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Spotlight Exhibit: Pink Floyd's The Division Bell Sculptures

Friday, August 24: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Pink Floyd's Division Bell sculptures in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Based on a drawing by Keith Breeden and sculpted by Aden Hynes and John Robertson, the Division Bell sculptures appeared on the cover of Pink Floyd's last studio album, The Division Bell, in 1994. It was the fourth album of the band's career to reach Number One on the Billboard charts, helping make the two figures gracing the cover among Pink Floyd's most recognizable contributions to the iconography of rock and roll. Since 2001, they've also made quite an impression on visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, towering atop the entrance to the Hall of Fame on the Museum's third floor. 

In 2001, the Rock Hall's VP of Exhibitions and Curatorial Jim Henke connected with Pink Floyd's management to discuss adding the famous Division Bell "heads" to the Rock Hall's collection. At the time, both sculptures were being stored in a warehouse in Bedford, England, and transporting them to Cleveland presented a number of logistical issues. Despite their imposing presence – standing approximately 20 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep – the base of each is a simple wooden frame, surrounded by lightweight ...


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Spotlight Exhibit: Bonnie Raitt's Jacket and Fender Stratocaster

Monday, August 6: 12 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Bonnie Raitt's signature Fender Stratocaster

From her self-titled debut album in 1971, Bonnie Raitt has established herself as a virtuoso blues musician who sings blues with gritty passion and plays slide guitar with authority, as if the genre’s fundamentals had been etched in her soul. With mentors that included Sippie Wallace, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Son House, Raitt has demonstrated a studied reverence for old-school country-blues tempered with a contemporary outlook and willingness to experiment. She recorded eight albums for Warner Bros. Records from 1971 to 1986, progressively moving from straight blues into more pop-oriented areas without losing sight of her roots. Raitt's move to Capitol Records was followed by her 1989 breakthrough Nick of Time, which netted four Grammy Awards in 1990 and prompted her to note: “It means so much for the kind of music that we do. It means that those of us who do rhythm & blues are going to get a chance again.”

In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum VP of exhibitions and curatorial Jim Henke shares the story behind the development and impact of Bonnie Raitt's signature Fender Stratocaster and the jacket she was wearing on one of the most rewarding ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit

Joan Jett's First Ride

Tuesday, November 29: 12 p.m.
Joan Jett's first car: 1983 Jaguar XJ-S H.E. now on display at the Rock Hall

All I could think when we got a call from Joan Jett’s management offering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Jett’s first car was “Where are we going to put it?” 

Finding room for the various vehicles in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s collection – from Johnny Cash’s tour bus to Janis Joplin’s 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet – can be a challenge. With a bit of elbow grease and the help of sturdy car dollies, we were able to make room for the big black cat: Joan Jett’s 1983 Jaguar XJ-S H.E. It’s perfect that this was Jett’s first vehicle, as it's long, lean and mean, and – according to Jaguar literature of the day – the fastest production automatic car with a top speed of 155 mph.

Jett purchased the Jaguar before she had a driver’s license and drove it off the lot with only a learner’s permit. She was recording at Kingdom Sound Studio in Syosset, New York, where I Love Rock N' Roll (1981) and Album (1983) were recorded, the day she took possession of the car. Between recording sessions, she took her new ...


continue Categories: Exhibit

Five Minutes with Fame: Far East Movement

Friday, October 14: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Far East Movement

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with Microsoft Zune for Five Minutes with Fame, an exclusive video series on the Zune Marketplace featuring singers, songwriters and bands at the forefront of today's music. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, we sit down with artists to talk about their music, their road to success, inspirations, being on tour and of course, some of their favorite artists and artifacts highlighted in the Museum. This week's featured group is Far East Movement.

With elements of hip-hop, pop, electro and dance, Los Angeles natives Far East Movement have created an original sound and lifestyle they call "Free Wired." The quartet – Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif and DJ Virman – were inspired by the Downtown LA club scene, West Coast hip hop innovators Pharcyde and Dr. Dre, the dance music of DJ Tiesto and Daft Punk, and popular rockers Guns and Roses and Blink 182, translating that eclecticism into a powerful assemblage of music that has the world dancing.

The group got their start after high school, performing shows in LA bars, clubs and lofts. Those all-night parties helped the group hone their sound and performance skills ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Five Minutes with Fame

Van Halen's Seat of Power

Monday, October 10: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer

Van Halen burst on the rock scene in 1978 like a larger-than-life, hard rocking, non-stop party, and channeled that energy into a seminal debut. Ostensibly, the band had two frontmen: leonine lead vocalist David Lee Roth and volcanic guitarist Edward Van Halen. Both possessed the charisma and talent to be the focal point of a solid rock band, but together, they created an undeniable dynamic that quickly captivated legions of loyal fans. Anchoring the unit was the powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Alex Van Halen, Eddie's brother. By the time Van Halen arrived in the studio to record their debut, they had honed their skills honestly, playing nightclubs, parties and high school gymnasiums across Southern California. It was during those formative years of touring that the band learned the value of showmanship – and how to win audiences all over the world with it.

As Van Halen grew in popularity, the production quality of their stage show followed suit as an increasingly flamboyant rock and roll spectacle. Alex Van Halen used the drum kit not only as a percussion instrument, but also as a visual art form. Working with various drum manufacturers, Alex custom designed enormous ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Today in Rock: The Beatles' record-breaking 1965 Shea Stadium show

Monday, August 15: 1:32 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
The second Beatles Shea Stadium show concert poster, on display at the Rock Hall.

The Beatles played Shea Stadium in New York City on August 15, 1965. They were the first rock group to play an outdoor sports stadium, and the show attracted 55,600 fans - the most attended show of the time. The promoter of the show, Sid Bernstein, said that the concert grossed $304,000, the largest gross from any event in show business up to that point.  “It was the biggest crowd we ever played to anywhere in the world,” John Lennon said of the  Shea show. “I heard a jet taking off, and I thought one of our amplifiers had blown up. We couldn’t hear ourselves sing.” The noise was so deafening that at the end of the show, during “I’m Down,” Lennon began playing a keyboard with his elbows while the whole group laughed hysterically. A documentary about the show, The Beatles at Shea Stadium, was produced by Ed Sullivan and was broadcast on ABC-TV the following year.  The Beatles played a second show at Shea on August 23, 1966. It was one of their final live performances.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s newly revamped Beatles exhibit includes the jacket that Paul ...


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