Rare Guitars on Display at MIM Next Month

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A Gibson Les Paul used by Pete Townshend of The Who will be among the guitars on display starting November 9 at the Musical Instrument Museum. | Courtesy of the MIM

Some of the world's earliest electric guitars, along with guitars played by famous musicians, are coming to the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix next month.

Guitars played by The Who's Pete Townshend, the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and electric guitar pioneer Charlie Christian will be included in The Electric Guitar: Inventing an American Icon, which opens November 9 at MIM.

"This exclusive exhibition showcases more than eighty of the rarest electric guitars and amplifiers in the world — from some of the first ever heard to those played by the most famous electric guitarists known today," the museum said in a press release, adding that the exhibition "encompasses the history of the electric guitar from the very beginning, including its most experimental period of the 1930s and 1940s."

In addition to instruments played by Tonwshend, Richards and Christian, guitars used by Alvino Rey, Tommy "Butterball" Paige and Bo Diddley will be included in the exhibition.

Richard Walter, a MIM curator, said the exhibition will reveal "the deep history of the electric guitar and its impact over the years."

The guitars will be on display through September 15, 2019. Admission is $10 for the special exhibition only, or $7 when purchased with general MIM admission. For more information, visit MIM.org.

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