Cleveland will host the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony every two years beginning in 2018, according to a chat we had with the Chief Executive Officer here at Den of Geek.
“Cleveland … came around in the past few years to being able to afford to do the fundraising they need to do for an event of this size. We’ve done it in Cleveland a few times. We’ll be back in Brooklyn next year. After that, we’ll flip every other year between New York and Cleveland,” CEO Joel Peresman told us while looking over his seating chart.
“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductions will be in Cleveland every other year, beginning in 2018,” Rock & Roll Hall of Fame President and CEO Greg Harris confirmed in an official statement. “Our mission to engage, teach and inspire fans and artists through the power of rock and roll has generated hard, tangible results and those results and confidence of the community has led to our commitment to bring the Inductions to Cleveland every other year. We’ll share more information as 2018 draws closer.”
Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum, located on the shores of Lake Erie, but The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation is based in New York. The induction shows have been alternating between New York, Los Angeles and Northeast Ohio.
“Part of it is historical, the foundation started well before there was a museum in Cleveland,” Peresman said. “They started doing these shows at the Waldorf Astoria, 31 years ago, before there was an idea of where a museum should be. Part of it has to do with raising money. One of the things we do, like most foundations, especially ones connected to a cultural institution like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is to raise money. In the early days, all the record companies were very supportive of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they were the ones who were buying tickets and buying tables to raise money that goes into the foundation that we, in turn, use to fund projects at the museum, whether it’s educational programs or exhibits.”
And, of course, the museum will also put some of that back into itself.
“We’re just about to begin a major redesign of the museum to upgrade the visitor experience over the next two or three years,” Peresman said. “We’re funding that to the tune of millions of dollars that we’ve raised.”
Peresman also discussed the induction of NWA and how rock and roll is intent in being more inclusive of its genre offshoots. The Bronx’s Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted in 2007, also under Peresman’s watch.
“We have always looked at it that rock and roll, by definition, is very broad. When you start tracing the influences, not only of rock and roll, but of country music, it really all goes back to the blues,” Peresman said. “If you really want to siphon and push everything together, where it came from. If you really go back, to even the roots of blues, to slaves working in the fields and singing and how that music and those rhythms really evolved into the blues and R&B. How that influenced a lot of different people who went in a lot of different directions. Some went into country. Some went into rock and blues, and the further evolution of that music created various offshoots, whether it’s Hip Hop or thrash metal or hard rock or progressive rock. All these genres of music had their roots pretty much in the same place.”
Chris Longo and I went to the show last night, thanks to HBO, and one of the high points was when NWA’s Dr. Dre, D.J. Yella, MC Ren and Ice Cube made their acceptance speeches, even if the group didn’t throw down live, which was a shame because the drums were mic’d particularly well and there wouldn’t have been a non-shaking ass in the house.
The Rock and Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air on HBO on April 30th. For more stories in our Rock Hall series, click here.