ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM :: Blog
Tuesday, November 10: 2:02 p.m.
Rock and Roll Night School on November 9. Photo: Rock Hall/Janet Macoska.
Rock Hall’s Director of Education Discusses the Sound of Janis’ Voice
Last night we hosted the first event of American Music Masters week: Rock and Roll Night School at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. The evening featured multi-media presentations by Dr. Lauren Onkey, Dr. Mary Davis (Chair of the Music Department at CWRU), and myself, examining Janis Joplin’s contributions to rock and roll history.
My presentation focused on what I most love about Joplin: her voice! Her vocal performances are so moving. She makes you feel something. She makes you want to jump and shout, dance and sing. People often talk about the wild abandon of her voice, as if she experienced a kind of rapture in her performances that pushed her and her audience to the edge. But after diving deep into her music over the last year I realized that her performances of rapture were just that, performances. It’s not that she didn’t feel them, but as a performer she worked at refining the way she created these moments for her audience. A great example of this is her performances of the classic Big Mama Thornton tune “Ball ...
Monday, November 9: 2:21 p.m.
TEAC Four Track Cassette Recorder from the Rock Hall's Springsteen Exhibit (photo: Rock Hall/Design
Chief Curator Jim Henke talks to Bruce Springsteen.
This is the last audio interview clip in the Springsteen series from the Rock Hall’s exhibit From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen (open through Summer 2010).
Bruce Springsteen performs tomorrow night at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans arena. Click here for details.
In this segment of my interview, Bruce Springsteen talks about Nebraska, the solo acoustic album he released in 1982. In 1980, prior to embarking on The River tour, Bruce was basically broke. Despite all of his success, legal fees, taxes and the cost of studio time had taken their toll. So, in early 1982, he decided to try recording in a more low-tech way in an effort to save money. He asked his guitar tech, Mike Batlan, to purchase a four-track Teac cassette recorder. They set it up in Bruce’s bedroom. Many of the songs were cut in only one day, several of them in only one take. His intention was to create demos and cut them later with the full band. “I went into the studio,” Bruce said, “brought in the band, re-recorded, re-mixed and succeeded in making the whole ...
Monday, November 9: 2:11 p.m.
American Music Masters week has arrived! We kick things off tonight with a special edition of Rock and Roll Night School on Janis Joplin’s career at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. Everybody’s cranking Janis tunes around here today—in the last 10 minutes, I’ve heard “Ball and Chain,” (twice!) “Maybe,” “Bye Bye Baby” and “Cry Baby.”
I’m pleased to announce that we’ve added three artists to the bill for Saturday evening’s concert at PlayhouseSquare: Rock Hall Inductee Michael Carabello will be joining his old Santana bandmate Gregg Rolie during the show. Mike is a fantastic percussionist—he’s recorded with Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, and the Rolling Stones, among others. Blues singer and songwriter Nick Gravenites will also be joining us. Nick crossed paths with Janis Joplin in the early 1960s during her first trip to San Francisco. Nick wrote “Buried Alive in the Blues,” which Janis was due to record for Pearl when she died (an instrumental version appeared on the final album). He has written songs for Paul Butterfield, The Electric Flag, James Cotton, and Quicksilver Messenger Service, among many others. And our last ...
Thursday, November 5: 2:56 p.m.
The Rock Hall's Atlantic Records exhibition case in the Main Exhibit Hall.
While the Rock Hall team was in New York for the 25th Anniversary Concerts, a celebration of the late Jerry Wexler’s life and his legacy was held at the Director’s Guild. This tribute was a lively event meant to rejoice in all of the music that Hall of Fame Inductee Jerry was responsible for or had touched in his inimitable way.
Jerry’s daughter and son, Lisa and Paul, got it started with a few words about their Dad. Both discussed how much he meant to each of them and what a powerful influence he had been on their lives as well as so many others in the music industry.
The program was divided into two parts: first, speakers who gave personal remembrances; and second, a group of performers doing renditions of songs that Jerry produced and/or loved…..or both.
Many of the speakers gave testimony as to what Jerry had meant to their lives. Several talked of his being a “rabbi” of sorts. David Ritz, who co-authored Jerry’s autobiography and is the dean of musical biographers, even provided the audience with some very specific legal advice that Jerry had proffered in response to one of ...
Wednesday, October 28: 4:12 p.m.
The Rock Hall's new Foster Theater is now open!
On Monday night we dedicated the new state-of the art Foster Theater at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is one of the most technologically advanced theaters in the country and it was made possible by the generous support of Gregg and Madelyn Foster. Designed by Oscar-winning architect Jeff Cooper, it features Dolby 3D, remote control video cameras, an incredible sound system and the capability to stream events and video conference.
At the dedication we recognized the Fosters for their support—and screened the U2 3D concert film. It was a fantastic event attended by many board members, and local luminaries—including Cleveland Cavaliers players and front office. They were in town because the season opener was the next night against the Lakers.
The theater is an important component of a major initiative to upgrade the Museum and construct and operate the Rock and Roll
photo caption: U2 3D will screen in the Foster Theater until January 2.
Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives. The theater hosts the Museum’s educational and public programs serving hundreds of thousands of students and visitors each year. The renovation prepares the Museum for live-streaming content to enhance its award-winning distance ...
Tuesday, October 27: 4:14 p.m.
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Were you there? Do you remember when? As we gear up for our 2009 American Music Masters celebration, Kozmic Blues: The Life and Music of Janis Joplin, a few friends and colleagues reminded us that the master herself graced different stages in Cleveland in 1968 and 1969, and her performances still resonate with attendees. Jane Scott remembered that Janis exploded onstage at Public Hall in October of 1968. Advertisements of Janis’ May gig at the same place were splashed across the pages of the Plain Dealer. Pat Garling described her August 30, 1969 Blossom show as “musical magnificence.” Whether you attended one of the Public Hall performances or the gigs at Blossom, what do you remember about them? Did you “revel in psychedelic brainwash?” Were you jolted and held? What stayed with you? Feel free to reminisce here, and share your unforgettable memories.
- October 4, 1968: Big Brother and the Holding Company at Public Hall
- May 9, 1969: Kozmic Blues at Public Hall
- August 29, 1969: Janis ...
Thursday, October 22: 4:18 p.m.
The Library and Archives will open in downtown Cleveland in 2010.
We’re happy to report that construction of the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives is complete! Once our shelving, furniture, and workstations are installed in the next month or so, we’ll move our small but growing staff into the new 22,500-square-foot facility. Soon thereafter, we’ll also transfer our existing library and archival collections from offsite storage and begin the hard work of cataloging, processing, and preserving these materials for future generations.
Our plan is that the Library and Archives will be the world’s preeminent research collection of written and audiovisual materials relating to the history of rock and roll. Its collections will include books, dissertations, periodicals, sound and video recordings, and thousands of boxes of archival materials (including personal papers, correspondence, photographs, song manuscripts, business records, contracts, press kits, posters, flyers, and clippings). Eventually, we’ll also establish in-house labs for the digital preservation and conservation of these materials.
We plan to open the doors of the Library and Archives in late 2010, and we’ll provide access to our materials for scholars, educators, students, journalists, and the general public. We hope to see you then! In the meantime, stay tuned here for further ...
Thursday, October 15: 4:22 p.m.
The first U2 shirt can be found in the Rock Hall's permanent U2 exhibit. Photo: Rock Hall/Design Pho
In about 10 days, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its new, state-of-the-art theater. The Foster Theater was made possible by a generous donation from Gregg and Madolyn Foster, and it features a fantastic 3-D viewing experience and enhanced audio.
To inaugurate the theater, the Museum will be presenting U2 3D, the brilliant 3-D concert film featuring the Hall of Fame inductees. The movie was filmed in South America during the final leg of U2’s Vertigo tour in 2006. The movie captures all of the excitement and energy of a U2 stadium show. And the 3-D effects and awesome sound make the audience members feel as if they are right in front of the stage. It’s as if Bono, Larry, Edge and Adam are right there in the room with you.
I have had a long relationship with U2, dating back to 1980, when I became the first American journalist to write about the band. I was the Music Editor at Rolling Stone at the time, and the headline on that first story was “U2: Here Comes the ‘Next Big Thing’.” I proceeded to write several other stories about the band during my ...