2017 Inductees Exhibit
Opening: March 31, 2017
Location: Main Exhibition Hall, Level 0
The opening of the exhibit comes in advance of the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 7.
The exhibit highlights this year’s class and their impact on music history by showcasing many iconic items that span the careers of these legends. Some of the items featured in the exhibit include:
Joan Baez’s contract for the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. Baez was originally scheduled as the closing act of the signature event of the counterculture, which took place August 15 - 18, 1969. She ended up closing the first day’s performances and was compensated $10,000.
A t-shirt worn by Eddie Vedder. The Pearl Jam lead vocalist wore this shirt during the band’s appearance on Saturday Night Live on April 16, 1994. As the show’s end credits rolled and the cast gathered to say goodnight, Vedder opened his shirt to reveal the letter “K” he’d written over his heart in tribute to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who had died on April 5, 1994.
Nile Rodgers’ Stuyvesant Guitar Man electric guitar, c. 1980.
Tour items from Yes, including a point of sale sign from the Drama tour.
A reel-to-reel master recording of “Dear Mama,” the first single from Tupac Shakur’s third studio album Me Against the World. The song pays tribute to Shakur’s mother Afeni, a political activist and member of the Black Panther party. The emotional homage reached Number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
A Parlor Grand Piano from Jonathan Cain of Journey. This was Cain’s main piano until 2007 and was used on all of Journey’s 1980s tours. The piano is also seen in the 1983 concert film Journey: Frontiers and Beyond and in several music videos, including “Faithfully.”
A tuxedo jacket worn by Steve Perry during Journey's 1981 Escape tour. Perry joined Journey in 1977, replacing then-frontman Robert Fleischman. Perry’s soaring, anthemic vocals are synonymous with 1980s arena rock; Queen guitarist Brian May described Perry as “a truly luminous singer, in my opinion — a voice in a million.”
A gold Gibson Les Paul played by Jeff Lynne of ELO, c. 1974. Lynne recalled: "Deciding to make music my career happened when I found a plastic Elvis Presley guitar in my friend's wardrobe in Birmingham ... I hadn't even touched a guitar before in my life. I must have been 15 at the time ... I persuaded him to lend it to me ... I took it up to my house, and I learned all the Shadows' numbers and all the instrumentals in the world on this one string on this little plastic neck with a picture of Elvis up there. It was really difficult learning how to play all those songs on one string ... I used to play this every night. One night, my dad came home, and he must have really noticed that I was really having a bash at this thing like mad, and he brought me an old Spanish guitar, which was fantastic. I went, 'Wow, and it has six strings on it!' ... Once I had that guitar, I said 'That's it for me mate. I'm set now.' I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life."
The 2017 Inductee exhibit will also include a video in the “For Those About to Rock” theater highlighting speeches and special moments from past Induction Ceremonies and will be updated with 2017’s Inductees after this year’s Induction Ceremony takes place. There is also a video wall outfitted with soundbars powered by Klipsch Audio that will share interviews with the 2017 Inductees and behind-the-scenes footage from the Induction Ceremony and rehearsals. The Ceremony will premiere on HBO on Saturday, April 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.