By Luis Lucero
Over at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a one of a kind exhibition recently made its debut - Play It Loud: The Instruments of Rock & Roll. Co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this exhibit brings in 130 instruments spanning across genre’s sixty year history. Among them are several iconic guitars owned by the likes of Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, and Keith Richards among others. But guitars aren’t the only instruments featured. Various bass guitars (including several owned by Paul McCartney, Flea, and John Entwistle) are featured, as are keyboards owned by Jerry Lee Lewis, Lady Gaga, and the late Keith Emerson.
There are even instruments that are seldom used in rock, including a sitar owned by Ravi Shankar, a saxophone belonging to Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and an autoharp owned by the late Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones. One room in the exhibit features exclusive interviews with Page, Richards, and Tom Morello, in which they describe their experiences with the guitar, how they developed their distinct playing styles, and what drives them to play. Near the end, various custom made instruments are displayed, including Prince’s infamous Love Symbol guitar and a bizarre five neck guitar owned by Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick fame. Whether you’re a fan of rock, or a music fan in general, this exhibit is definitely one of the must see activities of the spring and summer. Play It Loud will run until October 1.