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Behind the Scenes: Rage Against the Machine's Tour Van

Monday, November 19: 4:01 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Inspecting the Rage Against the Machine tour van upon arrival at the Rock Hall's storage facility

 

Recently, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, who are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut self-titled album's release, donated the 1985 Chevy Astro van that he and his bandmates used as a tour vehicle in the earliest days of their career. Set to go on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, in early 2013, the Rock Hall's curatorial team got a first look at the van and its contents in preparation of it being exhibited. 

In a letter to the Rock Hall's curatorial department, Tom Morello wrote:

"Rage toured with this vehicle from 1991-1993, opening for Pearl Jam, Public Enemy and Ice T, and countless shows of our own. From desperate escapes from Tijuana to fomenting riots in Bakersfield, the Astro was always there. The Astro was also my ride at Harvard taking my various cover bands around the campus and the Boston area. And of course it accompanied me on the Great Trek West in 1986 when I packed my worldly belongings and headed out to California to seek my destiny. The old girl has been sitting in a parking lot for some years now ...


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Interview with Guitarist Joe Bonamassa

Wednesday, October 24: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Guitarist Joe Bonamassa will perform live at the 2012 AMM tribute concert honoring Chuck Berry

Guitarist Joe Bonamassa is a charismatic blues-rock star and singer-songwriter of stylistic depth and emotional resonance. A child prodigy, Bonamassa caught B.B. King’s ear at the age of 10. After hearing him play for the first time, King said: “This kid's potential is unbelievable. He hasn't even begun to scratch the surface. He's one of a kind.” By age 12, Bonamassa was opening shows for the blues icon and went on to tour with artists such as Buddy Guy, Foreigner, Robert Cray, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker and Gregg Allman. Bonamassa’s recording career began in the early ’90s with Bloodline, a hard-charging blues-rock group also featuring Robby Krieger’s son, Waylon, and Miles Davis’ son Erin. His 2000 solo debut, A New Day Yesterday, was produced by 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Tom Dowd.

Joe Bonamassa interview and guitar soloHe was named Billboard’s Number One Blues Artist in 2010 based on the charting success of Black Rock, the Number Two Billboard Blues Album of 2010, and 2009’s Ballad of John Henry, which was Number Nine. In June 2010, he played the main stage at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago and in ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Education, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Interview with Photographer Robert Alford: Photographing Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top in Mexico

Tuesday, September 18: 1:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Photographer Robert Alford tells the story behind his trip to Mexico with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons

A leading music photographer, Robert Alford has had his work featured in Creem, Rolling Stone and People magazines and on television, album covers and liner notes. The extensive list of musicians he has photographed reads like a "who's who" of popular music, from AC/DC to ZZ Top. In this interview, Alford shares the story of his trip to Mexico with ZZ Top singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons, and the misadventures they shared along the way all to get the perfect photo. Robert Alford's photos are the subject of Just Can't Get Enough, an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland,Ohio.


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Spotlight Exhibit: Grateful Dead at Giza

Monday, September 17: 10 a.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
Jerry Garcia and Donna Jean Godchaux of the Grateful Dead perform at Giza in 1978

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the story behind the Grateful Dead's performances at the Great Pyramid of Giza in 1978, including the dress vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux wore during one of the Grateful Dead's performances during the group's three-night engagement and the artwork created by Kerry to commemorate the occasion. Both items are featured in Grateful Dead: the Long, Strange Trip, on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, through 2012.


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit

Interview with Grateful Dead Drummer Mickey Hart

Tuesday, September 11: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Mickey Hart shares the story of how he joined the Grateful Dead

In 2012, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart sat for an interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was on hand to perform and help open the Grateful Dead: the Long, Strange Trip exhibit. In this clip, Hart shares the story of when he first saw the Grateful Dead perform, before he was a member, and how an invitation from founding drummer Bill Kreutzmann to come by a practice session eventually led to Hart's first live performance with the band at the Straight Theater in San Francisco. "I had never heard their music," says Hart. "And then we started playing and hours later it stopped ...  And Jerry [Garcia] said, 'We could take this around the world. This is the Grateful Dead.'"


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Interview with Bill Pinkney of the Drifters

Friday, September 7: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bill Pinkney of the Drifters reflects on his time with Buddy Holly

September 7, 2012 would have been Buddy Holly's 76th birthday. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Holly recorded a catalog of songs – "Rave On," "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be the Day," "Oh Boy!" and "Maybe Baby," among them – that are rock and roll standards. He was born Charles Hardin Holley (later amended to "Holly") on September 7, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas, and learned to play guitar, piano and fiddle at an early age. Holly was an innovator who wrote his own material and was among the first to exploit such advanced studio techniques as double-tracking at Norman Petty’s recording studio in Clovis, New Mexico. He pioneered and popularized the now-standard rock-band lineup of two guitars, bass and drums. In February 1955, Holly opened a show at the Lubbock Youth Center for Elvis Presley, an event that hastened his conversion from country and western to rock and roll. ("We owe it all to Elvis,” he later said). Between August 1957 and August 1958, Holly and the Crickets charted seven Top 40 singles. While the wealth of material he recorded in that short time made a major and lasting impact on popular music, it ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Education, Exclusive Interviews

Spotlight Exhibit: Grateful Dead "Wall of Sound"

Tuesday, August 28: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia beside a small portion of the "Wall of Sound" /photo by Richard Pechner

The Grateful Dead's "Wall of Sound" was among the band's greatest gifts to fans and a remarkable technical achievement. Powered by McIntosh amps, the Dead's "Wall of Sound" quite literally helped set the stage for some of the group's most triumphant live performances. In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer tells the story of its creation. Grateful Dead: the Long, Strange Trip is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, through 2012. Speakers and amplifiers from the Grateful Dead's "Wall of Sound" are among the objects featured in the exhibit.


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Interview with James Brown Biographer RJ Smith

Monday, August 27: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Author RJ Smith discusses 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee James Brown

After presenting at the Rock Hall Library and Archives in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 23, 2012, RJ Smith, author of The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where he discussed discoveries made while researching The One and how James Brown influenced many rock and roll musicians, including the Rolling Stones and the Who. Here, RJ Smith talks with the Rock Hall in the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit, in front of the "Respect – the Sound of Soul" display containing, among other artifacts, James Brown's "Sex" jumpsuit, which he wore on stage during the 1970s.


continue Categories: Inductee, Library and Archives, Exclusive Interviews
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