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IN PICTURES: Guitars of the stars ready to rock Stockholm's Abba Museum

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IN PICTURES: Guitars of the stars ready to rock Stockholm's Abba Museum
Swedish producer Claes af Geijerstam. Photo: Micke Bayart/Azul
16:43 CET+01:00
A temporary exhibition featuring signatures of world-renowned guitars has opened at the Abba Museum in Pop House Stockholm. The Local got a sneak peek.

The exhibition is the brainchild of Swedish producer, collector and pop icon from '60s band Ola & the Jangles, Claes af Geijerstam, who has put his unique collection of 48 signature guitars on display.

These are handmade replicas of instruments belonging to some of the world's most famous rockers, including David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Joe Strummer (The Clash), Sheryl Crow and Ace Frehley (Kiss).


Photo: Micke Bayart/Azul

One of the main attractions is Eric Clapton's notorious Fender Stratocaster "Blackie", chipped, scratched and cigarette-burned from countless shows and tours. The replica is also numbered, test-played and signed by the icon himself.

"Blackie" was used by Clapton throughout his career and he played his most famous hits on the instrument, including 'Wonderful Tonight', 'Tears in Heaven' and 'I Shot the Sheriff'.


Photo: Micke Bayart/Azul

Speaking at the event launch, Geijerstam told The Local: "It's fantastic to have a collection on display because it has been crammed in my house for so long, so to see them on display is fantastic."

A signature guitar is considered to be such an honour for an artist that they are often willing to send the originals to custom shops. They then replicate the original to the exact detail – including aging and any marks or scratches.

"I realized custom shops were putting out old replicas of guitars that are already worn in. So that became my line in collecting," Geijerstam explained.


Photo: Micke Bayart/Azul

Asked which one he holds in the highest regard, Geijerstam recalled: "Les Paul started it all and it was played by Gary Moore, Peter Green and Jimi Hendrix. Metallica's Kirk Hammet has it now, but I have a very nice replica and that is very sentimental to have one of the first."


Photo: Micke Bayart/Azul

The Abba Museum's creative director, Ingmarie Halling, said she hoped this will encourage new visitors to the museum. "The music is the core of the house, and with this temporary exhibition we can talk to other people – not just Abba fans – everyone in general," she told The Local.

"You don't need to be a guitar nerd to understand this, it's relatable to everyone."


Photo: Ivan da Silva/Zap PR

Halling said her favourite was Joe Walsh's Gibson Les Paul 1960. "I'm not star-struck at all but he has held this and played this. It doesn't get much better than that," she said.

However, all the guitars have a story, and it might be this rather than their famous owners that captures the imagination.

"Peter Frampton's 'Phoenix' was lost in a plane crash in 1980 and found 30 years later in the Venezuelan jungle," museum director Caroline Fagerlind told The Local.


Photo: Ivan da Silva/Zap PR

'Guitars of the Stars' opens on January 25th and the price is included in the standard cost for the ticket to the Abba museum (250 kronor or around $32 for an adult).


Photo: Micke Bayart/Azul

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