Self-described "die-hard rock fan" Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined music legends Billy Joel and Clive Davis today in announcing the development of a new 25,000-square-foot annex to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, located at 76 Mercer Street in Soho.
The new annex, opening in November, will include such priceless artifacts as Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite guitar and the graffiti-clad phone booth from defunct legendary rock club CBGB.
"We’re in a landmarked area of great cast-iron buildings," Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said of the location, which was picked "for a variety of reasons," he added. "One, for the size; two, just as importantly, the location. You know, the location in this area is fantastic. There’s plenty of people that live in this area. There’s tourists who feel free to come. It’s easily accessible by mass transportation."
Mr. Peresman added, however, that the facility is "too small" to conduct induction ceremonies. This year’s inductions will take place in Cleveland. When the inductions return to New York the following year, he said, the ceremonies will take place at the Waldorf Astoria.
The "Piano Man," Mr. Joel, said he would donating a bunch of "stuff" to the new facility: "I’m supposed to give the annex here the jersey I was given at Shea Stadium … but actually, that jersey is in a road case on its way to Hong Kong. So, this morning I went around my house looking for chotzkes that I could give you. And I was pulling stuff off the wall, so I’ve got some stuff that people are probably going to be ticked off because they gave them to me and now I’m giving them to [the annex].
"The first item here," Mr. Joel said, brandishing a wooden baseball bat, "was given to me by New York Mets player David Wright. So, David, sorry, but it’s going in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
Mayor Bloomberg then added, "For those of you that don’t come from New York, I’ll translate chotzkes later on."