Rare, legendary guitars on display at brand new guitar exhibit

By Allison Walker, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 08, 2011

If you think guitars are cool, wait till you check out the ones that are part of a brand new touring exhibit. Some of them could be worth more than your home.

"Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World" makes its world premiere at the Orlando Science Center. The National Guitar Museum is showing off its prized possessions, like a guitar from 1835, to a 1912 harp guitar that requires way too much thinking to play effectively.

We got a sneak peek this week and actually got to play with the instruments! The executive director, H.P. Newquist, let us take a $100,000 guitar out of the case and smell it (yep, smelling these things can almost tell you how old they are). He even let us strum the actual guitar used to create the original James Bond theme, considered the most-heard guitar riff in music history.

We got to play with the guitars only because they weren't put inside their display cases yet. But after the grand opening, you and your kids can get your hands on several interactive features, like what I'm told is the biggest playable electric guitar ever. There's also a device to play with that shows what happens to sound waves when you strum each individual string.

"Those kind of interactives will give them the science behind the music," Newquist said.

Legendary guitarist Roger McGuinn will be at the Orlando Science Center Friday for an evening celebrating more than 50 years of music history. McGuinn will be accompanied by members of the National Guitar Museum, including Larry Coryell and Vic Flick.

McGuinn is the co-founder of The Byrds as well as a Grammy winner. He will have a presentation before receiving a lifetime achievement award from the National Guitar Museum.

Coryell has played with everyone from Miles Davis to Charlie Mingus and is perhaps best known for leading the band The Eleventh House.

Flick is credited with creating the popular James Bond Theme song.

After the presentation, guests will enjoy an exclusive preview of the new exhibit. It takes a look at the history and evolution of the guitar, examines the science of sound and shows how the instrument became the cultural symbol it is today.

To attend the event on June 10, guests will need to purchase a ticket for $50 by contacting Janie Black by e-mail at jblack@osc.org or by phone at (407) 514-2272.

For the rest of us, the exhibit opens at noon on Saturday and runs through Sept. 11.