‘Play it Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll’ opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 8.
For the first time, a major museum exhibition examines the instruments of rock and roll. One of the most important artistic movements of the twentieth century, rock and roll’s seismic influence was felt across culture and society. Early rock musicians were attracted to the wail of the electric guitar and the distortion of early amplifiers, a sound that became forever associated with rock music and its defining voice. Rock fans have long been fascinated with the instruments used by musicians. Many have sought out and acquired the exact models of instruments and equipment used by their idols, and spent countless hours trying to emulate their music and their look. The instruments used in rock and roll had a profound impact on this art form that forever changed music.
The exhibition is co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and will present approximately 130 instruments alongside posters and costumes. Many of rock’s most celebrated and recognized instruments are featured, representing artists across generations and subgenres. In addition to institutional and private collectors, many musicians are lending their performance and recording instruments.
The exhibition features several instruments painted by Dutch artists Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma. Koger and Posthuma founded a collective known as the Fool and went on to create designs for many top bands. For the Beatles, they designed and painted costumes, an automobile, and the mural on the Apple Corps music building in London. The Fool released their own psychedelic folk album in 1969.
‘Play it Loud’ also features instruments owned by musician Eddie van Halen.