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Thread: Musical Instrument Museum - Phoenix AZ

  1. #1
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Musical Instrument Museum - Phoenix AZ

    Last Wednesday, my wife's 91 year old grandfather was in town for a visit, so we took him to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. It was great. I can't describe how much fun it was. They had musical instruments separated into geographical region, with displays from individual countries including videos you could watch of each instrument being played. It was truly fascinating. I would highly recommend a visit to anyone.

    A couple thoughts coming away from it:
    1) Almost every country had its own version of one of three types of instruments - something you hit with your hands or sticks (percussion), something that was strung over a resonant chamber and plucked or bowed (guitar/lute), and something you blew into (flute).
    2) I felt more justified as a guitarist seeing how many versions of the "guitar" there are out there. Pianists don't have a leg to stand on here, as popular as piano is or was at one time. Some people say the guitar is a dying instrument, and look at how the accordian was once the nation's best selling instrument. I don't feel the "guitar" will ever die after seeing what I saw.
    3) We nit pick over the smallest things with our guitars on these forums, but all across the globe, people are building guitars out of animal skin stretched over a gourd with two strings and a broom handle, and they're making music people enjoy and identify with.

    That said, they had a 20th Anny doubleneck Dragon on display. Here I am with my 4 year old in front of it. (It was the only guitar in the entire guitar gallery behind glass)



    Right near that is a vintage 1953 Les Paul Goldtop. Notice there's nothing protecting the instrument, nothing to stop you from reaching out and touching it.



    Steve Vai's triple neck with a video of him playing it live in concert.



    One of Carlos Santana's PRSi, on loan from Santana himself, with videos of him playing it.



    My wife in front of the largest instrument in the museum, the Octobass.



    My 4 year old banging the gong in the interactive exhibit.

    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  2. #2
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Wow, that's cool! Is that THE Santana? it sure looks like it.

  3. #3
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I should check on that in the PRS book. The tag is blurry in the photo, but it says:
    "PRS Custom" (electric guitar) Annapolis Maryland, USA 1982. Paul Reed Smith Guitars, maker. On loan from Carlos Santana.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  4. #4
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Damn, that has got to be it then! It looks from the photos you all had a good time, I'll have to put it on my list next time I get to Phoenix.

  5. #5
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    That looks like a great museum, I need to check it out some day.

  6. #6
    Recovering Bass Player ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ©'s Avatar
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    Didn't even know such a place existed. Thanks for sharing.
    One Life

  7. #7
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    My daughter was there a couple years ago - she and her boyfriend were visiting his dad. She had a blast. To which my wife said, "Yeah, but if we​ took her there..."
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  8. #8
    Gosh, almost as many instruments as Markie's house.

  9. #9
    Junior Member rschleicher's Avatar
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    hanks for posting the pictures from the "MIM". My wife and I went there this past September, and it is an awesome museum. Although I enjoyed the "Artists Gallery", the Guitar Gallery, and the North American Gallery the most, seeing (and hearing/watching) all of the unusual "world instruments" was also very cool.

    One of the other cool items was the upright Steinway that Lennon composed Imagine on. (People always associate this song with the white grand piano that Lennon had in his NYC apartment, but in reality he composed the song on this upright, that he kept at his London digs.)

    Their current facility in far-north Scottsdale (way up by the Mayo Clinic facility) is very nice. I don't know how long they've been at that location, but the new building is beautiful. They also have some amount of live performances there.

    I wore a PRS t-shirt (fairly subtle, with just the signature logo, and a pair of outlined guitars) when I went, and the guy at the ticket booth instantly recognized it, and made sure to tell me about both the Santana guitar and the "Double Dragon" guitar.
    2011 Custom 24 - Amber Black 10-top (love the 59/09's!)
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  10. #10
    Goatee Practitioner Danerada's Avatar
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    Wow. Very cool museum. Thanks for posting.
    - Dane

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  11. #11
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Damn, that has got to be it then! It looks from the photos you all had a good time, I'll have to put it on my list next time I get to Phoenix.
    I checked the book last night and it is indeed THE Santana guitar on pages 20-21 in the PRS book (mine's 3rd edition). I compared the figuring in the top and it's a perfect match. Makes me wish I'd reached out and touched it, strummed the strings or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by rschleicher View Post
    One of the other cool items was the upright Steinway that Lennon composed Imagine on. (People always associate this song with the white grand piano that Lennon had in his NYC apartment, but in reality he composed the song on this upright, that he kept at his London digs.)

    Their current facility in far-north Scottsdale (way up by the Mayo Clinic facility) is very nice. I don't know how long they've been at that location, but the new building is beautiful. They also have some amount of live performances there.

    I wore a PRS t-shirt (fairly subtle, with just the signature logo, and a pair of outlined guitars) when I went, and the guy at the ticket booth instantly recognized it, and made sure to tell me about both the Santana guitar and the "Double Dragon" guitar.
    The Steinway exhibit was very cool. I watched the whole movie about how they're made.

    I have lived in the Phoenix area for almost 15 years and I never heard of it before the Mayo location opened in 2010-ish. I just assumed it didn't exist before that? Could be wrong though.

    Yeah, I'm not surprised about the shirt! They have a list of sponsoring companies on the side of the escalator to the right of the front desk, and PRS is on there.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  12. #12
    A Top (and Heart) of Gold Goldtop's Avatar
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    It would be nice to spend a day or two in there. Thanks for posting.

    Lloyd
    'Did you ever get down on your hands and knees and beg a potato to get fat?' - Ezra Craddock

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