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.”
Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Punk Bass” used for the RHCP’s By the Way album and 2002-3 tour.
Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer played this Hammon electric tone wheel organ on the 1971 album Tarkus and on tour. Emerson also adapted and used this analog synthesizer.
Born to Rock’s patented aluminum tube frame electric bass.
The Eagle’s Don Felder used this white, double-neck guitar for both the six-string and twelve-string parts of “Hotel California” in the live performances.
Ravi Shankar’s performances of Hindustani classical sitar music influenced Western musicians, including George Harrison and the Beatles.
Chicago’s Lee Loughnane’s trumpet. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Clarence Clemons played this saxophone in solos on “Jungleland” and “Thunder Road” in 1975.
The Clash’s Joe Strummer’s “Telecaster” electric guitar.
Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson used this flute in live performances.
Joan Jett of the Runaways and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts” Gibson “Melody Maker” electric touring guitar from the 1980’s to the present day.
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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