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Rock Hall POV: Director of Collections Jun Francisco

Tuesday, May 3: 2 p.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee ZZ Top Dusty Hill Cleveland

What does it take to preserve rock and roll history? Jun Francisco knows.

Since 1999, Francisco has been the Director of Collections Management at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  Born half way around the globe in the Philippines, he grew up listening to rock and roll fed to him by a radio station called “the Rock of Manila." His role allows him to be a fan and an in-demand expert.

He received his MA in Museum Studies from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and a BA in History from Missouri Southern State University. He has worked at museums in Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan, New York and Ohio, and has served on the Boards of the Association of Midwest Museums, Arkansas Museums Association and Michigan Museums Association. He is a past chair of the Asian Pacific Professional Interest Committee of the American Alliance of Museums. He also loves the Clash.

Having just managed collections for the Rock Hall's new 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee exhibit – including a trip to Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen's house – Francisco had a few minutes to tell us about his adventures.

As the Rock Hall's director of collections, what ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews

Your Family Values Are Destroying Rock & Roll

Thursday, April 28: 2:30 p.m.

Mr Rogers makes devil horns on children's TV Show

The Who continue to perform “My Generation” in their 2016 tour dates, even with that line about hoping to die before they get old. And with Mick Jagger becoming a great-grandfather in 2014, rock culture really is thumbing its nose at the idea of growing old gracefully.

So if grandpas these days can be rockers, maybe our associations of rock = rebelliousness = youth have collapsed altogether. Or perhaps we have actually become accustomed to the idea that “youth” is an attitude, not a chronological stage in the human life cycle. From that point of view, a rock & roll pose of “sticking it to the man” is available to anyone, even “the man” himself.

While the spirit of rock & roll lives on in lots of teen subcultures and inspires many new bands, it’s also true that kids who grow up rocking out alongside their parents think of this music as … well, old.

If you play Metallica to your baby in the cradle, he might grow up thinking of “Enter Sandman” as a nostalgic song that brings back sweet memories of bedtime.

The recent rise in child stars who rock out note-perfect versions of Van Halen guitar solos and Keith Moon drum ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Education, Event

Tragedy and Mystery on Tour with Deep Purple in 1975

Tuesday, April 5: 1:26 p.m.
Posted by Anastasia Karel

Deep Purple MkIV 1976 band live performance Rock Hall 2016

The January 29, 1976 Rolling Stone headline read "Indonesian Nightmare Strikes Deep Purple." Journalist Peter Crescenti wrote in the opening paragraph: "Tragedy and mayhem struck the Deep Purple tour December 4th in Jakarta, Indonesia, when one of the group's road crew, Patsy Collins, a well-loved celebrity of the British rock scene and guitarist Tommy Bolin's bodyguard, was killed in a six-story fall down a service elevator shaft at the band's hotel."

It's a story steeped in Rock Hall lore and a Deep Purple story that's horrific and fascinating. The news report caught my eye as I was pulling items for the 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee exhibit, rare items from the Rock Hall's Library & Archives that tell the story of this year's inductees. But as I poured over Crescenti's original drafts (complete with edit notes) for the article that later ran in Rolling Stone, the story increasingly piqued my curiosity.

Deep Purple 1975 Indonesia Tour Rolling Stone draft

Was Collins' death was part of a set-up that included scamming the band out of the concert proceeds? Who were the eyewitnesses, and how much did they actually see? What happened to Collins' body, especially considering the fact that the ...


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Hip-Hop Artist Casey Veggies Gets Personal

Tuesday, February 2: 12:18 p.m.
Posted by Carl Harp

Casey Veggies 2016 tour concert in Cleveland, Ohio

As a 14-year-old Inglewood high school basketball star and original member of the Cali super group Odd Future (OFWGKTA), Casey Veggies released his first mixtape, Customized Greatly, spawning a trilogy series. Benching his hoop dreams for a rap career, Veggies continued building off of his early groundwork, landing tour spots with Mac Miller, show dates with west side champs like Kendrick Lamar and Nipsey Hussle, and strategic partnerships with brands like Puma. The autobiography of Casey Veggies consumed the rap globe in the form of his 2015 major label debut LIVE & GROW, a nutritious listen of a young man’s navigation through new adulthood and stardom. 

The Rock Hall caught up with Casey Veggies ahead of his Sonic Sessions concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on February 19.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Your concert comes during the Rock Hall’s Black History Month Celebration. One of our other events is a discussion on “Black Music Matters,” kind of a take on the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Your track, “RIP,” is dedicated to people who have lost their lives to police brutality, gang violence and other senseless violence. Like Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” do you see ...


continue Categories: History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Songs That Shaped Rock: The Eagles' "Take It Easy"

Thursday, January 21: 2:52 p.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Glenn Frey live concert photograph RIP

Photo: Glenn Frey, ca. 1994, photographer unknown. From the Jeff Gold Collection at the Rock Hall's Library & Archives.

It's been a rough start to 2016 for rock fans mourning the loss of two Hall of Fame Inductees: David Bowie and Glenn Frey. Tributes have poured in from around the globe, a testament to the lasting impact and widespread influence of the music each created. Last week, we looked back on some of the David Bowie songs that shaped rock and roll, and this week it's only fitting we rewind to one of the Eagles' most enduring hits: "Take It Easy."

Guitarist Glenn Frey was a rocker from Detroit who headed to Los Angeles, where he befriended fellow musicians Jackson Browne and John David Souther. Drummer Don Henley and Frey met while backing Linda Ronstadt. Guitarist Bernie Leadon had previously done time with Gram Parsons and  Chris Hillman in the Flying Burrito Brothers; bassist Randy Meisner was a founding  member of Poco with Richie Furay and had played in Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band.  And they had all played together on Ronstadt's Silk Purse. No wonder they sounded accomplished from the get-go.

Decades later, in 2014 ...


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The Fabulous Friendship of David Bowie and Jane Scott

Wednesday, January 20: 5:44 p.m.
Posted by Anastasia Karel

autographed David Bowie photo with Cleveland Jane Scott Plain Dealer reporter

Pictured: Jane Scott with David Bowie in the late 70s during one of his Isolar tour stops. Did you see him perform on the Isolar or Isolar II tours?

I’m an archivist at the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives. I'm also a diehard music fan and collector. Bob Dylan is my all-time favorite – I've seen him in concert 60 times – but David Bowie was the first artist that I collected on vinyl. I believe that Bowie is one of those artists whose work should be owned in its original format, if only because of the cover art and sense that you're holding a piece of history. Unfortunately, I never saw Bowie in concert and didn't dive into his entire catalog as so many fans did, and yet, now that he is gone, I realize just how much he was a presence in my life.  And this week, it just so happened that my job created a collision of Bowie, Cleveland, and women in rock journalism.

My days involve a fair amount of detective work, such as forming connections between documents to describe a moment in rock history. One collection that will provide endless opportunities ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Library and Archives, History of Rock and Roll, Exhibit

Madonna Shares Wild Story of First David Bowie Concert

Monday, January 11: 12:52 p.m.
Posted by Madonna

Madonna inducts David Bowie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 speech and video

Before I saw David Bowie live, I was just your normal, dysfunctional, rebellious teenager from the Midwest, and he has truly changed my life.

I’ve always had a sentimental attachment to David Bowie, not just because I grew up with his music, but it’s because it was the first rock concert that I ever saw, and it was a major event in my life. I planned for months to go and see it. I was 15 years old, it was the end of the school year, and leading up to the week of the show, I begged my father and he said, “I absolutely refuse, over my dead body, you’re not going there, that’s where horrible people hang out,” so of course I had to go. So my best friend spent the night at my house and when we thought everyone was asleep, we snuck out of my window, which was no mean feat, as I was wearing my highest platform shoes and a long black-silk cape. Don’t ask.

We couldn’t drive, so we hitch-hiked into Detroit and I don’t know who was scarier ... the drivers that picked us up, or us in ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews

How Cynthia Robinson Made Sure We Were All Cool

Wednesday, November 25: 11:48 a.m.

Sly and The Family Stone Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Cynthia Robinson dead at age 69

I was just an elementary school kid when I first heard “Dance to the Music,” Sly and the Family Stone’s first hit single, in spring 1968. The song was on the radio all the time. If it wasn’t on the Top 40/pop stations WIXY or CKLW, you just had to dial up to WJMO or WABQ, the R&B/ soul stations, to hear Cynthia Robinson’s cheeky introductory demand:  “Get up and dance to the music! Get on up and dance to the funky music!”

Cynthia Robinson was one half of the horn section of the Family Stone and the de facto MC – that’s MC in the early days of hip-hop sense – the “mic controller” who would punctuate dance tracks with enjoinders to “get up” or “get down” to the music to keep dancers engaged and moving on their feet. Cynthia was doing it 10 years before the Sugarhill Gang or Grandmaster Flash dropped their first beat.

That’s just one more way that Cynthia was ahead of her time, a pioneer, showing the rest of us the way. She was a strong female presence in a band – not a vocalist, as was the usual position ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews
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