Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Billy Joel, Clive Davis, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Terry Stewart and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman today announced that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open an annex in New York City in the heart of SoHo. When the 25,000 square foot annex opens in November, it will be the first location outside the Museum’s home in Cleveland. NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta and Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin joined the announcement, which took place at 76 Mercer Street, the future site of the annex.
“New York City is well known as a vibrant place for aspiring artists and musicians, and some of the most internationally-celebrated musical performers of this Century have had their start right here on our streets,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It’s only fitting that the role New York City has played in launching the careers of so many of the world’s most talented artists – like Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Paul Simon, Blondie and the Velvet Underground – on the world’s greatest stages – like the Fillmore East, the Apollo Theater, and Madison Square Garden – be recognized and honored with the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex.”
The state-of-the-art facility will focus on the defining moments in rock and roll history and will be designed to resonate with both the casual music fan and the seasoned rock enthusiast. It will feature an array of exhibitions, including a permanent “New York Rocks” gallery that will highlight key locations around New York City that have musical significance. The annex will also showcase selected relics from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s vast collection, including Bruce Springsteen’s 1957 Chevy, John Lennon’s Record Plant Piano, Elvis Presley’s motorcycle jacket, a handwritten poem by Jim Morrison and more. The annex will open in November, but advance tickets will be available through www.RockAnnex.com beginning in October.
“Establishing outposts like these is becoming a strategy of other major institutions,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Terry Stewart, citing the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Tate Modern in London and the Louvre in Paris. “These projects allow museums to extend their reach, but also provide space to travel exhibits and allow curators to display some of our priceless artifacts for the first time outside of Cleveland.”
NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism, marketing and partnership organization, partnered with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to help create the “New York Rocks” exhibit and develop co-branded merchandise and promotional items for the annex, including maps and itineraries so that visitors can experience historical sites firsthand.
The annex will be sponsored by Citi, Best Buy, Diesel for Bloomingdales, Gibson and Continental Airlines, with additional supporting partners Sony, Sennheiser, Klein + Hummel, and Kohler.
“Although there are more than 6,000 different languages spoken around the world, music is the one language that we all share in common, reminding us that we are all inherently the same,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “We partnered with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex to help develop a cultural destination that captures the shared history of Rock and Roll and New York City and appeals to all ages and interests. With more than 46 million travelers already visiting our City each year from around the world, we are confident that the Annex will be a ‘must-see’ attraction whether you are from Barcelona or Brooklyn.”
“New York City is home to talented musicians, adventurous audiences, and more than 1,400 extraordinary cultural institutions, said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. “We welcome the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a unique addition to the City’s vibrant creative community.”
“Rock and roll is embedded in the history of our times and has changed the world around us,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame co-founder and editor and publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine Jann Wenner. “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and now its extension, the Annex, help us to illustrate in a tangible way music’s impact on the cultural, social and political history of the modern era.”
Visitors to the annex will receive headphones connected to a state-of-the-art wireless audio system so that when they visit different exhibits, they hear relevant music specific to the gallery they are in. The galleries include:
- Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to the artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a signature display of each
- Immersive Theater, an engaging and dynamic movie experience that uses immersive audio and visual technology to highlight some of the most explosive performance moments in rock history including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, The Who and Patti Smith;
- Roots & Influences, a visual and musical exhibition on how past music legends have influenced the chart-toppers at the forefront of today’s music scene, bringing to life musical timelines of genres such as R&B, Hip Hop and Blues Rock;
- Moments to Movements, which will highlight particular musical moments that created and defined powerful movements, and showcase many exciting and rare rock items, including a white Vox electric guitar from The Beatles that has never been showcased
elsewhere, the necklace Jimi Hendrix wore at Monterey Pop Festival, and the handwritten lyrics to ‘U.S. Blues’ by the Grateful Dead;
- New York Rocks, which will include an oversized interactive map to highlight key locations around New York City that have musical significance, including Studio 54 and The Chelsea Hotel, and will showcase items such as the notebook in which Billy Joel wrote all the lyrics for “The Stranger” album;
- Cleveland Gallery, which will include special exhibits and displays that give visitors a taste of the larger experience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland; and,
- Special Rotating Exhibit, which will feature one select artist or band, with special attention to their time spent in New York City, rotating every six to nine months.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was established to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs. Media and fans can learn more about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum at www.rockhall.com.