Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame to open

After nearly 20 years of planning, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) is about to open its doors. The nonprofit organization is located at 97 Main St. in Stony Brook. The two-story, 8,800-square-foot museum will open to the public on November 25 at noon. Includes a special VIP red carpet preview Nov. 22. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and opening ceremony with dignitaries.

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“I am incredibly proud that our organization has created Long Island’s first Hall of Fame, and how fitting it is to celebrate Long Island’s music and entertainment heritage and future,” says Board Chair Ernie Canadio. “I believe there is no other part of the world that has produced as much music and entertainment talent as Long Island. Now everyone can experience, learn about, and be proud of Long Island’s contribution to world culture.

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Over the years, the Hall of Fame, founded in 2004, has had several false starts. In 2011, the museum was located in Port Jefferson, but that deal fell through. In 2019, it looked like Wyandanch was going to build a Hall of Fame, but plans never materialized. Finally, Ward reached an agreement with the Melville Heritage Organization to take over its former educational and cultural center space last summer, and LIMEHOF moved in in July. Four months later, visitors are welcome to explore the new museum.

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The exterior of the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall...

The exterior of the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall in Stony Brook.
Credit: Tom Lambui

The first exhibition

The first floor will feature the museum’s inaugural exhibit, “Long Island’s Legendary Club Scene through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.” Old live-music venues like My Father’s Place in Roslyn, The Mad Hatter in Stony Brook, Hammerheads in Levittown and The Action House/Speaks in Island Park will be the centerpiece.

“Instead of focusing on one artist, we decided to highlight the clubs that produced all of these artists on Long Island,” says creative director Kevin O’Callaghan. “It’s a good way to introduce the museum.”

O’Callaghan has been architecturally redesigning the front of each club, and visitors can peek inside to see live video footage of bands that have played at the venue, including Twisted Sister, Zebra and Blue Öyster Cult.

A replica of the bar from My Father’s Place doubles as a glass showcase featuring memorabilia from the Long Island bar scene, such as matchbook covers, coasters and cocktail menus. There’s a wall of old ticket stubs as well as a 10-foot-long map of Long Island showing the locations of all the clubs back then.

“People really want to relive the old days. Nothing does it like music,” says O Callaghan. “Hearing a song can put a smile on your face and bring you back to your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. That’s what this whole first show is about.”

Personal items and props from Twisted Sister's Dee Snider…

Personal items and props from Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider will be on display.
Credit: Tom Lambui

Hall of Fame Exhibition

On the second floor, there is a permanent exhibit commemorating the more than 120 artists who make up the Hall of Fame.

“We take the most notable album or photo of each inductee and print it on a 16-by-16 piece of glass with a QR code,” says O’Callaghan. “You can use your smartphone to click on the QR code and it will bring you to the artist’s bio on our website, and you can listen to their music on Spotify.”

LIMEHOF has acquired a variety of items for visitors to check out, such as Harry Chapin’s Congressional Gold Medal and his handwritten lyrics, rapper DMC’s hat and gold record, a drum kit from Blue Öyster Cult, the band’s lookalike Vanilla Fudge gear. The Ed Sullivan Show,” Jay Jay French on Twisted Sister’s famous Destroyer guitar, Twisted Sister’s original logo from its club days, and a pair of white guitars from Zebra’s Randy Jackson. Joan Jett has donated her 1983 Jaguar with 10,000 miles.

“We get new acquisitions every day,” Canadeo says. “They’re pouring in.”

In the past year, the Hall of Fame added “entertainment” to its name to expand the organization’s induction base to include comedians, actors and more.

One of the items in the Hall of Fame is...

One of the items in the Hall of Fame is a photo of Eddie Van Halen playing a guitar used by The Good Rats.
Credit: Tom Lambui

Multipurpose space

The museum has a library with computers, a small theater where documentaries are shown, and a permanent stage to be used for live performances, lectures and book signings.

“Our first floor exhibition space rotates every six months and we have different events throughout the year,” says O’Callaghan. “The key is to get people to come, not just to come back.”

Next year, LIMEHOF will partner with presenting sponsor Catholic Health on a new program called Health and Harmony at the Museum to illustrate how music and art can positively impact health.

Additionally, there is a gift shop where visitors can purchase a variety of merchandise such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, mugs and posters, as well as vinyl albums and books.

The LIMEHOF Museum is open year-round, Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit limusichalloffame.org.

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