Rock Hall's "Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll" Exhibit Opens Nov. 22

Rock Hall
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Rock Hall

Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll is coming to Rock Hall. 

Following its successful stint in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art with over 600,000 visitors, Play It Loud is a four-floor showcase of a massive collection of rare and iconic musical instruments pivotal to the sound of classic rock 'n roll. Featured instruments span from 1939 to today, from Jerry Garcia's "Wolf" guitar to Jimi Hendrix's 1967 hand-decorated guitar, "Love Drops."

The exhibit offers "a rare, in-depth look at the artists and instruments that made possible many of the songs we know and love," and includes:

  • Chuck Berry’s early hollow-body Gibson guitar
  • Eric Clapton’s Martin acoustic guitar model 000-42 used during his famous MTV Unplugged concert
  • Rory Gallagher’s iconic 1961 Fender Stratocaster
  • James Jamerson's upright bass used on many early Motown hits
  • Keyboard John Paul Jones used to record “Stairway to Heaven”
  • Eddie Van Halen’s performance rig from 2013
  • Steve Miller's electric guitar painted with psychedelic designs ca. 1972
  • Keith Richards's hand-painted Gibson Les Paul Guitar used to record Beggars Banquet
  • A sculpture made from what was left of one of Pete Townshend's electric guitars after he smashed the instrument during a photo shoot
  • St. Vincent's electric guitar, which Annie "St. Vincent" Clark designed in collaboration with Ernie Ball Music Man in 2015
  • Tina Weymouth's "headless" Steinberger bass guitar that she used extensively with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club through the late 1990s
  • A selection of vintage posters from historic concert performances

    Met Museum

The opening party launches November 21 in Cleveland, Ohio, with a legendary lineup of Special Inductees who have instruments on display, including Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo of Metallica, Don Felder formerly of the Eagles, and Nancy Wilson of Heart. 

There are additional priceless instruments on-display in this staggering collection that were formerly played by some of rock's most revered artists, including The Beatles, Joan Jett, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, the Roots, Patti Smith, and Kurt Cobain. Also within this treasure trove of rock's foundation are exclusive interviews and performance footage highlighting Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and Tom Morello. 

Tickets go for $30 for members and $50 for non-members, which includes live music and entertainment, touring privileges of Play It Loud and other Rock Hall exhibits, dessert bar access, and a complimentary drink. 

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