The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Sixties :: Blog

Exclusive Interview with Robby Krieger of the Doors: Remembering Ray Manzarek, reconnecting with John Densmore and the Doors' Greatest Moments

Saturday, December 7: 9 a.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Robby Krieger

Over the course of a short career that only lasted a little more than five years, the Doors had a tremendous impact on rock and roll. They were a truly unique group, with a singer, Jim Morrison, who was a genuine poet with an almost mythical persona. Unlike most bands at the time, the Doors did not have a bass player. Ray Manzarek played the bass lines on his keyboards. John Densmore was a solid, steady drummer. And Robby Krieger was an elegant guitarist with a distinctive style unlike the blues-based guitar leanings favored by most his six-string peers. 20 years after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Robby Krieger sits down for an exclusive interview with the Rock Hall, reflecting on the passing of friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek, patching up differences with John Densmore, the Doors' greatest moments, where the Doors would've gone had Jim Morrison lived, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, what he's listening to now and more.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: First, let’s talk about Ray Manzarek’s death…. Did you see that coming? Had he been sick for a while?

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarak

Robby Krieger: Not really ...

continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, Today in Rock

Remembering Maxine Powell and Motown's Finishing School

Wednesday, October 23: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Maxine Powell and Rock Hall director of community programs Ruthie Brown at Rock Hall in 1997.

Although her official title was as a director of Motown's artist development department, Maxine Powell was much more than her role suggested. "Motown owes a great debt to Maxine," says Ruthie Brown, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's director of community programs and friend of Powell. "The artists knew what she was trying to do, and deep down, they wanted her refinement. They mimicked the image of the average American teenager – white, black, it didn't matter. The crossover was extremely successful. Motown was 'the sound of young America," and Maxine helped Berry Gordy get that image across." Powell passed away on October 14, 2013. She was 98.

Powell worked with Motown artist during a pivotal period in Motown's meteoric rise, from 1964 to 1969, when she helped shaped the public – and often private – personalities of the Detroit label's biggest names. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown Records, said that Powell “brought something to Motown that no other record company had,” adding of his artists, “She was tough, but when she got through with them, they were poised, professional and very thankful.”

Born in Texarkana, Texas ...

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

Can We Borrow Janis Joplin's Porsche?

Thursday, October 10: 4:22 p.m.
Posted by Jun Francisco
Janis Joplin's Porsche goes for a ride.

It's not every day that the Rock Hall gets a serious request to borrow Janis Joplin's iconic Porsche 356C cabriolet from our collection. Almost daily, visitors and fans from around the world ask questions like "Can I take it for a test drive?" But this time was different. We agreed to hand over the keys – though it wasn't quite that simple.

The Rock Hall’s collections department receives regular requests from museums, galleries, schools, event organizers and even television shows to borrow an artifact or two for their projects. They come from all over the United States, but more and more are streaming in from overseas. Just within the last year we have had inquiries from Brazil, Japan, the Philippines, Hungary, Russia, Dubai and Canada. Many are compelling, interesting and hard to pass up, while some are downright quirky. 

One of the more exciting inquiries we have received this year is from the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. They asked to borrow Janis Joplin’s 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet to include in their exhibition entitled Porsche By Design: Seducing Speed, a 22-car display of rare Porsche automobiles owned by such personalities as Steve McQueen and ...

continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll

Jim Morrison Says to Millions: "Girl, We Couldn't Get Much Higher"

Tuesday, September 17: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Fan photo of the Doors collection at the Rock Hall, shared using hashtag #rockhallsatisfaction

In addition to the Jim Morrison–led call to arms “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” the Doors self-titled debut album included “Light My Fire.” Penned by guitarist Robby Krieger in his first songwriting attempt, the song catapulted the group to stardom, topping the charts for three weeks during the Summer of Love. For purposes of AM-radio airplay, the single version of “Light My Fire” was edited from its nearly seven-minute album sprawl to just under three minutes. With the Doors quickly gaining a loyal following – and notoriety owing largely to the charismatic if untrammeled personality of Morrison – the group were booked as a musical guest on The Ed Sullivan Show airing September 17, 1967. It didn't go as the producers had hoped, as the resulting episode followed keyboardist Ray Manzarek's assessment of the mid Sixties: "the battle was between the hip and the non- hip, the heads and the straights, the psychedelics and the squares – and that was basically the battle – the establishment against the hippies." 

Scheduled to perform their Number One hit "Light My Fire" before millions on the same show that had helped make the likes of Elvis Presley and the Beatles household names ...

continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, History of Rock and Roll

Today In Rock: David Bowie is Born

Friday, January 6: 1:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
1996 Hall of Fame inductee David Bowie

Born on January 8, 1947, David Bowie is rock’s foremost futurist and a genre-bending pioneer, chameleon and transformer. Throughout his solo career and in his alliances with other artists - including Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Brian Eno and Nine Inch Nails - Bowie has positioned himself on the cutting edge of rock and roll. His innovations have created or furthered several major trends in rock and roll, including glam rock, art-rock and the very notion of the self-mythologized, larger-than-life rock star. "More than any other performer in the rock and roll era, David Bowie elevated himself to the role of artist," says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curator Howard Kramer. "He revolutionized and redefined the role of the frontman."

On the strength of such early albums as Man of Words, Man of Music and The Man Who Sold the World, Bowie became a cult figure to rock fans looking for something new and challenging to fill the post-Sixties void. A driven, polymorphic artist who breaks all the molds, Bowie attracted attention from the beginning for his frequent, fascinating changes of guise and the high quality of his unpredictable music. “I’m the last one to understand the ...

continue Categories: Inductee

The Fabulous Girl Groups

Wednesday, October 12: 12:08 p.m.
The Ronettes

"The Fabulous Girl Groups" is the third installment in a special series that highlights the evolution of women in music by placing their accomplishments, inspirations and influence in the context of the eras that shaped their sounds and messages. "America's Foremothers" introduced the series, and "Pioneers of Rock" was the second feature.

The roots of the girl-group era date back to 1956, the year when a vocal group called Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers lit up the charts with “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” Mary Wilson of the Supremes remembers that many girls around her neighborhood weren’t content just to listen to Frankie Lymon sing on their transistor radios – they wanted to be Frankie Lymon. Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes auditioned for her future producer and husband, Phil Spector, by singing “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” when they met in 1962.

The first real girl-group hit was the Bobbettes’ “Mr. Lee,” which reached Number Six in August 1957, just a month before nine African-American kids had to be escorted by the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army to desegregate their high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1958, as Swedish diplomat Agda Rossel became ...

continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Education, Foster Theatre, Rock and Roll Night School
previous Page 2 of 2.