Tuesday, April 2, 2019

VIDEO: Jimmy Page lends Stairway To Heaven guitar to new exhibit at The Met

Some of Jimmy Page’s iconic music gear – including the acoustic guitar he used to write “Stairway To Heaven”, among other Led Zeppelin classics – can be seen in a new video promoting a new exhibit set to open next week at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Running April 8 to October 1, “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” is billed as the first major exhibition in an art museum dedicated entirely to the iconic instruments of rock; featured are more than 130 instruments dating from 1939 to 2017 – played by artists like Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, James Hetfield, Elvis Presley, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more.

"I've loaned my Harmony guitar, which was a Harmony six-string acoustic,” Page tells the Associated Press in a new video report. “That guitar I had way back in the early '60s, and it was with me all the way through to the point that I used it as a writing tool. And that particular guitar is the vehicle whereby the first album of Led Zeppelin is written, the second album is written, the third album is written, and the fourth album is written. And it's the guitar that actually culminates in playing 'Stairway To Heaven'."

Co-organized by Jayson Kerr Dobney, Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of the Department of Musical Instruments at The Met, and Craig J. Inciardi, Curator and Director of Acquisitions of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the concept of the exhibit was an immediate hit with the Led Zeppelin legend.

"Jason and Craig came to my house in London; I invited them to my house to get some idea of what it was that they planned," explained Page. "And they had like a floorplan of how they wanted to display things. And they said, 'You approach the gallery through Greco-Roman statues, and then the first thing you see is Chuck Berry's guitar.' I said, 'What, the original one? The blonde one?' They said, 'Yes.'

“I said, 'What would you like? Just tell me what you want to help this along, and you can have whatever it is that you want.'"

Organized thematically, Play It Loud will explore how musicians embraced and advanced emerging technologies; the phenomenon of the “Guitar Gods”; the crafting of a visual identity through the use of instruments; and the destruction of instruments in some live performances, one of rock’s most defining gestures.

The exhibition will include many of rock’s most celebrated instruments, including such guitars as Jimi Hendrix’s electric guitar “Love Drops,” originally decorated by him; Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”; Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstein”; Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf”; and Joan Jett’s “Melody Maker.”

Following its presentation at The Met, “Play It Loud” will travel to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in November.

Page and Led Zeppelin are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary with a series of releases and projects.

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See also:

Jimmy Page to publish new book The Anthology
Woodstock 50 to feature Robert Plant, Santana, Greta Van Fleet and more
Led Zeppelin launch 50th anniversary playlist program
VIDEO: Jimmy Page details signature 1959 Fender Telecaster guitar series
Search Led Zeppelin at hennemusic