Celebrate induction week with rock n’ roll exhibits, live concerts in Cleveland


CLEVELAND (WJW) – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction week is underway in Cleveland.

New exhibits are on display at the museum, and rare treasures from the archives are now being shared as well.

On Tuesday, museum archivists opened up the vaults at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives center at Cuyahoga Community College’s main campus in Cleveland.

They included photographs of the Beatles performing at Public Auditorium in 1964, Otis Redding in front of his plane at Hopkins Airport and Bruce Springsteen just starting out his career on stage at The Allen Theatre and The Agora.

At that time, legendary Plain Dealer Reporter Jane Scott dubbed him “destined to be a superstar.”

“To have a hand in the physical preservation of the legacy and history of rock n’ roll is a true privilege,” said Justin Seidler, image archivist at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Seidler says they carefully preserve and protect everything from handwritten lyrics to pictures, flyers, cassettes and concert posters.

A poster from the Moondog Coronation Ball, which they say many historians recognize as the first rock concert in 1952, at the Cleveland Arena and hosted by Alan Freed, was also put on temporary display Tuesday. 

“He helped put rock n’ roll on the map. He coined the phrase to refer to the music. So, so many great things have happened in Cleveland,” said Andy Leach, senior director of Museum and Archival Collections.

Also on exhibit are materials from the NEO Sound collections which pays tribute to Northeast Ohio bands. 

“Northeast Ohio music history is something we take very seriously,” Leach said. “The NEO Sound local music preservation initiative has over 100 different archival collections that have been donated that help tell that story.”

Leach says so many great artists have come out of this area, from Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders to the Black Keys, DEVO, The Waitresses and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, to name a few.

Not to mention, Foo Fighters frontman David Grohl grew up not far away in Trumbull County.

“So really, Cleveland has earned its name as the birthplace of rock n’ roll,” said Leach.

In an effort to continue the Rock Hall’s commitment to preservation and education, the collections are being made available to everyone from researchers to students and music fans.

Learn how to make an appointment to view these items here.

Leach said while they strive to preserve rock history for future generations, new memories are also being made all week.

Not only are the Foo Fighters playing on stage at the House of Blues Thursday, but live music concerts are happening every night throughout the city. 

“Rock n’ Roll is arguably America’s most important art form and part of our shared history. All of us have a stake in it and are part of it as listeners and performers,” said Leach.

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