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 Tennessee State Museum exhibition is guitar-lover’s paradise

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MessageSujet: Tennessee State Museum exhibition is guitar-lover’s paradise   Mar 13 Nov 2012, 22:49

Tennessee State Museum exhibition is guitar-lover’s paradise





Click to see a gallery of guitars and guitarists that play a role in The Guitar:

An American Love Story



Posted on November 8, 2012 by Dave Paulson


Truckers call it “Guitar Town” for good reason. Perhaps no other place contains more six-strings per square mile than
Nashville, and for the next two months, some of the city’s — and the rest of the world’s — rarest, most valuable and
historically significant guitars will be on view under one roof.

A new free exhibition, The Guitar: An American Love Story, has opened at the Tennessee State Museum, where guests will be
able to trace the history of modern music through the evolution of one of its most enduring instruments.

The collection of more than 150 guitars — dating from the early 1800s to the present day — was assembled by the museum
staff with the aid of five of the area’s top guitar collectors, experts and enthusiasts, who called on their vast network of fellow
guitar lovers to secure many of the exhibit’s pieces, from private and museum collections.

The team, which includes Gruhn Guitars owner George Gruhn and New Hope Guitar Traders owner Jay Pilzer, is excited that
these instruments have been gathered to be seen, not sold.

“What you see quite often is guitar shows, several a year, that are really guitar sales, like gun shows,” says co-organizer Joe
Glaser, owner of instrument repair service Glaser Instruments. “What we had been talking about for years was rather than
putting together something that was a celebration of the depletion of available stuff, wouldn’t it be cool to dip into some of
the coolest collections that we knew and borrow the most amazing stuff?”


Rare instruments

From those collections, Glaser and his comrades have pulled out some pieces that could take an axe-lover’s breath away.
Among them are a circa 1900 guitar and mandolin personally crafted by Orville Gibson, the founder of Gibson Guitars.
Co-organizer Paul Polycarpou compares it to having a Stradivarius violin on display.

There’s a (or rather, the) 1919 Martin 000-30 acoustic guitar, which organizers believe might be the only one ever made.
Though they’ll be presented without price tags, the organizers are certain a handful of the instruments on display would hit
the million-dollar mark.

Rock and country fans will get to see a few guitars once strummed by their heroes, including one of Elvis Presley’s personal
guitars, Keith Richards’ 1953 Fender Telecaster and Eric Clapton’s 1958 Gibson Explorer. But unlike other musical museum
exhibits, fame isn’t the driving force of “The Guitar.”

“There are not many guitars in this show that are here because they belonged to someone,” says Polycarpou, CEO and editor
of Nashville Arts magazine. “They are incredible guitars. Johnny Cash’s 1939 D-45 would be in this show regardless.”

Instead, the focus is on the instrument’s evolution, innovations and outliers, and how emerging musical styles drove its
design and vice-versa. Co-organizer, musican and author Walter Carter says The Guitar illustrates how the instrument’s
history follows that of American popular music, and that scope sets the exhibit apart.

“There are other shows that have been historical, or say, focused on the early electric guitars, that sort of thing,” he says. “I
don’t think anyone has yet tried to encompass everything the way we have here.”

Among the exhibit’s chapters is a section dubbed The Search for Loud, chronicling guitar-makers’ drive to increase the volume
of the instrument, first through larger bodies and more resonant material for acoustics, and eventually through electricity.

Organizers say the influence of Hawaiian music — popularized in the U.S. during the 1930s — isn’t emphasized enough in
guitar history, and it’s given its due with pieces including the Rickenbacker “Frying Pan,” one of the first solid-body electric guitars.


Best guitars in the world

The Hawaiian influence led to the development of one of Music City’s defining instruments, the pedal steel guitar. A pedal steel
that once belonged to late Nashville musician and Neil Young sideman Ben Keith stands out, and not just for a minature
Tabasco bottle attached at one end. The guitar — played on Young’s “Harvest” album and others — is an Emmons model,
designed by pedal steel guitar king Buddy Emmons, who co-founded the Sho-Bud company with Shot Jackson on Lower
Broadway in the 1950s.

“Nashville’s history, which we all take for granted, is very much tied up in stuff that happened as little garage inventions,” Glaser says.

Nashville pickers will also come into play for String Fever, a benefit concert for the Tennessee State Museum Foundation on
Dec. 12. Vince Gill, who contributed several of his own guitars to the collection, will perform with nearly two dozen of the city’s
most revered players, including Marty Stuart, Steve Wariner and Steve Cropper, most of whom will have to drive only a short
distance to make it to the stage. Polycarpou says The Guitar similarly benefits from being in Nashville, a city he calls “the
center of the guitar world.”

“You have the players who can play them, who love them and collect them,” he says. “When we set about finding these
guitars, it was not difficult to find the best guitars in the world. A lot of them were within three miles of the museum.”





If You Go


What: The Guitar: An American Love Story

When: The free exhibit runs through Dec. 30, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).

Where: Tennessee State Museum, 505 Deaderick St.

Coming up: The Dec. 12 String Fever, a benefit concert for the Tennessee State Museum Foundation, will feature nearly two dozen of the city’s most revered players, including Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Steve Wariner and Steve Cropper.

Details: www.tnmuseum.org

Contact Dave Paulson at dnpaulson@tennessean.com or 615-664-2278
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MessageSujet: Re: Tennessee State Museum exhibition is guitar-lover’s paradise   Mar 13 Nov 2012, 22:52








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MessageSujet: Re: Tennessee State Museum exhibition is guitar-lover’s paradise   Mer 14 Nov 2012, 04:45

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