Rock History Comes Alive at Hard Rock Exhibit

Eric Clapton's guitar
Madonna's outfit
Madonna's "Like a Virgin" Wedding Dress
TAMPA (2011-8-10) -

It's the stuff of rock legend - Jimi Hendrix' famous "Flying V" Gibson. The guitar that Pete Townshend of The Who cracked on the head of Abbie Hoffman on the stage at Woodstock. Even the white dress Madonna wore on the "Like a Virgin" album cover. It's all on display through Friday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa. WUSF takes a tour with Jeff Nolan, Hard Rock's resident "music and memorabilia" historian.

Nolan's got to have one of the most enviable jobs around. He's curator of the Hard Rock's "vault" in Orlando, where thousands of pieces of rock 'n roll memorabilia are stored. It's location is kept a secret - visitors are sworn to not disclose its location.

For the next three days, some of the most iconic items have been released from the vault and are on display at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa. Even Nolan says he's a bit overcome by the reaction from fans.

"It's cool to be able to take some our most historic stuff and put it in one little rolling museum like this," he says. "And just the totality of the collection is a bit overwhelming. People get on board and their jaws drop."

The rolling museum will be on display from 1 to 7 p.m. through Friday at the hotel's north parking lot.

To listen to the full, uncut interview with Jeff Nolan, click on the "Listen to Full Audio" icon below.

Here's the items that are on display:

• Freddie Mercury of Queen: Striped spandex outfit worn onstage by Freddie during Queen’s Jazz tour in 1979

• Jimi Hendrix: Custom Gibson Flying V played by Jimi at the Isle of Wight festival and in the film Rainbow Bridge and handwritten lyrics to “Midnight Lightning”

• Steven Tyler of Aerosmith: Striped outfit and scarf-covered microphone stand used by Steven during Aerosmith’s Back in the Saddle tour in 1984

• Buddy Holly: Glasses

• Pete Townshend of The Who: Gibson SG Special played at Woodstock

• Johnny Cash: Handmade Grammer guitar and assorted lyric sheets

• Marc Bolan of T Rex: Extremely rare Veleno aluminum guitar built for Marc Bolan in 1971

• Michael Jackson: Jacket worn in the video “Beat It”

• Madonna: Wedding dress worn on the cover of her “Like a Virgin” album and during her performance at the 1st MTV Video Music Awards in 1984

• John Bonham of Led Zeppelin: White suit from the London boutique Granny Takes a Trip

• Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath: Red Gibson SG “Monkey Guitar” used to record the first five Black Sabbath albums

• Peter Frampton: Outfit and talkbox from Frampton Comes Alive

• Katy Perry: Dress worn when she dove on a birthday cake at the 2008 MTV Latin American Awards

• John Lennon: Jacket worn on the cover of Rubber Soul and handwritten lyrics to “Imagine”

• Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones: Vox “Teardrop” guitar

• Jim Morrison of The Doors: Leather coat and handwritten lyrics to “Crawling King Snake”

• Brandon Flowers of The Killers: Feathered jacket

• Snoop Dogg: Coat worn in the movie Starsky & Hutch

• Justin Bieber: Skateboard used in the video for “One Time”

• Prince: Stage-used “Cloud Guitar”

• Bob Marley: Guild 12-string used to record the Kaya album

• Will.I.Am of Black Eyed Peas: Jacket worn in the video for “Hey Mama”

• Janis Joplin: Poncho from the cover of Pearl and handwritten letter

• Jay Chou: Elaborate stage outfit

• Ray Charles: Braille Playboy Magazine

• John Lee Hooker: Handwritten letter

• Stuart Sutcliffe of The Beatles: Love letter to Astrid Kircherr

• Sex Pistols: Telegram from Malcolm McClaren announcing the departure of Glen Matlock and the addition of Sid Vicious

• Marvin Gaye: Address book

• Elvis Presley: Scotty Moore's Gibson Super 400 used by Elvis on the '68 Comeback Special

• Bono of U2: Comical letter written by Bono to Sting

• Bob Dylan: Handwritten lyrics to "I Want You" and "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again"

• Sid Vicious: White tux jacket from the "My Way" video

• Ace Frehley of KISS: Outfit from the 1975 Alive! tour

• Malcolm Young of AC/DC: 1959 Gretsch White Falcon guitar

• George Harrison of The Beatles: Letter written in 1962 and handwritten lyrics to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

• Neil Young: Buckskin poncho from his days in Buffalo Springfield

• Slash: Custom Les Paul from Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion tour

• Kurt Cobain: Handwritten lyrics

• Morrisey: letter

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