Scratching your head wondering how what is arguably the most enduring icon in American history is without a museum of its own? Don’t fret.
According to its founder and developer, HP Newquist, the National Guitar Museum will open in a yet-to-be-determined American city within five years. In the meantime, Pioneer Valley residents will be able to get a sneak peek at what will be some of said museum’s most valuable wares courtesy of the new exhibit Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World.
“While there are several galleries and private collections in the U.S., there is nothing that explores all the aspects of the guitar from its evolution over the course of centuries to its current cultural impact,” notes Newquist.
His traveling ode to axes is currently on display at the Springfield Museums with an exhibit so large it spills into two of the complex’s five facilities.
The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum will offer an historical perspective on the instrument, displaying early stringed samples from Persia and Africa and other examples right up to the rise of American craftsmen like C.F. Martin and Orville Gibson. The neighboring Springfield Science Museum closes the circle from the 1960s through the present, including modern wonders like the “Rock Ock,” the world’s only playable eight-neck guitar.
The entire Guitar collection is also awash in interactive exhibits detailing the science behind the sounds. It also holds the distinction of including the world’s largest playable guitar—certified by Guinness and coming in at an astounding 43 feet.
Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World will be on view through Sunday, April 21. There is a special admission fee of $3 above the general museum fee to view it. For more details, kindly point your browser to springfieldmuseums.org.
Meanwhile, over at neighboring Symphony Hall in Springfield, they’re thinking Pink this weekend. No, not the mono-monikered popster of same name... she’ll actually be at Mohegan Sun March 27.
We’re talking Dark Side Of The Moon and beyond with The Pink Floyd Experience, a multi-sensory assault of sights and sounds slated to consume the Hall this Friday, Feb. 8.
Tix range from $28-$38, depending on your proximity to the proceedings, and are available at citystage.symphonyhall.com.
That same evening, Feb. 8, up in Noho, iconic advant-garders The Residents celebrate four decades of sonic revelry with an Iron Horse anniversary bash. In researching the historic occasion on the band’s website, residents.com, it also appears that the eccentric San Francisco quartet has upped its marketing game to levels that make Gene Simmons look like a five-and-dime store operator.
For example, for a mere $100,000, fans can purchase The Residents’ Ultimate Box Set—packaged in a 28 cubic-foot refrigerator and containing more than 100 products, including 40 vinyl LPs, 50 CDs, rare singles, DVDs and of course, one of the band’s signature eyeball-with-top-hat masks from the MTV days.
Similarly celebrating a musical milestone in the great city of Northampton is the Four Sunday series, which kicked off its 20th season with the a capella extravaganza The Silver Chord Bowl at Smith College Feb. 3. The series picks up again this Sunday with Mardival, a Mardi Gras/Carnival mash-up featuring Jaimoe (of The Allman Brothers Band fame) at the Academy of Music Feb. 10.
And it’s truly one for the ages as Staten Island fifth graders PS22 team up with local treasures The Young@Heart Chorus at the Academy once again Feb. 17. (This show has the added allure of including Springfield’s SciTech Band as well.)
Per tradition, the series will conclude with the show that started it all—The Really Big Show—on Feb. 24. A variety-style show that has included everything from contortionists and poets and jugglers to opera stars, comedians and animal acts in years past, the 2013 installment will see WRSI-The River’s Monte Belmonte put on his best Ed Sullivan and host the festivities.
For full details, ticket prices, purchasing and more, visit the online home of the nonprofit agency that will benefit from it all—northamptonartscouncil.org.•
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