Photos: Rock, power, politics on display at Newseum

John Lennon's acoustic guitar from his 1969 Montreal and Amsterdam "Bed-Ins for Peace," on display at the Newseum. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
John Lennon’s acoustic guitar from his 1969 Montreal and Amsterdam “Bed-Ins for Peace” is on display at the Newseum. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to “The Times They Are a-Changin,'” one of Dylan’s most influential observations of society in the early 1960s, is on display. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Bob Dylan’s harmonica is on display. His music was a powerful tool in influencing political and social change. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Music by reggae legend Bob Marley and punk icon Sid Vicious influenced social reflection and change. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Music by reggae legend Bob Marley and punk icon Sid Vicious influenced social reflection and change. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Such women as Cyndi Lauper and Madonna “found a new way to express themselves through rock,” said Carrie Christoffersen of the Newseum. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

"Hail, hail rock and roll" -- Chuck Berry's 'School Days' 45 rpm record on display. From the 1950s through the 1970s, singles offered an inexpensive way for young people to own music. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
“Hail, hail rock and roll”  — Chuck Berry’s ‘School Days’ 45 rpm record  —  is on display. From the 1950s through the 1970s, singles offered an inexpensive way for young people to own music. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

The Fender Stratocaster guitar Jimi Hendrix used to play the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock, on display at the Newseum. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein
The Fender Stratocaster guitar Jimi Hendrix used to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock is on display at the Newseum. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

The Village People gave a voice to the gay community. The band's name referred to Greenwich Village in New York. At the time, it was known for its large gay population. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The Village People gave a voice to the gay community. The band’s name referred to Greenwich Village in New York. At the time, it was known for its large gay population. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

“Rock, Power, and Politics” opens Jan. 13 at the Newseum, one week before the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Bruce Springsteen's notebook, including "Born in the USA." The lyrics reflect the challenges of veterans returning from war. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Bruce Springsteen’s notebook, including the lyrics to “Born in the USA,” is on display. The lyrics reflect the challenges of veterans returning from war. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

The lawyer for Ice T wrote an email to the president of Warner Bros. Records, thanking the company for its support during the "Cop Killer" controversy. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The lawyer for Ice-T wrote an email to the president of Warner Bros. Records, thanking the company for its support during the “Cop Killer” controversy. Eventually the song was removed from the album, but given away as a bonus single. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Dee Snider of Twisted Sister wore this T-shirt and vest when he testified on Capitol Hill in 1985 against a proposed rating system for lyrics. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

“Louder than Words: Rock, Power and Politics” will be on display at the Newseum through July 31, 2017. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

U2's Bono wore this jacket while performing at the 2002 Super Bowl, when he paid tribute to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
U2’s Bono wore this jacket while performing at the 2002 Super Bowl, when he paid tribute to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

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John Lennon's acoustic guitar from his 1969 Montreal and Amsterdam "Bed-Ins for Peace," on display at the Newseum. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Music by reggae legend Bob Marley and punk icon Sid Vicious influenced social reflection and change. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
"Hail, hail rock and roll" -- Chuck Berry's 'School Days' 45 rpm record on display. From the 1950s through the 1970s, singles offered an inexpensive way for young people to own music. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The Fender Stratocaster guitar Jimi Hendrix used to play the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock, on display at the Newseum. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein
The Village People gave a voice to the gay community. The band's name referred to Greenwich Village in New York. At the time, it was known for its large gay population. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Bruce Springsteen's notebook, including "Born in the USA." The lyrics reflect the challenges of veterans returning from war. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The lawyer for Ice T wrote an email to the president of Warner Bros. Records, thanking the company for its support during the "Cop Killer" controversy. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
U2's Bono wore this jacket while performing at the 2002 Super Bowl, when he paid tribute to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

WASHINGTON — Looking at the original handwritten words of “The Times They Are A-Changin'” scrawled on a five-hole piece of notebook paper, it’s clear Bob Dylan knew what he wanted to say.

With only three or four words crossed out and substituted, Dylan’s manuscript is one powerful example of what can happen when music intersects with politics and social movements.

“It was one of those earliest anthems of, ‘Wow, social change is happening,'” said Carrie Christoffersen, curator of collections at The Newseum.

“Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics” opens Friday in the museum about news, and runs through July 31, 2017.

In a tour during final preparations for the exhibition, instruments and clothes owned by influential musicians stand as reminders of how during times of political and social discord,  music can both soothe or stoke tensions.

The Fender Stratocaster used by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock during his rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is on display.

“The searing wild rendition of the national anthem drew some criticism at the time, but Hendrix always viewed it as his emotional outpouring about America and the times,” said Christoffersen.

The white T-shirt and jeans worn by Bruce Springsteen on the cover of the “Born In The U.S.A.” album is displayed next to Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics in a notebook.

A few steps away are the handwritten lyrics to Green Day’s “American Idiot.”

“We were able to partner with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, so there are pieces in the exhibit from their collection, from our collection and a wide variety of third-party lenders,” said Christoffersen.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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