The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland broke ground 30 years ago this week—on June 7th, 1993. Pete Townshend, Billy Joel, Chuck Berry, Sam Phillips, Sam Moore among others gathered seven years after the first induction ceremony in 1986.
Pet Townshend recalled his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony in 1993: "I said something about the fact that I had been, not skeptical, but doubtful about the value of a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as everybody else. You know, even [Rock Hall founder and Atlantic Records founder and chairman] Ahmet [Ertegun] was at the very beginning. I mean he was canvassing opinion from left, right and center. [He] wasn't really sure that it was a good idea and everybody that's involved in it didn't seem to be particularly sure. And I realized in a sense what's really important about was the white side continuing to honor, pay reverence, to its engagement with the black side."
Townshend and The Who were inducted back in 1990. The museum opened on September 1st, 1995 and there was an all-star concert on the September 2nd next door at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
That show featured Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, The Kinks, The Allman Brothers Band, The Pretenders, Jackson Browne, Robbie Robertson, Johnny Cash and many others.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]