experience music project museum

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On this day in music history: June 24, 1999 - Musician Eric Clapton auctions off 100 of his guitars, amplifiers and other accessories. Clapton puts the guitars on sale through Christie’s Auction House of New York to raise funds for his Crossroads Center Foundation and for the drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, W.I.. Among the instruments on the auction block are numerous vintage Fender, Gibson and Martin guitars. The centerpiece of the collection is the two tone sunburst 1956 Fender Stratocaster nicknamed “Brownie”. This iconic guitar being one of Clapton’s personal favorites was most famously used by him on the Derek & The Dominoes album “Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs” in 1970, and pictured on the back cover of the LP. Clapton originally purchased the guitar for $400 at the Sound City music store in London in May of 1967, while on tour with Cream. The Strat is also pictured with Clapton on the cover of his first solo album. The pre-sale estimate for the guitar is for between $80-100,000. The final auction price will far exceed that when it sells for a then record price of $497,500. The winning bid is placed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. “Brownie” is now on permanent display at the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle, WA.

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Watch the all-star jam at the end of the Jimmy Page Founders Award event at the EMP Museum in Seattle last night. Musicians include Krist Novoselic, William DuVall, Jerry CantrellKim Thayil, Duff McKagan, Barrett Martin, and Page himself.

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I remember last Easter, I was on a band trip to Seattle, and at one point we went to take a look at the Experience Music Project Museum. It is a cool looking building, made to resemble one of Jimi Hendrix’s smashed guitars, and I thought that was pretty interesting. So anyways, as we walk in to the second floor where the music memorabilia is, there is this huge theater sized screen and I noticed John Landis was on it. Of course I immediately thought of Michael, but never thought Michael would actually pop up on the screen. But, to my surprise, he did. The making of Thriller video was on, so I was super excited inside. Just seeing or hearing Michael at random, unexpected moments gets me so excited, and to see his face on a huge screen was so amazing. Anyways, I thought that was all I would see of anything Michael related, because this museum is mostly rock and roll stuff, but I was so wrong. After coming across the big screen, you have to make a turn and then you are into the main part of the second floor, and all by itself in the middle of the floor was this outfit, inclosed in a glass case. I have bad eyes so I didn’t know what it was at first and was paying more attention to this cool tower of guitars behind it. As I began getting closer I realized this wasn’t just any outfit, but the jacket and glove from Michael’s Billie Jean performances. I wanted so badly to take a picture, but my hands were shaking so much everything just turned into a blurry mess. My knees were almost buckling even. I didn’t even know why I was so excited, but just to be so close to something Michael had worn once is something so amazing. I always thought of myself as a very composed and relaxed person who would not act silly if I ever did have the chance to have met Michael, but after just seeing an outfit of his, I think maybe I would be a little crazy if I met him. My body wants to take control I guess. Later when my friends and I were walking around, I said that I wanted to go back and take some more pictures of stuff, but I really just went back to take some pictures of Michael’s outfit because I wasn’t as shaky anymore. Needless to say, that was the unexpected highlight of my trip. That and coming across an old record of We Are The World that was selling for only a couple dollars. I obviously bought that, and whenever I look at it, it is a reminder of the closest I have ever came to Michael.