With its new exhibition, Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City examines the "tools" of the trade, and rock and roll's outsize influence on culture. The show opens on April 8, and visitors will experience the artistry and craftsmanship of the most iconic instruments of rock music. There is no separate admission fee to see the exhibit.
Play It Loud showcases 130 instruments dating from 1939 to 2017 -- played by artists such as Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Don Felder, Kim Gordon, Jimi Hendrix, James Hetfield, Wanda Jackson, Joan Jett, Lady Gaga, Steve Miller, Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Kate Pierson, Elvis Presley, Prince, Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, St. Vincent, Tina Weymouth, Nancy Wilson and others.
Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstein composite electric guitar, 1975
This guitar was pieced together by Eddie Van Halen from modified factory seconds and mismatched odd-lot parts, then spray-painted. It represents an effort to combine some of the most desirable elements of Gibson and Fender guitars into a single instrument that was not commercially available at the time.
James Hetfield's second signature model, the JH-2, is an Explorer-style guitar outfitted for heavy-metal performances. This one-of-a-kind version features a chrome-diamond-plate top that Metallica provided to the ESP Custom Shop.
The Mellotron uses prerecorded three-track tapes to produce orchestral instrument sounds, rhythm tracks and effects. This Mellotron was played by the Rolling Stones on their Their Satanic Majesties Request album.
Blackie was Eric Clapton's main recording and performance guitar in the 1970s and 1980s, and has become his most famous instrument. Clapton's guitar tech, Ted Newman-Jones, assembled it from three late-1950s Stratocasters: it has a 1956 body, a 1957 neck, and 1950s pickups.