More than 130 instruments used by such artists as Chuck Berry, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Steve Miller, St. Vincent, Metallica and the Rolling Stones will go on display in Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll, which opens next April.
Most of the objects in the exhibition, which are drawn from 70 private and public collections and date from 1939-2017, will be seen for the first time outside their performance contexts. Themes will include emerging technologies and how musicians embraced them, the "Guitar Gods" phenomenon and the destruction of instruments during live performances.
Among the celebrated guitars to go on display will be Chuck Berry's electric guitar ES-350T (1957), which was used to record Johnny B. Goode, as well as Jimi Hendrix's electric guitar "Love Drops," originally decorated by him, and Eric Clapton's "Blackie," Eddie Van Halen's "Frankenstein" and Jerry Garcia's "Wolf."
Rigs used in live performances and sound recordings—such as Keith Emerson's keyboard rig and a reconstructed performance rig from Eddie Van Halen as it appeared onstage in 1978—will demonstrate how artists created their own individual sounds.
Around 40 vintage posters as well as stage costumes—including Jimmy Page's 1975 embroidered dragon costume—and photos will round out the show, which is said to be the first major loan exhibition at an art museum devoted entirely to the iconic instruments of rock and roll.
Visitors will also be able to view a sculpture made from what was left of one of Pete Townshend's electric guitars after he smashed the instrument during a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz.
Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll will run from April 8 to October 1, 2019.
(See also:Bangkok Art Biennale: A Round Up)