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victoryu

RIP to Jim Henke

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https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/james-henke-rolling-stone-writer-and-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-chief-curator-dead-at-65-856396/?fbclid=IwAR3bHxgTDv0qYEHM9IgClTzdLVMWd-2Q8Efn5Wq_PQp8TUNDupavU2d8hA8

RIP to Jim Henke, a major player in the music industry, who had roles at Elektra Records, the Rock & Roll HOF, Rolling Stone magazine, etc. A native Clevelander, he eventually rose to be chief curator at the Rock Hall. He was hugely influential on U2 and Bono’s turn towards social justice.

I only had 1 real interaction with him, but I think it shows what kind of guy he was:

In February 2003, Cleveland’s Rock & Roll HOF opened a U2 exhibit (“In the Name of Love: Two Decades of U2”) showcasing a ton of previously unseen memorabilia from throughout their history -- much of it donated by the band’s internal historian, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. With me being a U2 nerd, I took my fiance with me to check it out. 

We arrived early in order to explore the other parts of the Rock Hall, and I discovered some U2 photos (not part of the aforementioned new exhibit) which had been mis-labeled (they mixed up 1997’s Popmart and 2001’s Elevation tours). I happened to run into Henke in the hall as he was scurrying about, prepping for the U2 exhibit opening, and informed him of the mistake.
 

JH: Oh, man. We gotta fix that before the exhibit starts.

Me: Yeah.

JH: (Calls someone on a walkie to correct the labels.) Thanks for the catch.

Me: No problem. Good luck with the opening. (We both start walking away.)

JH: Hey. (I turn around.) You seem like a real fan. I assume you’re here for the U2 exhibit?

Me: Yes.

JH: Do you want a private tour, before we open it to the public?

Me: Uhh...yeah!

 

So that’s what he did. 

He didn’t have to; I was a total stranger and as a Rock Hall bigwig, Henke obviously had far more pressing matters to attend to. But he did, based solely on the love of music and being nice to a fellow fan.

 

There are worse legacies to leave behind.

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That’s a great story! Thank you for sharing that!

R.I.P., Jim Henke.

 

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