September 2, 1995: Rock + Roll Hall of Fame Opensby Best Classic Bands Staff
Although it started its annual inductions in 1986, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame didn’t have a “hall,” per se, until its I.M. Pei-designed museum on the shores of Lake Erie opened on this day 21 years ago. To mark the occasion, a concert was held at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and simulcast om HBO. Appearing on the show were a range of artists from classic rock to (at the time) contemporary appearing in once-in-lifetime collaborations.
The show starred veterans like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, John Fogerty, The Kinks, Eric Burdon, Booker T & The MGs, Aretha Franklin, Al Green and others alongside rock founders like Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Johnny Cash as well as such more recent stars as Sheryl Crow, Gin Blossoms, Soul Asylum, Alice In Chains and Slash. Highlights included: Chuck Berry launching the show with “Johnny B. Goode” backed by Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, who also do the same with Jerry Lee Lewis on “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”
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Aretha Franklin backed by Booker T & The MGs, who also play behind Jon Bon Jovi and Eric Burdon. Iggy Pop and Lou Reed with Soul Asylum. Johnny Cash and John Mellencamp singing “Ring of Fire” together. A surprise appearance by Bob Dylan and much more.
Although the Hall of Fame nominations and inductions prompt annual debates among and complaints from fans, the Museum is another matter. Its collection and exhibits are a delight for anyone who values rock music.