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Stories from the Birth of Rock and Roll with Sun Records’ The Miller Sisters

Monday, October 7: 5 p.m.
Posted by Hank Davis
The Miller Sisters: (l-r) Millie and Jo reunited after decades.

When Colin Escott, Martin Hawkins and I produced the three Bear Family Sun box sets that came out earlier this year, we were dealing with music history – and some pretty special history at that. For us, little was more important than Memphis music in the mid 1950s: the birth of rock & roll with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, and a host of seminal artists who cut their teeth at Sun Records.

We were faced with selecting the 250-plus tracks for each box set,choosing the photos and writing the liner notes. We were delving deep into rock and roll history, but there were also some opportunities to deal in the present tense. We could use the gala release event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to bring out of the shadows some of the less famous artists who were actually there when Sam Phillips was busy making music history in his tiny storefront studio on Union Avenue in Memphis.

There weren’t many chances. Most of the artists who had recorded for Sun during its Golden era were gone. But not all. The Miller Sisters recorded about a dozen titles ...


continue Categories: Elvis Presley, Hall of Fame, History of Rock and Roll

Interview with Curt and Cris Kirkwood of The Meat Puppets: Influences, Live, Playing with Nirvana, 20th anniversary of In Utero

Friday, October 4: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Meat Puppets / Photo by Jaime Butler

For more than three decades, brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood have been at the helm of the Meat Puppets. They got their start as a punk act in the Eighties, signing with Greg Ginn of Black Flag's SST Records and releasing a series of albums that quickly distinguished them from their punk and hardcore peers. While those and subsequent recordings – such as Meat Puppets II and Up On the Sun – delivered on the Puppets' knack for brash punk blasts, they also found the group cultivating a singular sound that embraced folk, country, psychedelia and blues-rock elements without skipping a beat. By the close of the Eighties, the Meat Puppets had found a cult following, thanks in part to popularity on college radio and the American underground scene.

After moving to major label London in the Nineties, the Meat Puppets were named as the opening act on Nirvana's In Utero tour beginning in 1993. That November, at the request of Kurt Cobain, Cris and Curt Kirkwood appeared on the taping of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged, performing three Meat Puppets' songs. By the summer of 1994, the Meat Puppets single "Backwater" (from Too High to Die) had become a hit ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews

Gallery Talk: Duane Allman's 1959 Gibson Les Paul Guitars

Thursday, September 19: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Duane Allman's highly prized 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitar, on exhibit at the Rock Hall

Few guitarists made as lasting an impression in such short order as Duane Allman. Beyond his work with the his namesake group and principal architects of Southern rock, the Allman Brothers Band, Duane was an in-demand session musician. A fixture at Muscle Shoals, Duane's playing can be heard on records by Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, among others, and he famously traded licks with Eric Clapton on Derek and the Dominos' 1970 release Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

This 1959 cherry sunburst Gibson Les Paul was acquired by Duane in the fall of 1970, after he fell in love with the instrument jamming with a band called the Stone Balloon in Daytona Beach, Florida. The guitar can be heard on the seminal Allman Brothers Band live concert recording At Fillmore East. Recorded at the famed NYC concert hall on March 12 and 13, 1971, sprawling jams such as "Whipping Post," inspired blues including a cover of "Statesboro Blues" and fiery, jazz-inspired epics like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" showcased Allman's near-singular dexterity and versatility as a true guitar virtuoso. 

Recently, the Gibson Custom Shop visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland with ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Gallery Talk, Inductee, Hall of Fame

Interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

Monday, September 16: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

Best Coast's 2013 tour dates recently included a stop at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. After the concert, during a rare moment of free time, band members Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where they were struck by such artifacts as the handwritten lyrics to the Beach Boys' classic song "God Only Knows." 

Based in Los Angeles, Best Coast formed in 2009 around the duo of Cosentino and Bruno, quickly releasing a host of 7" and EP recordings. In 2010, the group's single "When I'm With You" proved a breakout hit and was followed that July by Best Coast's debut album, Crazy For You. All the material showcased Cosentino and Bruno's lo-fi aesthetic and pop-hook sensibility, with references to the surf rock and girl groups of the Sixties the band admired.

With extensive touring and popular music videos – including 2011's "Our Deal" directed by Drew Barrymore – the band's star continued to rise. The band's sophomore effort, The Only Place, was released in 2012.

In this interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, the singer and songwriter talks about her influences – from Blink 182 ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Interview with Coliseum Singer and Guitarist Ryan Patterson

Monday, August 12: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Coliseum band (l-r): Kayhan Vaziri (bass), Carter Wilson (drums), Ryan Patterson (vocals/guitar)

After a decade of delivering their own riff-heavy brand of metallic rock harkening back to the punk, hardcore and post-hardcore sounds of their predecessors, Coliseum – vocalist and guitarist Ryan Patterson, bassist Kayhan Vaziri and drummer Carter Wilson – will perform live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Summer in the City concert on August 14, 2013. 

The group recently released their fourth full-length, Sister Faith, a 13-track blast of galvanized melodies at the collision point between punk and noise-rock. "Though punk rock may have been the template (and paradigms do shift), songwriting and emotional content have become Coliseum's focus," noted John Baizley of metal contemporaries Baroness. "And to that end, they have gracefully transitioned from the unrelenting anger, rage and rawness of youth to a more thought-provoking, yet no-less-powerful or insightful sound that is entirely their own."

The Rock Hall caught up with Ryan Patterson of Coliseum to talk rock and roll – everyone from Tom Petty, Run DMC, Les Paul and Bad Brains to the Beatles, the Who, Sex Pistols and Public Enemy.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: What artists did you listen to when you were growing up and what about them appealed to you ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Yes Talks About Future of Progressive Rock, Performing in China, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tour

Friday, August 9: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Chris Squire and Alan White of Yes in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Founded in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, Grammy-award winning recording artists Yes have created some of the most important and influential music in rock history. Throughout their career, Yes has been known for their esoteric lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and expansive songs, such as “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart” – to name a few. Having sold millions of records over a four-decade career, the band has overcome a generational shift in its audience, and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. They are currently on a world tour, playing three albums of their classic albums The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Going For The One in their entirety.

Recently, members of Yes – singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White and keyboardist Geoff Downes – were interviewed by education director Jason Hanley before a live audience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Following the interview, the group surprised the crowd with a short set ...


continue Categories: Education, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Interview with Silversun Pickups' Brian Aubert on Tour Stop in Cleveland

Thursday, August 8: 5:41 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Silversun Pickups visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum during tour stop in Cleveland.

Silversun Pickups – guitarist and vocalist Brian Aubert, bassist Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao and keyboardist Joe Lester – emerged on the LA music scene in the early 2000s alongside their 2005 debut, Pikul. The group's following grew dramatically in 2006 with the release of Carnavas, featuring the breakthrough single "Lazy Eye." That album and subsequent releases, including 2009's Swoon and 2012's Neck of the Woods, have showcased the band's gift for electrifying soundscapes, textured arrangements and male-female vocal harmonies. 

The Grammy-nominated quartet visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on August 8, 2013, touring the Museum before a gig at Cleveland's famous Agora Theater. Silversun Pickups singer/guitarist Brian Aubert sat down for an interview with the Rock Hall.

Rock Hall: What was the first record/CD you ever bought and do you still listen to it?

Brian Aubert: The first album I remember buying was Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual. I was really little, and I was on a family trip to Anchorage, Alaska. I found it in a mall and the purchase made me feel like an adult. Yes, I do listen to it here and there.

RH: What ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews

Members of Rise Against, the MC5, Rage Against the Machine and Gaslight Anthem Cover Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad"

Wednesday, August 7: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
RATM guitarist Tom Morello with Lead Belly's guitar at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Released in November 1995, The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen was a far cry from the celebratory rock and roll marathons of Born in the USA, sharing more in common with the sheer production and pointed commentary of his masterpiece, Nebraska. A largely acoustic album of spectral songs about marginalized characters struggling to survive in an increasingly troubled America, The Ghost of Tom Joad – and its gripping title track – recently found a new rock and roll audience. 

Nearly 17 years after its release, in September 2012, the Chicago punk quartet Rise Against breathed new life into the powerful narratives and blunt political commentary of Springsteen's "Joad" at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Joined on stage by Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon, the MC5's Wayne Kramer and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, the members of Rise Against delivered a bold recasting of "The Ghost of Tom Joad." The song will appear on the forthcoming Rise Against rarities compilation, Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013 (scheduled release date is September 10, 2013). 

"I remember watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th-anniversary special where Tom Morello played this song with Springsteen himself and ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews
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