Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital and home of the iconic Big Golden Guitar is fittingly launching its brand-new National Guitar Museum, just in time for the 48th Toyota Country Music Festival.
The Museum currently features more than 45 guitars, including the likes of Smokey Dawson’s original riffle guitar from the 1950’s era when he was reigning supreme on radio, records and in comics; Brain May’s (guitarist from QUEEN) travelling guitar that he produced as a replica from his iconic red guitar; world-great, Tommy Emmanuel’s first Maton guitar from the start of his career along with one of his much-used Fender guitars; a personally signed Washburn guitar from KISS’ Paul Stanley; the two final and customised guitars that belonged to Slim Dusty, made by Maton for the exclusive Slim Line; along with signed guitars from Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Brookes and Dunn, Kenny Rogers, The Eagles and many more.
One of the two signed guitars by Keith Urban, played at his Nissan Stadium Performance in Nashville, 2015 is signed “Tamworth, where it all began”, referring to the city and The Festival as the launch pad for his musical career.
Country Music Manager at Tamworth Regional Council, Barry Harley said: “The guitars that we have been gifted are a tribute to Tamworth’s reputation – something that we, as the people of Tamworth, are so proud of.
“There’s nowhere more fitting in Australia to house a National Guitar Museum than in the Home of Country Music and The Big Golden Guitar.”
The collection of guitars in The Museum is complimented by a world-class photographic exhibition, famously exhibited and captured over the years by Chuck Bradley. The exhibition, titled “Instrumental” is an illuminating picture collection of guitars and other instruments from country and rock icons such as Midnight Oil, INXS, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Troy Cassar-Daley, Archie Roach and more. This collection is continuously growing as Bradley is still photographing.
Opening to the public on Saturday 18 January, Tamworth’s National Guitar Museum will be another string in the bow of existing country music collateral, such as The Gallery of Stars Wax Museums, The Big Golden Guitar statue and The Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, housed across the Tamworth region.
Mr. Harley said, “To quote Paul Kelly, “from little things big things grow” – we have great plans for the growth and expansion of The Tamworth National Guitar Museum over time. This is just the beginning of our collection but all in all we are thrilled to add another fantastic facility to our region, that visitors will be able to enjoy not only throughout The Festival, but year-round.”
The Tamworth National Guitar Museum will be located at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre at the Big Golden Guitar on the entrance to the city. Entry to The Museum will be $7 which also includes access to The Gallery of Stars Wax Museum.