When the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Took on New York City

…And Lost!

If you blinked, you missed the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. The mini-museum was like a keyboard player that joins a band for one album and then vanishes.

Back in 2009, the small but artifact-crammed pop-up museum was arguably a pioneer before pop-up museums were a thing. The galleries were like bonus tracks left out of the main museum back in Cleveland. The museum even had a soundtrack—you wore headphones, and the music changed depending on which exhibits you visited.

The annex closed its doors after one year. One problem was the then-high ticket price: $26.50. But in that one year, we managed to offer scavenger hunts that featured tricky questions about Chuck Berry’s leopard-print vest, Elvis Presley’s Bible, a thank-you note from Rolling Stone Brian Jones to a fan who’d given him aftershave, Jimi Hendrix’s TWA flight bag…OK, the relics weren’t always quite as noteworthy as what you’d find in Cleveland. But John Lennon’s piano was pretty cool.

Here are some of the questions from that bygone hunt, rejiggered into trivia questions. For those about to rock this quiz, we salute you.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex Trivia

Scroll to the end to see the answers.

1. What visual artist helped the Material Girl express herself?

2. What was the first rap video played on MTV?

3. Whose famous “Bridge” actually began on East End Avenue (so to speak)?

4. What good-looking athlete inspired a “godfather” to wear part of a super hero’s costume?

5. What “Afrikan” DJ’s intercontinental soulsonic sound was monstrous?

6. How much was a three-day ticket to Woodstock?

7. In what NYC neighborhood did a photographer find the tenement face for Physical Graffiti?

8. Despite the song title, who is really the punk in one of the Ramones’ most famous songs?

9. What did a famed pop artist use for wallpaper in his famous “factory”?

10. If you answered a phone at the Annex, you could say, “Oh, no!” and be right. The artist might have been on the line. Who was it?

Bonus Round

11. In concert, what provided juice for the King? 

12. A funk soul father apparently didn’t want his tunes to use antiperspirant. He said, “Music has to breathe and sweat.” Who was he?

13. The section on “Poetry in Music” featured Elvis Costello, who apparently liked to move while working on “sole music.” What did he write the lyrics to the song “Red Shoes” on?


  1. Madonna’s friend Keith Haring hand painted a leather jacket that was on display at the Annex.
  2. “The Rapture,” by Blondie
  3. A copyright certificate for “Bridge Over Troubled Water” showed Paul Simon’s address as 200 East End Ave. He didn’t write the song at his publisher’s office.
  4. Wrestler Gorgeous George was James Brown’s inspiration for wearing a cape.
  5. “Soulsonic Godzilla sound by DJ Afrika Bambaataa,” according to a flyer that was on display.
  6. $18
  7. The building on the cover of the Led Zeppelin album is in the East Village. You’ll see the building on our Secrets of the East Village Scavenger Hunt.
  8. The song “Judy Is a Punk” repeatedly insists that Jackie is a punk. Judy, meanwhile, is apparently a runt.
  9. Andy Warhol decorated the walls of his artist studio, which he called “The Factory,” with aluminum foil.
  10. Yoko Ono sometimes answered if you picked up a phone on display linked to her.
  11. Elvis Presley said he thrived on the “electricity“ generated by a cheering crowd.
  12. James Brown
  13. Elvis Costello wrote the song on a train ticket.