Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens new exhibit to honor Alternative Press Magazine

David Boyd, lead singer of the band New Politics, performs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum during the 30th anniversary event for Alternative Press Magazine on July 21, 2015.

Jenna Kuczkowski

Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened a new exhibit Tuesday in honor of Alternative Press’ 30th anniversary this year as a music magazine.

Alternative Press, a Cleveland-based alternative rock magazine, was created by Mike Shea in 1985 when he was 19. Since then, the magazine has become a nationally read magazine, leading to the creation of the Alternative Press Music Awards, which are Wednesday at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

“I think what kept AP successful was that we adapted,” Shea said in a previous KentWired article. “We never really grew older with our readership. We kept changing to whatever our readers’ music tastes were, within this alternative, rock kind of world.”

The exhibit was opened in the special exhibitions gallery and features numerous items of AP memorabilia, including the original computer used to create AP and other pieces of history showcasing AP’s evolution into what it is today.

“When you go in there, there’s going to be a desk with a bunch of X-ACTO knife marks in it, and that’s where we used to cut up the first few issues of AP,” Shea said before the exhibit’s opening. “It’s just kind of weird that it’s in this museum now. I don’t think we ever thought we’d be in here (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), and I don’t think any of the staff ever imagined their stuff being in here, much less being interviewed for videos in here.”

The exhibit also displays a wall displaying past AP covers as well as digital archives of every magazine Video interviews with longtime staff AP members, known as “AP Lifers,” also play in the exhibit.

“They kind of give up their life for a while when they’re here, so that’s why a lot of our staff are younger, and they work long hours, and they go to shows and they live and breathe this AP community and everything we’re doing, and one of the reasons were around is because we’ve got 30 years of those kinds of people working here,” Shea said.

The exhibit opening was followed by performances from rock bands Vinyl Theatre and New Politics.

The exhibit will be at the Rock Hall until January 2016.

Contact Jenna Kuczkowski at [email protected].