stadium acoustic guitar played by Paul Simon

1. Paul Simon's First Acoustic Guitar
All musicians get their start somewhere. On his 13th birthday, Paul Simon received his first guitar as a gift from his father Louis Simon, who was a musician. His father taught him a few chords and Simon quickly realized that many of the popular songs from the 1950s – the ones he was listening to – used the same chords and patterns. He and childhood friend Art Garfunkel began to write songs using those voicings. The first song they wrote using the Stadium brand acoustic guitar was called “The Girl for Me.” 

2. Letter from Paul Simon to Art Garfunkel
Paul Simon wrote this letter dated August 13, 1957, when he was attending summer camp in Bellport, New York.  Art Garfunkel was at different summer camp in New Jersey, and it was a pivotal moment in their young lives. They had been singing ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, Paul Simon

What are Paul McCartney's Favorite Ringo Starr Songs?

Thursday, December 18: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Sir Paul McCartney talks about Ringo Starr, his favorite Beatles songs and Ringo Starr solo

Last night, two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Paul McCartney appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he talked about former Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr. This week Starr learned he was being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 2015 class.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Starr told the story of how McCartney called to break the big news. "He said he'd been talking to Dave Grohl and other people and they were stunned that I wasn't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he needed something to do that night, and he's going to give me the award," said Starr of McCartney's phone call. "I didn't know that George [Harrison] and John [Lennon] were in it," Starr added. "I'm not keeping up with it all the time. We'll have a very nice evening and it'll be my pleasure to receive the award… And it means, finally, the four of us are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though we were the biggest pop group in the land."

Want to see the largest Beatles exhibit ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, The Beatles, Inductee, Hall of Fame

Rock Hall 2015: Who's Getting Inducted, How to Get Ceremony Tickets and the New Exhibit in Cleveland

Tuesday, December 16: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

who are the 2015 rock and roll hall of fame inductees

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is proud to announce the 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees. The Rock Hall's 2015 class includes the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and Bill Withers, all in the performer category.

This year's class also recognizes the "5" Royales with the early influences award, and former Beatle and solo artist Ringo Starr enters the Hall of Fame – the last of the Fab Four to be inducted as a soloist, following John Lennon in 1994, Paul McCartney in 1999 and George Harrison in 2004.

“As we mark 30 years of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, we’re proud to honor these artists,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President Joel Peresman. "These Inductees epitomize rock and roll’s impact over the past 50 years and continuing through today."

Leading up to the April 18, 2015 ceremony, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will host a series of special events, including the grand opening of the major new 2015 Inductee exhibit, which will serve as an introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame visitor ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, The Beatles, Hall of Fame

Ian McLagan and Small Faces/Faces Bandmates Light Up Inductions Stage with "Stay With Me" in 2012

Thursday, December 4: 5:10 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Hall of Fame Inductee Ian McLagan photo taken in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives in 2012.

Hall of Fame Inductee Ian McLagan was among the most prominent unifying threads that linked the Small Faces – a band of mod rockers who embraced soul and psychedelia in the 60s – to the Faces, a rollicking band of roots rockers who took the 70s by storm. A wickedly talented musician, McLagan's percussive playing, nuanced accompaniment and versatility behind the keys made him integral to shaping the Small Faces/Faces sound across two decades, and his influence continued long after the Faces disbanded in 1975.

On April 12, 2012, while in Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Ian McLagan was joined on stage by former Small Faces/Faces bandmates including guitarist Ronnie Wood and drummer Kenny Jones, while Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall stepped up on lead vocals, filling in for the late Steve Marriott and an ill Rod Stewart. The group ripped through three classics from the Small Faces/Faces oeuvre: "All or Nothing," "Ooh La La" and "Stay With Me."

Pictured above: Ian McLagan at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library and Archives in 2012. Check out more from the Library and Archives!

From 1972's A Nod ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, Hall of Fame, Rare Performances
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