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10 Essential Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs

Monday, April 2: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The Red Hot Chili Peppers merged the sounds and sensibilities of punk, funk and hip-hop to become an iconic and hugely popular group. Their music and lifestyles reflect the Southern California milieu in which they were born. They have been a band given to extremes, from thrashy, funky noise and personal excess to sunnier music and healthier living.

They formed in Los Angeles in 1983 as a foursome with Anthony Kiedis, Michael "Flea" Balzary, Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons. The last two left before the recording of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' self-titled 1984 debut and were replaced by drummer Cliff Martinez and guitarist Jack Sherman. Slovak returned for Freaky Styley (produced by George Clinton), and Irons rejoined for 1987's The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. After Slovak's 1988 death by heroin overdose, guitarist John Frusciante was recruited, and drummer Chad Smith replaced Irons.

This was the lineup that recorded the classic albums Mother's Milk (1989), Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), Californication (1999), By the Way (2002) and Stadium Arcadium (2006). Frusciante took a hiatus from 1993-1997 and left for good in 2009, replaced by Josh Klinghoffer, who'd been the band's auxiliary tour guitarist. The ...

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Bruce Springsteen Exhibit Moves to the Streets of Philadelphia

Monday, February 20: 1 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum VP of exhibitions and curatorial Jim Henke talks Springsteen

From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen opened at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this past weekend. The Rock Hall curated the exhibit, and it was the major temporary exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum from April 2009 to February 2011.

The Springsteen exhibit was not originally intended to travel, but after representatives from the Constitution Center came to Cleveland to see it, they thought it would be a great fit for their museum. We had several discussions with them, and we worked with Springsteen’s management to see whether moving it was a possibility. In the end, we all agreed that it made sense to take the exhibit to the Constitution Center. After all, Springsteen’s roots go back to the Jersey Shore, an area not that far from Philadelphia. Moreover, Springsteen is a truly American musician and songwriter, someone who has given voice to the restlessness, hopes and dreams of ordinary Americans. Millions of listeners have found their experience of the American dream reflected in his songs about the lonely, the lost, the unemployed, immigrants and military veterans. The City of Brotherly Love was ...

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2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

Wednesday, December 7: 5:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions in Cleveland!

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its inductees for 2012, and the inductees are:

Performer Category:


Early Influence:


Ahmet Ertegun (nonperformer) Award:


The Award for Musical Excellence:


“We are pleased to announce this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, who represent the broad spectrum of artists that define rock and roll,” says Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “We are also thrilled this year to again be partnered with HBO, who presented the Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Concerts.”

The 27th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in Cleveland and premiere on HBO in early May. The 2012 ceremony will again be open to the public, as it was – for the first time in the event’s history – at the 2009 Inductions in Cleveland.

 “Our previous collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a landmark television event,” says Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming.  “We are delighted to ...

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McCartney's Letter to Lennon

Wednesday, November 23: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Paul McCartney inducts John Lennon

In 1994, John Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. His longtime friend and musical collaborator Paul McCartney, making his first Hall of Fame appearance, inducted Lennon. More personal than the traditional induction speech, McCartney read a "letter" to Lennon, recounting a number of moving memories and thanking Lennon.

McCartney shared stories from their earliest attempts at writing songs together, teaching Lennon guitar chords and visiting Lennon's "Mum's house." He talked of their hotel visits with Little Richard and Gene Vincent, and spending time with Elvis Presley. He recalled Lennon's advice for handling the vocals on the Beatles' "Kansas City" and the "sneaky little look" they shared during the writing of "A Day In The Life." McCartney discussed meeting "this girl called Yoko Ono" – who later accepted Lennon's Hall of Fame Award on behalf of her late husband. The heartfelt letter moved many to tears.

"The joys you told me about how you were baking bread now and how you were playing with your little baby Sean," said McCartney of reconnecting with Lennon later in life. "That was great for me, because it gave me something to hold ...

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Memorializing Les Paul

Tuesday, September 13: 1:51 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Les Paul memorial in Waukesha, Wisconsin

This past Saturday, I was fortunate to be in Waukesha, Wisconsin, to take part in the dedication of a memorial to Hall of Fame inductee Les Paul. The memorial is in Prairie Home Cemetery, where the legendary guitarist is buried. The event was attended by Les’ family and friends, including his son Russ. Michael Braunstein, Les’ longtime manager and the executive director of the Les Paul Foundation, served as the emcee of the event. Others in attendance included Lou Pallo, who played guitar in the Les Paul Trio for almost 30 years, Henry Juszkiewicz, the chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar, and Ron Sturm, the owner of the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, where Les played shows every Monday night, from 1995 until his death in 2009.

All of the speakers heaped tons of praise on Les. His son said, “He was a person who hit a lot of hearts,” and that was clear from the commentaries. Lou Pallo said: “He was a genius. He was a great, great, great musician.” Gibson’s Juszkiewicz also called Les a “genius,” and he talked about his inventiveness. Speaking about the house where Les lived in New Jersey, the Gibson CEO ...

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Riding With The Man in Black

Monday, September 12: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Johnny Cash (2/26/1932 - 9/12/2003)

With a genre-spanning catalog that straddles the country, folk and rockabilly canon, and more than 400 songs that tapped into a homespun narrative about the lives of coal miners, sharecroppers, Native Americans, prisoners, cowboys, renegades and family men, Johnny Cash – "the man in black" – is a country music legend and a voice beloved by millions. Cash's rugged sensibility has influenced generations: From his 1956 two-sided hit "So Doggone Lonesome"/"Folsom Prison Blues" (Number Four on the Billboard charts) to 1969's "A Boy Named Sue" from Johnny Cash at San Quentin (Number Two on the charts); to his critically acclaimed American Recordings (produced by Rick Rubin and released in 1994) to 2002's American IV: The Man Comes Around, featuring a stirring cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt." Cash, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, passed away a year after American IV's release, on September 12, 2003 at the age of 71.

Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas, on February 26, 1932, amid the trying environment of the Great Depression. As a child, his humble beginnings found him working in the cotton fields of Dyess, Arkansas, where his family had moved ...

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Celebrating the Life of Otis Redding

Friday, September 9: 1 p.m.
Otis Redding

Otis Redding would have celebrated his 70th birthday today, so we're delighted that the opening of the Rock Hall’s Otis Redding exhibit coincides with and commemorates his birth and remarkable life. The spotlight exhibit allows Redding's life and legacy to shine through with a collection of treasured personal effects and career mementos.

Otis Redding’s life and music embodied the essence of soul. He was a self-professed country boy from Macon, Georgia, and he had it all: a big, gravelly voice, an immense gift for songwriting and a generous, hardworking disposition. There was earthiness and candor in his every performance, be it slow, soulful ballads like “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “Try a Little Tenderness” or fast-paced numbers like “Respect” and “I Can’t Turn You Loose.” Producer Jerry Wexler said of Redding’s performances, “You could feel this plea coming from him.” Bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn of Booker T. and the MG’s recalled: “Otis would come in, and boy, he’d just bring everybody up. ‘Cause you knew something was gonna be different. When Otis was there, it was just revitalization of the whole thing. You wanted to play with Otis. He ...

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Elton John's World of Rock

Thursday, September 8: 12:01 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Sir Elton John

Tonight, Elton John's 2011 World Tour stops in Cleveland, Ohio, at Blossom Music Center, one of more than 100 dates that will take the charismatic, chart-topping musician to North and South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. It's a suitably international schedule for one of the most successful musical artists of the modern era, one whose popularity ranks with – and longevity surpasses – Elvis Presley among rock and rollers. In 1992, he broke Presley’s record for the most consecutive years of Top 40 hits on Billboard’s singles chart, having been a continual presence in every year since “Your Song” debuted in December 1970.

Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, Elton John and longtime lyricist and partner Bernie Taupin came to identify and shape the mood of the '70s from its inception. During 1971 alone, four new Elton John albums made their appearance on Billboard’s album chart: the western-themed Tumbleweed Connection; the soundtrack to an obscure film, Friends; the live album 11-17-70, recorded on that date at a New York radio station’s studio; and Madman Across the Water, which contained the favorites “Tiny Dancer,” “Levon” and the brooding title track. Honky Chateau, which appeared in ...

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