Next summer, The Colorado Music Hall of Fame is moving to Red Rocks. All of the exhibits from the inductees, which have been on display at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield since the hall's inception in April 2011, will be moved into a new home at the Trading Post in time for next year's summer concert season.
Those artifacts include items from the inaugural inductees, John Denver and Red Rocks itself, along with memorabilia from the second set of inductees, the legendary late concert promoter Barry Fey and Harry Tuft; and the third class of the Astronauts, Sugarloaf, Flash Cadillac and KIMN Radio. This year's class -- Judy Collins, the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lind and Chris Daniels -- will be inducted into the hall this evening at the Paramount Theatre.
"We always knew that the 1STBANK Center was a temporary home," says Chuck Morris, president and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains, who sits on the Colorado Music Hall of Fame's board of directors. "You know, you can't go during the day, and it was only open during concerts, and we certainly were running out of space, as we have more and more inductions. So we wanted a permanent home, and the Trading Post, where a million people go through a year, with Red Rocks and all the business to Red Rocks, it was the ideal place, and we've been talking to the city for almost a year about it."
From the sounds of it, city officials didn't require a ton of convincing. "Frankly, from the mayor on down, they all loved the idea," says Morris. "I mean, for god's sake, the music community and Red Rocks are synonymous. In fact, our first induction was John Denver and Red Rocks, and they're probably, to be very honest, the two biggest names that ever came out of here."
The immediate plan, according to Morris, is to move into a large section of the Trading Post. "They're still going to sell a few things, and they're still going to have a restaurant in there," says Morris of the hall's new digs, which will be open 365 days a year, "but most of it is going to be the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. In fact, we're planning on having the twelve-foot John Denver statue be at the front of it."
Within the next three years or so, another building will be added to the Trading Post, and that building will be the hall's permanent home. "City architects are already making some plans for it," Morris reports. "So the city is helping us with architectural plans and has donated the land to us. We're going to have to raise some money or get some grants to build this other permanent building attached right to the Trading Post, but that's our final long-term plan for the Hall of Fame."
Keep reading for more on the Hall's impending move next summer
The Colorado Music Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization led by director G. Brown, a music journalist and radio host for more than three decades. Along with Morris, the hall's board of directors include this paper's publisher, Scott Tobias, and an esteemed group of other individuals that includes Lew Turner, Jeffrey Azoff, Kathie Broyles, Jay Elowski, Paul Epstein, Brad Farber, Aaron Friedman, Mark Hartley, Kathryn Keller, George W. Krieger, Phil Lobel, David McReynolds, Dave Plati, Devon Taylor and Craig Umbaugh.
"All money goes toward the education of the history of Colorado music," says Morris of the funds generated thus far by hall events and the planned merchandise sales at the museum's new home at Red Rocks. "We've already raised about $50,000 for the University of Colorado music school."
For his part, Morris is simply thrilled to see the vision for the hall being realized, a dream that he says he and G. Brown have talked about for years. "You know, so many other states have had halls of fame, and I always thought that it was sad that one of the greatest towns and states to bring in music [didn't have a hall of its own]. The music scene has certainly been a fertile one here, going back to Judy Collins and Phillip Bailey from Earth, Wind and Fire," Morris points out, "and all the great bands from the '70s, like the Dirt Band and Stephen Stills and Manassas, Joe Walsh and Barnstorm, and Firefall.
"And then, of course, the '80s and '90s had all the bands like String Cheese and Yonder Mountain, all those great bands," he goes on. "And the latest generation had groups like the Fray and 3OH!3 and the Lumineers, who moved here, and a whole bunch of great bands, and so the tradition just keeps on going.
"I've really always wanted this to be a legacy for all of us who have helped in the music community," Morris concludes. "I'm just a small part of it."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.