Written by Jennifer Hartel. Photography by Zephyr McIntyre.
As part of Midtown’s popular Second Saturday Art Walk each month, visitors have the opportunity to drop by one of Sacramento’s best hidden gems: The Sacramento Rock and Radio Museum which showcases concert memorabilia from Sacramento and Davis’s musical past and present.
Home to more than 3,000 items including concert posters, books, handbills and other objects, the museum immediately impresses guests with its awesome collection. The walls are lined from floor to ceiling with framed posters from live shows which have taken place over the last six decades, featuring bands like The Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and The Monkees among many others. It’s easy to lose track of time moving from wall to wall searching for favorite bands while at the same time conjuring up personal memories and favorite songs of the bands found on each poster.
Typically greeting visitors when the museum is open every second Saturday, is curator and collector Dennis Newhall. Newhall, who has a background in Sacramento and Bay Area radio, is an avid collector and a great resource on anything and everything relating to Rock and Roll in our area. On the topic of concert venues, Newhall credits The Sacramento Community Center Theater as a great place to see live music in Sacramento today, praising its great sound, and lists Crabshaw’s Corner and The Oasis Ballroom, as his favorite venues of the past for putting on the most fun and messy shows in their heyday.
When visiting the museum, be on the lookout for a 1968 poster from a Cream and Grateful Dead concert which took place at the Memorial Auditorium. This poster stands out as one of Newhall’s favorites for the unique pairing of bands.
Another poster that stands out is a Red Hot Chili Pepper’s poster from the 1980’s at the beginning of the band’s career when they played what is now the Zinfandel Grill on Fair Oaks Boulevard.
The museum also includes posters from more recent concerts, including the popular TBD Fest (happening this year September 18-20) and other local shows like No Doubt and Violent Femmes. The museum continues to add to their collection with the help of donations and the local graphic arts community.
Simply put, The Sacramento Rock and Radio Museum is must see for music and art lovers of all generations. See you there!
Sacramento’s Rock and Radio Museum located at 911 20th Street and is open during the second Saturday of each month (April-October) from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, with a suggested $1 donation. The museum is also available for event rentals. For more information please visit: http://www.sacrockmuseum.org/