The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will become the first major art museum to launch an entire exhibition dedicated to the instruments of rock and roll beginning next spring. Announced on Wednesday, “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll” will feature over 130 instruments and music equipment used by famous rock and roll pioneers throughout the last 70 years. Notable artists whose equipment has been curated from 70 private and public international collections to be featured in the exhibition include The Beatles, Eddie Van Halen, Jerry Garcia and many more.
The “Play It Loud” exhibit will open its doors to fans at Met Gallery 199 beginning on April 8th, 2019, and remain open at the New York museum until October 1st, after which it will be moved to Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Rock Hall also acts as the exhibition’s co-producer alongside The Met. The goal of the exhibition is to explore the objects and instruments which fueled the dominant musical genre from 1939 to 2017. Some of the featured guitars mentioned in the announcement include Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Fender Stratocaster, Eddie Van Halen’s trademark “Frankenstein” axe, and Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf” guitar, which sold at auction in 2017 for an astounding price of $1.9 million. The exhibit will also include Chuck Berry’s well-known Gibson ES-350T guitar, which was used on the recording of his famous rock anthem, “Johnny B. Goode”.
Other artists whose instruments will be featured throughout the exhibit include Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Steve Miller, St. Vincent, members of Metallica and The Rolling Stones, just to name a few. The majority of instruments to be showcased in the exhibition have never been displayed outside of their original concert performance settings, according to the Museum’s press release. Non-instrument items also set to be included in “Play It Loud” next spring include Keith Moon’s “Pictures of Lily” drum set, some 40 vintage posters, Jimmy Page’s famous dragon-embroidered stage costume, and a sculpture crafted from the remainder of Pete Townshend’s destroyed guitars.
Folks hoping to stop at the gift shop on the way out won’t be able to take any of the guitars home with them. There will however be a a fully illustrated catalogue inspired by “Play It Loud” which will surely be sold on-site at both museums.
— Rock Hall (@rockhall) November 20, 2018