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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 ...


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Five Minutes with Fame: Travie McCoy

Friday, September 30: 1:28 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Travie McCoy tours the Rock Hall.

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 artist is Travie McCoy.

Born Travis Lazarus McCoy in Geneva, NY, Travie McCoy first made a name for himself as the lead vocalist of the alternative rap group Gym Class Heroes. Outside of the band, McCoy is a rapper in his own right, having won the MTV Direct Effect MC Battle as well as having guest spots on tracks by Kelly Rowland and Tyga. After releasing four albums with Gym Class Heroes, McCoy began work on a solo record. In 2010, he released his first album without his band, Lazarus, on Fueled by Ramen. Blending elements of hip-hop, indie rock and soul that reflect his own eclectic musical tastes, McCoy enlisted the services of an equally ...


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Five Minutes with Fame: Dierks Bentley

Thursday, September 22: 12:01 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bookmark our blog for a new video from a different artist each week!

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 artist is Dierks Bentley.

At only 35 years of age, Dierks Bentley has released seven albums, won numerous CMT Awards, been nominated for Grammy Awards and already has a Greatest Hits album. But the road was long and not always easy. A love of country music inspired Bentley, a native of Phoenix, to move to Nashville at the age of 19. He was soon discouraged by what he considered his new community’s indifference to music, but his mind changed after a late night hang at the Station Inn bluegrass bar, and he decided to give music another go. Pursuing and playing gigs, Bentley landed a job at the TNN television network doing research on classic ...


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Five Minutes with Fame: My Chemical Romance

Friday, September 16: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

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 artist is My Chemical Romance.

WATCH:

Here the band talk about Joey Ramone's leather jacket, Jim Morrison's cub scout shirt, Kurt Cobain's guitar, Pink Floyd's the Wall.

Formed in New Jersey following the events of September 11, My Chemical Romance came to be through a collaboration between singer Gerard Way, bassist Mike Way, guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro, and drummer Matt Pelissier (later replaced by Bob Bryar).With their lineup in place, the bandmates began touring and making plans for an album.

One year later, My Chemical Romance's debut, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought ...


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Today in Rock: Remembering Johnny Ramone

Thursday, September 15: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Johnny Ramone, Tommy Ramone, Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone

With his trademark stance – head down, eyes focused, legs shoulder-width apart, right arm furiously strumming a low-slung Mosrite guitar – Johnny Ramone became a punk icon. He was the ultimate guitar antihero, shying from gratuitous solos and obscure voicings, preferring deliberate playing over the more familiar guitar histrionics of the late-1970s. Torn jeans, T-shirt and black leather jacket were staples of a look that became his understated hallmarks, a far cry from the flamboyant stage outfits that predominated popular music. His rapid-fire, down-stroked barre chords fostered a style that owed little in the way of influence to any other musician or group. For decades, his "buzzsaw" technique was the blaring force behind the Ramones' sound, spurring songs such as “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Glad to See You Go,” “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” “Rockaway Beach,” “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” and “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” On September 15, 2004, Johnny Ramone passed away after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. He was 55.

Born and raised in New York City, Johnny Ramone found kindred spirits in bassist Dee Dee Ramone, singer Joey Ramone and drummer Tommy Ramone. The brash quartet hailing from Queens ignited the punk-rock ...


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Riding With The Man in Black

Monday, September 12: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Johnny Cash (2/26/1932 - 9/12/2003)

With a genre-spanning catalog that straddles the country, folk and rockabilly canon, and more than 400 songs that tapped into a homespun narrative about the lives of coal miners, sharecroppers, Native Americans, prisoners, cowboys, renegades and family men, Johnny Cash – "the man in black" – is a country music legend and a voice beloved by millions. Cash's rugged sensibility has influenced generations: From his 1956 two-sided hit "So Doggone Lonesome"/"Folsom Prison Blues" (Number Four on the Billboard charts) to 1969's "A Boy Named Sue" from Johnny Cash at San Quentin (Number Two on the charts); to his critically acclaimed American Recordings (produced by Rick Rubin and released in 1994) to 2002's American IV: The Man Comes Around, featuring a stirring cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt." Cash, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, passed away a year after American IV's release, on September 12, 2003 at the age of 71.

Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas, on February 26, 1932, amid the trying environment of the Great Depression. As a child, his humble beginnings found him working in the cotton fields of Dyess, Arkansas, where his family had moved ...


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Five Minutes with Fame: All Time Low

Friday, September 9: 3:11 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

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 artist is All Time Low.

WATCH:

Here the band talk about playing house parties, opening for national acts, Michael Jackson's Thriller jacket, and the guitars of Joe Strummer and Kurt Cobain:

In less than a decade, All Time Low have reached heights most young bands only dream of. The group formed when singer/guitarist Alex Gaskarth, guitarist Jack Barakat, drummer Rian Dawson and bassist Zack Merrick started playing together as high school students in the suburbs of Maryland. The precocious foursome recorded their 2005 debut The Party Scene, which caught the attention of indie imprint Hopeless Records. The label would release ...


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