'Play It Loud': Met exhibit features iconic instruments of rock and roll

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new exhibit opened Monday at Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum of Art, and "Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll" is the result of a collaboration between a couple of cultural institutions: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Met.

At the largest art museum in America is the first exhibit of its kind anywhere in the world. If you take a right by the Romans, you will find guitars belonging to Chuck Berry and Don Felder.

At a press preview last week, Felder played the famous opening chords of "Hotel California" on his double neck guitar, and the music echoed through the halls of the Met.

Years before he found fame as one of the Eagles, Felder came to the city and shared a small apartment with a group of musicians on Horatio Street in the Meatpacking District.

"The very first morning I woke up, I came straight to the Met," he said. "I'd heard so many beautiful things about it."

Half a century later, his guitar rests near instruments owned by dozens of other musicians like Jimmy Page, who spoke about having his guitar confiscated at school when he was 11.
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He added how inconceivable it was then that rock could be honored at a place like this.

"I was really keen to be able to loan whatever I could to make it come along," he told the crowd. "And I'm sure that everyone who was approached felt the same way."

Though the legendary guitarist of Led Zeppelin was only there for a few hours in person, each visitor to "Play It Loud" will be able to see his iconic double neck guitar and watch a film of Page playing it in his prime.

In the hands of legends, these instruments become icons.

There are more than 130 instruments there, from the roots of rock to the present day -- from Jerry Lee Lewis, who played a gold piano, to Lady Gaga, who chose a futuristic purple one.

Prince's guitar is near those the Beatles used -- tools of their trade, but also the stuff their dreams were made of.

Each item in the exhibit has been carefully chosen and placed in context so you get to see an instrument and hear about it and listen as legends "Play It Loud."

The exhibit runs until October 1.

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