publisher Jann Wenner stepped back in time last night at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
as the museum opened its Rolling Stone exhibit that celebrates the magazine’s 50th anniversary.
The private event commenced with a ribbon cutting ceremony that included remarks by Rock Hall CEO and President Greg Harris and Wenner.
Wenner spent some of the time greeting patrons while sitting in the recreation of his original San Francisco office.
Harris began the proceedings by talking about the Rock Hall’s renovations currently in the works, including a new fourth floor theater. He then turned his attention to the Rolling Stone
exhibit and recalled seeing inductee Patti Smith play recently at Playhouse Square. At the concert’s end, Smith held up her guitar and said “this was the most powerful weapon of our generation.” Harris extended the metaphor to include Rolling Stone
magazine, which he said was that weapon’s "megaphone."
“It's the magazine takes that message into the world of music and lifestyle and politics,” he said. “The approach is to unite people everywhere.”
He said as a kid growing up in the ’70s, he would go to the public library to read the magazine on a weekly basis.
“It was the hottest magazine in the library,” he says. “There was a waiting list to read it. The reality was that we were suburban kids sitting in our library. The perception was that we were forging ahead with radical ideas and not accepting the status quo.”
He then introduced Wenner, whom he said had been a Rock Hall supporter since the Rock Hall Foundation began and the museum was built. “He has a long legacy with the museum and with Cleveland, Ohio,” he said.
Wenner thanked the Rock Hall staff for its help with the exhibit and spoke briefly about how the Rock Hall and the exhibit helped to perpetuate his legacy.
“I don’t really like to dwell on the past,” he said. “I try to be involved with what is going on right now, but I’m less than young. Thank you everybody.”
DJ Hurricane manned the turntables during the ensuing party, spinning old school hip-hop and R&B while guests walked through the exhibit and noshed on sushi and other appetizers.