After a period of playing live with multiple guitars strapped on simultaneously, Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick began collaborating with Hamer Guitars in 1981 to combine all of his needs into one outlandish instrument. This guitar, Nielson’s first of its kind, was built by laminating together the bodies of five Hamer Specials.
Prince was king when I was in college, and he was electrifying in concerts. I’m standing with “Love Symbol,” the electric guitar made for him in 1993 when, after becoming embroiled in a contract dispute with his label, he changed his name to a symbol and called himself the-artist-formerly-known-as-Prince. “Prince used variations and copies of this instrument in live performances, including at the 2007 Super Bowl halftime show.”
“This guitar was Prince’s primary instrument throughout his career. Despite his reputation for playing extravagant master-built guitars, Prince allegedly bought this instrument from a Minneapolis-area gas station for about thirty dollars in the early 1970’s because the guitar’s leopard-patterned pick guard matched his strap and stage outfit. When Prince was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, he performed a masterful version of The Beatles’ ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ on this guitar.”
This left-handed ‘violin’ bass was built for Paul McCartney “on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebration concert in 2012. The instrument’s Union Jack design pays tribute to not only the queen but also the legacy. of the 1960’s British Invasion, a transatlantic movement in which British musicians influenced by American pop brought their own music to the Unites States. McCartney used this bass to perform the concert’s closing number, The Beatles’ ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” joined onstage by the celebration’s other performers.”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Play It Loud, Instruments of Rock & Roll” is on display until October 1, 2019
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