Posts By Jordan Runtagh

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Venturing Inside The Hard Rock Memorabilia Vault: A Music Fanatic’s Heaven

Rock and roll is filled with rags to riches stories, and the Hard Rock Cafe is no different. It started off as a humble musician’s hang-out in the heart of London, specializing in down-home American cooking. Guitar god Eric Clapton was a frequent customer, and he decided to mark his favorite seat by hanging his old Fender Lead II guitar overhead. Not to be outdone, Pete Townshend of the Who soon sent his own black Gibson Les Paul over with a note: “Mine’s as good as his. Love, Pete.”

From this playful game of one-upmanship grew a collection that weighs in at over 77,000 pieces to date, the largest assortment of pop music memorabilia on the planet. Much of their stash is on display in restaurants around the world, but I’m about to hit the mother-lode: An invitation to tour their Rock Vault in Florida! Off limits to the public, the vault is the epicenter for their restoration work, as well as the home-base for all of their priceless treasures. For anyone passionate about music history, or sound in general, this is sacred ground. And for me personally, it’s a dream come true.

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Better Luck Next Time: 10 Weird Musical Past Lives Of Famous Rock Stars

10 Craziest Musical Pasts Of Famous Rock Stars

Some musicians burst onto the scene with their artistic vision fully formed. But many other take some time to discover their true style, leaving a pile of weirdly uncharacteristic recordings in their wake. You know those awkward middle school photos you with bleached tips and Oakley glasses trying to look like a skater dude? Same kind of deal. Many of the primitive musical projects from these future-famous artists are straight-up bizarre, while others are so good that we wished they went that direction full time! They may not all be catchy, but they’re definitely all super interesting. Read on to see 10 of the most unexpected musical past lives of rock stars!

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Mayer Hawthorne Gets You Up Close And Personal With Rock and Roll History Inside The Hard Rock Vault

Mayer Hawthorne is not afraid to wear his influences on his sleeve. The writer/producer/multi-instrumentalist/DJ/rapper and possessor of the smoothest tenor this side of Smokey Robinson strutted onto the music scene with 2009′s A Strange Arrangement, a collection of seductively soulful tracks that payed tribute to his Detroit roots. The Motown-esque arrangements and masterfully crafted pop hooks (not to mention his perfectly tailored suits) saw him labeled as something of a retro ’60s throwback, although one with serious cred. But his latest long-player Where Does This Door Go sees Hawthorne take a great leap forward…one decade, to be exact.

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Famous First Drafts: Rejected First Versions Of 15 Iconic Album Covers

Alternate Covers Of Famous Albums

Some of the most enduring images in pop culture have come straight off of famous record sleeves, becoming almost as important as the songs contained within. It sounds silly, but it’s actually a little upsetting to imagine zillion-selling, generation-defining records looking different! Obviously it shouldn’t matter, the music stays the same. But thinking of Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon without the prism, or Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction without the skulls, or the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper without the crowd…it bums us out, man! It’s freaky to know how close we came to having totally different images grace the covers of these famous works. Either censorship reared its ugly head, or the band simply changed their mind, but some of these iconic shots were not the first choice. Head down below and see some early alternate versions of super famous album covers that we know and love.

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The 15 Shortest Marriages In Rock ‘n’ Roll History

15 Shortest Marriages In Rock History

Love and marriage, love and marriage, they go together like…well, definitely not rock and roll! Showbiz in general isn’t a very hospitable place for stable romantic relationships, but the life of an arena-packing musician seems to hold particular hazards ready to divide even the strongest unions. The constant travel and time apart, seemingly non-stop party, and untold number of groupies all could spell divorce…oh, and also paternity suits.

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What’s In A Name: 20 Crazy Stories Behind Famous Band Names

25 Stories Behind Crazy Band Names

Budding musicians have to deliberate long and hard  when choosing a name to give their band an itentity. Like expecting parents naming a baby, their choice must be catchy, contain plenty of meaning, and be appealing to all parties involved. It sounds like a lot of work! If you’re not careful, you could wind up with a name like Hoobastank, the OnedersPuddle Of Mud or LMFAO

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The 25 Most Scandalously Sexy Music Videos Of All Time

Scandalously Sexy Music Videos

Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines”  is on everyone everyone’s lips these days. The ubiquitous tune is catchy as hell and features musical help from fellow super-talents T.I. and Pharrell Williams. As if that’s not enough to earn it some serious column inches, let’s not forget the controversially racy (and very NSFW) music video! The vid has raised some red flags with fans, and even got yanked off of YouTube for a spell. #Thicke and Co insist that the over the top clip was merely meant as a joke, but we’re pretty sure he’s laughing all the way to the bank. A little controversy never hurt record sales, did it? Just read on to see 25 scandalously sexy music vids that were too hot to handle when they first dropped!

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Pete Best Syndrome: 10 Dudes Who Left Big Bands To Wallow In Obscurity

Guys Who Left Big Bands

Mr. Pete Best: A man, but also cultural short-hand for when you get totally kicked in the crotch by fate. For those of you who don’t know, Pete served as the original drummer for a little band called the Beatles, playing scores of small gigs across England in the early pre-fame ’60s. It’s hard to believe, but at the time he was seen as (arguably) the most popular member of the band! At least with the ladies…

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Countdown: 15 Ways Beyonce Kept It Real During Her First Headlining Show At Barclays

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On Saturday night we were lucky enough to catch Beyonce‘s headlining debut at the  Barclay’s Center as part of the ongoing Mrs. Carter World Tour! Obviously, she brought the goods. Big time. That goes without saying! But despite the epic coronation video that opened the extravaganza, and the fact that she essentially owned the place (along with Jay Z, obvs), the diva managed to keep things chill. She was the perfect host, putting her 18,000 guests at ease as she welcomed us to her family arena. Here are 15 of the ways Queen Bey kept it real in her home court!

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