The Rock And Roll Hall Of FameBy John Blackwood
There is a weird and wonderfully shaped building known as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. It isn't in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Memphis. The building is sited in the home of rock and roll, which is....Cleveland Ohio. The ultra modern building is part of the city's North Coast harbor, has seven floors and has entertained more than 7 million visitors since opening in 1995, so what 's it all about?
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1983. At first the foundation had no base; New York City was an obvious choice as was Memphis, but Cleveland was the venue for the first ever Rock and Roll concert, the Moon Dog Coronation Ball (held in 1952) and as a result Cleveland was chosen as the venue for the Hall of Fame's museum.
The building itself is a fascinating piece of modern architecture, a glass tower with a pyramid sprouting from it which was originally planned to be 200ft high. The building is actually 162 ft tall with a base of 150,000 square feet. The design was reduced in height due to the proximity of Burke Lakefront Airport.
Every year a number of artists and others are 'inducted' into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony usually held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Groups and individuals qualify for induction only if they have had a significant influence on the history of rock and roll and it is at least twenty five years since their first record was released. But there are no guarantees.
Almost every year there is some controversy over who has, and who has not been inducted, possibly because there are several categories and the voting and selection process for each category varies. So how do you get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
The most obvious category is that of performer. Nominations are by committee and a number of candidates are selected. 500 rock experts then vote and nominees with the highest number of votes and more than 50% of the ballot are inducted. For all categories other than performer (non performers, early influences and lifetime achievement) the vote is taken by special committee. It is this lack of transparency in the decision on who to induct that has lead to criticism. While many of the artists appear to accept induction as an honor others are openly scathing. In 2006 the Sex Pistols refused to attend their induction ceremony and called the whole organisation a 'piss stain'
As many of inductees fall into more than one category (many performers for example are also song writers and producers) and since both individuals and groups can be inducted, it is possible to be inducted more than once and in different years, the outstanding example being Eric Clapton who has been inducted three times, once for the Yardbirds (1992), once for Cream (1993) and once for his solo career (2000).
Once inducted, each artist is honoured in the museum with an exhibit which features every song (if a performer) an etched glass signature, a film of their life and career and a display of artefacts.
For 2010 the performer inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are Abba, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, the Hollies and the Stooges.
If you plan in future to rank along side these rock legends, how about some rock guitar lessons and a spot of practice?
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