Guitars Displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Guitar Gallery




A stringed musical instrument, with a fretted fingerboard, typically incurved sides, and six or twelve strings, played by plucking or strumming with the fingers or a plectrum.


Early 17th century: from Spanish guitarra (partly via French), from Greek kithara, denoting an instrument similar to the lyre.

From the distorted, dominant guitar of Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88” to Geddy Lee’s rhythmic, smoothly distorted bassline on Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and the quiet power of Eric Clapton’s stripped-down acoustic playing on his landmark MTV Unplugged session, the guitar is at the heart of countless rock anthems, head-bangers and ballads. Displayed here is a selection of instruments, each as unique as the musician that wielded it.

15 unique instruments from iconic artists on display on level 2.

guitars included in the gallery*

  • Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead Electric Guitar, ”Rosebud”
  • Geddy Lee of Rush Bass Guitar, Hybrid Fender Jazz Bass
  • Garry Tallent of the E Street Band Bass Guitar, 1986 Guild Pilot
  • Bobby Womack Acoustic Guitar, ESP Acoustic, c. 1970
  • Eric Clapton Acoustic Guitar, 1977 Alvarez
  • Link Wray Electric Guitar, Fender Stratocaster, c. 2000
  • Rick Danko of the Band Bass Guitar, Guitar Workshop, c. 1995
  • Ryan Adams Guitar, 1967 Gibson Southern Jumbo
  • Kim Deal of the Pixies Bass Guitar, c. 1989, Aria
  • Mike Dirnt Bass Guitar, Kramer Custom, c. 1974
  • Billie Joe Armstrong Guitar, 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior
  • Tom Petersson 12-string Hamer bass guitar
  • John Lennon Electric Guitar, 1965 Epiphone Casino
  • Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth Bass Guitar, 1977 Ovation Magnum 1
  • Mike Rutherford Electric Guitar/Bass, 1973 Rickenbacker Double-Neck Custom

*Items on exhibit are subject to change.

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