Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Performs at ‘Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics’ Opening
Throughout the decades, rock music has served as a vessel to address political and social issues, often spurring movements and opening the door for proper discourse. With another presidential election looming and the 2016 National Republican Convention coming to Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has opened a new exhibit, "Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics."
Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider performed an acoustic version of the firebrand "We're Not Gonna Take It" at the exhibit's opening last night on May 19. "Louder Than Words" takes a look at the history of rock music's intervention in society, hitting on an array of topics including civil rights, LGBT issues, feminism, war and peace, censorship, political campaigns, political causes and international politics.
Snider famously testified with Frank Zappa and John Denver at a 1985 Senate hearing regarding censorship. The Parents Music Resource Center's attempts to censor music that was deemed to have violent, drug-related or sexual themes resulted in the "Parental Advisory" sticker, but Snider and his camp showed lyrical content could also be subjective and interpretation may not express artist intent.
The exhibit will feature never-before-seen artifacts, photography, interactive features and video interviews from a wealth of artists including Bono, David Byrne, Dee Snider, Tom Morello, Lars Ulrich, Gloria Estefan, Gregg Allman and more, all demonstrating how music has molded our culture regarding the topics above.
Some of the most notable items on display will be the guitar Jimi Hendrix used to play the "Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock, John Lennon's acoustic guitar from the 1969 Montreal and Amsterdam "Bed-ins for Peace," correspondence between the FBI and Priority Records over N.W.A.'s highly controversial "Fight the Power" song, handwritten lyrics from Bob Dylan's "The Time They are a-Changin'," Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." and Green Day's "American Idiot" along with much more.
Breaking down the years by presidential administration starting with Dwight Eisenhower through the current Barack Obama administration, a digital screen will be constantly updated to show how music has had an impact on political and social issues throughout each era. The exhibit will even include very recent events, like Springsteen's cancelation of his North Carolina shows in protest of the HB2 bill regarding transgender public bathroom rights.
Over 50 artists will be included in the exhibit, including Bono, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Green Day, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Ministry, Tom Morello, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Sid Vicious, Keith Richards and many more.
The "Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics" exhibit will open today (May 20) and run through Nov. 27 and will then head to Newseum in Washington, D.C., with an opening date set for Jan. 13, 2017.
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