Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame gets a NY Annex for At Least 2 Years

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is going on the road to New York -- the city that spawned hip-hop and gave Bob Dylan and the Ramones their start.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that the Cleveland-based museum is opening an annex in downtown Manhattan. It is the first of several planned outposts that will take its collection of artifacts to a wider audience, possibly as far as the Middle East.

Billy Joel and Clive Davis joined the mayor at the location in SoHo where the branch will open in November. Joel, who said he was donating some memorabilia to the museum, recalled how he has played every New York venue from Carnegie Hall to Shea Stadium.

"New York gave me my words and my music, and rock and roll gave me a place for that music to live," Joel said.

The 25,000-square-foot annex will house Bruce Springsteen's 1957 Chevy and will feature a number of different exhibits, including one with sites around the city that have musical significance.

"There really isn't a more fitting spot for this museum than New York, the hometown of hall of famers like the Velvet Underground, Paul Simon and Blondie ... this is where Ed Sullivan met the Beatles, where Lou Reed took a walk on the wild side," Bloomberg said.

The New York annex will be open for a minimum of two years, longer if it proves successful. It's backed financially by Running Subway Productions, a New York-based entertainment company known for "Bodies ... The Exhibition" and the Broadway production of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"

Among the planned exhibits is "New York Rocks," which is dedicated to Big Apple artists such as Joel and the Talking Heads' David Byrne. The exhibit will feature an interactive map of musically significant Manhattan locations such as Studio 54 and the landmarked Chelsea Hotel, whose guests and residents have included many famous artists and musicians including the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious. The front awning and cash register of the recently closed club CBGB will be on display.

A number of exhibits that appeared in Cleveland will also make their way to New York, beginning with the museum's look at the Clash.

Admission at the New York annex will be $26 for adults. The Cleveland museum charges $22 for adult admission.

I wonder if the first exhibit will focus on the Clash in NY. I have plenty of ticket stubs: The Palladium (before it became a dorm), Bonds, etc..... Why is Studio 54 being featured? I don't remember any rock & roll happening there. Lots of sex and drugs, but not much rock and roll.

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