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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Inspired Message and Gift to Rock and Roll

Monday, January 21: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
Rock Hall salutes the pioneering spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his lasting inspiration

Today, January 21, 2013, we welcome visitors to the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, an event that celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King. There are performances, speakers and admission to the Museum is free. 

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday observance is a time for people to reflect on the accomplishments of the African-American people, including the art form known today as rock and roll. If not for the struggles and sacrifices that Dr. King and his contemporaries made, the voices and musical talents of many African-American artists may not have come to be respected and recognized at the level they are today. 

Naturally, the Rock Hall salutes those visionary musicians who were the genesis of rock and roll – not just on Martin Luther King Day, but every day. King's pioneering spirit is echoed in the music that is the foundation of rock and roll, the foundation of all the Rock Hall celebrates. 

rare Lead Belly acoustic guitar and blues exhibitThe Rock Hall's "Roots of Rock" exhibit highlights the importance of recognizing rock's origins – those true pioneers – including gospel, blues, jazz and R&B, soul, country and folk music ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Exhibit, Event

Rare Performances: Cream in 1993 – "Sunshine of Your Love"

Friday, January 11: 3 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Eric Clapton on stage with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Cream, performing "Sunshine of Your Love"

“It was a group of talented musicians that made up – three guys that expressed, power…creating a sound that everybody in this room can relate to and certainly set the stage for our outfit.” – Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top inducting Cream into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Formed in July 1966 and widely regarded as being the first successful supergroup, Cream was a British rock outfit made up of guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. By the time the trio came together, they were far from rock and roll neophytes, as each member of the group had found success in other acts during the 1960s. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were members of Blues Incorporated until the band broke up in 1963, while Clapton was a member of the Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965. The same year Clapton exited the Yardbirds, Bruce joined John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (which also featured Clapton on guitar). By 1966, Bruce was a member of Manfred Mann and continued to collaborate with Clapton as a member of Powerhouse, which included Hall of Fame inductee Steve Winwood

In their short 28-month run, Cream became a commercial success ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances

Celebrating David Bowie – His Birthday, His New Single and His Rock and Roll Legacy

Tuesday, January 8: 4 p.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
David Bowie celebrates his 66th birthday with new single, "Where are We Now?"

Any kid that grew up in the 1970s with dreams of becoming the next guitar hero had to start somewhere – usually playing a cheap acoustic model and trying to master the Mel Bay chord chart. The exciting part came when your slightly more advanced friends – and fellow budding guitarists – passed along a few iconic rock and roll licks: the opening riff to Chuck Berry’s "Johnny B. Goode," the bassline to Deep Purple’s "Smoke on the Water" and that ringing D chord hammer-on flourish in David Bowie’s "Ziggy Stardust." These were the ones that you played endlessly, and especially enthusiastically if the song happened to come on the radio. 

David Bowie, who opened his first U.S. tour in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 22, 1972, marks another milestone today with his first new release in a decade, "Where are We Now?," as he also celebrates his 66th birthday. The song's title gave me pause, prompting me to wonder where rock and roll would be without David Bowie.

For decades, Bowie's music has challenged and captivated fans and critics alike. Sending bold messages ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Rare Performances: Jimi Hendrix Experience All-Star Tribute Jam

Tuesday, November 27: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
The Jimi Hendrix Experience were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992

“You can play or you can transcend. You can go as far, there’s no boundaries how far you can go in your own body and how far your mind can expand while you are playing and Jimi showed me that... I learned that from Jimi.” -  Neil Young, inducting the Jimi Hendrix Experience into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1992

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix, was born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942 in Seattle Washington. Hendrix’s first studio recording was in March 1964, on the Isley Brothers' track “Testify.” From 1964 to 1966, Hendrix recorded and toured with a number of artists from Arthur Lee of Love to Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner and King Curtis. In September of 1966, Hendrix went to London with Chas Chandler of the Animals, who was instrumental in forming the Experience.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience formed in London in October 1966, and was composed of singer, songwriter and guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell.

The Experience didn’t come into prominence in the United States until their 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where the band’s performance ended with Hendrix ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Rare Performances, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Interview with Al Hendrix: Jimi Hendrix's Father Reflects on the Life of His Son

Tuesday, November 27: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Jimi Hendrix's father Al shares stories about his son

In 2000, Al Hendrix, father of legendary guitarist, songwriter and musician Jimi Hendrix, sat down for an interview in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Jimi Hendrix exhibit. In this clip, Al Hendrix shares memories of his son, including Jimi's first interest in music and playing the guitar, Jimi's move to London, the first time he heard Are You Experienced, seeing his son perform for the first time, hearing Jimi's version of "The Star Spangled Banner" and more.


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Gallery Talk: Jimi Hendrix's Guitars

Tuesday, November 27: 9:30 a.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to a singular collection of Jimi Hendrix artifacts that help tell his story, from his boyhood days in Seattle, Washington, through his meteoric rise to superstardom. 

In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer tells the story behind two of the guitars featured in the Rock Hall's Jimi Hendrix exhibit: the 1967 Gibson Flying V dubbed "Love Drops" and the 1960s 12-string Zemaitis acoustic made famous when Hendrix played it in the 1973 movie A Film About Jimi Hendrix.


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Imagine"

Tuesday, October 9: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
John Lennon's "Imagine" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

"Imagine" became one of the enduring anthems of John Lennon's post-Beatles work. In an interview days before his death, he made a case for the brotherhood of man and woman: "That should be credited as a Lennon/Ono song. A lot of it – the lyric and the concept –came from Yoko, but in those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution, but it was right out of Grapefruit, her book; there's a whole pile of pieces about imagine this and imagine that, and I have given her credit now long overdue." Ono downplayed her involvement, claiming the period was ripe for mutual inspiration. Lennon responded, "Yeah, but if it had been Bowie, I would have put 'Lennon/Bowie' if it had been a male, you know... but when we did it, I just put 'Lennon' because, you know, she's just the wife and, you know, you don't put her name on, right?" Co-produced by Lennon, Ono and Phil Spector, "Imagine" was recorded in July 1971 at John's home studio in Tittenhurst Park. It reached Number Three on Billboard's Hot ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Spotlight Exhibit: Joe Strummer's 1966 Fender Telecaster

Tuesday, August 21: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Joe Strummer with 1966 Fender Telecaster / photo by Masao Nakagami

The Clash possessed an indefinable chemistry that makes for a great band. Their explosive, uptempo punk-rock manifestos were unleashed with pure adrenaline and total conviction. Following the Sex Pistols’ dissolution in January 1978, the Clash became the central voice of the punk movement and remained at the forefront for five years. Their albums - The Clash (1977), Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978), London Calling (1979), Sandinista! (1980) and Combat Rock (1982) - captured the tumult of the times with unerring instinct and raw power.

the Clash Joe Strummer signature Fender TelecasterRhythm guitarist Joe Strummer – born John Mellor in Ankara, Turkey, on August 21, 1952 – wrote most of the words and lead guitarist Mick Jones contributed much of the music. Bassist Paul Simonon’s background in painting and sculpture helped shape the band’s aesthetic overview. Topper Headon was a journeyman drummer who found his niche powering the Clash. “As a mix of personalities,” noted writer Lenny Kaye, “the Clash was a perfect engine.” They ran hottest on a concert stage, where all their political zeal and undaunted idealism found expression in music erupted with an exhilarating forcefulness. Lester Bangs described the Clash in concert as “a desperation uncontrived, unstaged, a fury unleashed on the stage and writhing ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit
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