For years, the biggest knock on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been its unwillingness to recognize the contributions of artists that fall outside the standard definition of, well, “rock and roll.”
In recent years, the Hall has taken steps to rectify the problem. The list of 2006 inductees included punk pioneers the Sex Pistols and Blondie, proto-metallers Black Sabbath and forward-thinking jazznick Miles Davis (see “Metallica Thud, Blondie Feud At Rock Hall Of Fame Ceremony” ). And now an even more unlikely group of artists will be allowed inside the hallowed Hall: a bunch of sweat-stained and sunburned punks — or, more specifically, their guitars, Converse All Stars and hairspray.
Starting in January, an exhibit honoring Warped Tour — the longest-running touring rock festival and summertime celebration of piercings, Manic Panic and all types of punk rock — will display gear, clothing and various ephemera donated by the hundreds of artists that have graced Warped’s many stages over the years.
“It’s a great honor for the Hall to recognize the success of Warped, and I know it’s a special thing for a lot of the bands,” Warped founder Kevin Lyman told MTV News. “So many of them have donated their personal gear, because they realize how great this is. A lot of them have kids now, and so they looked at it like, ‘Well, I don’t know if I’ll ever get into the Hall, but now at least my guitar will.’ ”
New-school acts like My Chemical Romance, New Found Glory and Gym Class Heroes all contributed items, as did a host of punk stalwarts, including NOFX, the Dropkick Murphys and the Bouncing Souls. And in keeping with the spirit of the tour, the list of donated items is particularly punk — from the Murphys’ bagpipes and Anti-Flag’s sneakers to a customized Millencolin beer bong.
“When we first reached out to Kevin about making this exhibit happen, we wanted to recognize the significant contributions Warped has made to the state of rock and roll,” Todd Mesek, a spokesperson for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, told MTV News. “We wanted to explore just what the fest means and how it has developed so many artists. And so we set out to collect as many artifacts as we could from the past 12 years.”
The Warped exhibit is scheduled to open sometime in late January at the Rock Hall’s permanent home in Cleveland, and Lyman told MTV News that he’s in the early stages of planning a show to coincide with the opening (the Used and Paramore are already on board to play, he said). And when the exhibit wraps — which should be sometime in June — the Hall plans to seal all the donated items in a special time capsule, which will be reopened in 25 years.