The House That Rock Built: How It Took Time, Money, Music Moguls, Corporate Types, Politicians, Media, Artists, and Fans To Bring the Rock Hall to Cleveland

Kent State Univ. Sept. 2020. 176p. ISBN 9781606353998. pap. $28. MUSIC
Rock historian and radio host Nite (Rock On Almanac) and journalist Feran affectionately outline the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, from a spark of an idea in 1983 to the cities that vied for the right to house it to construction to its opening in 1995 in Cleveland and its evolution since. A native Clevelander and integrally involved with this project from its inception, Nite is the ideal narrator for a suspenseful yet inspiring tale filled with outsize figures such as Atlantic Records executive Ahmet Ertegun, Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, architect I.M. Pei, and the politicians of Ohio who combined enthusiasm with realism re: financial support. Nite has done exhaustive research and includes extensive interviews, sidebars explaining some of the cast of characters, and exceptional contemporary photographs ranging from the mid-1950s to the present. A foreword from rocker Stevie Van Zandt, of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, adds interest.
VERDICT This informative and entertaining read will likely become the definitive volume on this important cultural center’s formation, and is a worthy companion to stand beside Nick Talevski’s useful if dated The Unofficial Encyclopedia of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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