The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has just announced that its new exhibit, Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball, will open on Wednesday, July 11.
The interactive exhibit showcases rock-themed, playable pinball machines as well as merchandise and artifacts that explore the "artistic portrayal of artists and bands."
“Rock ’n’ roll and pinball have a lot in common. Loud, colorful and rebellious, it was inevitable that the two would combine to celebrate rock’s icons,” says Karen Herman, Vice President of Collections and Curatorial Affairs, in a press release announcing the opening date. “A number of artists and bands have been immortalized in pinball games. It gives fans another way to experience the energy and power of rock and uniquely connect with their favorite artists.”
In 1969, pinball and rock became “inextricably linked” thanks to the Who’s Tommy, a concept album that highlighted the skills of the rock opera’s titular character. The Rock Hall exhibit will feature the classic “Wizard” and “Tommy” pinball machines as well as the acoustic guitar that Pete Townshend used to compose “Pinball Wizard” and several other songs from Tommy.
Other items that’ll be on display include Alice Cooper’s newest pinball machine, Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle. Cooper himself narrates the classic horror adventure game that features a number of Cooper songs and a working guillotine set piece.
The artwork and an electric chair stage prop that Cooper used in his 1971 tour will be on display as well. A pinball machine based on the Elton John album Captain Fantastic, and Beat Time, an old pinball table that capitalizes on Beatlemania, will be on display as well.
Other machines in the exhibit pay tribute to the Rolling Stones, Ted Nugent, Dolly Parton, Guns N’ Roses, Elvis, Metallica, KISS and AC/DC. The exhibit runs through spring of 2019, and guests can enjoy free pinball play during opening weekend (July 11 to July 15).
After opening weekend, the pinball machines can be played with tokens. A limited number of complimentary tokens will be included with a Rock Hall admission ticket, and additional tokens can be purchased as well.