Guitars of the greats rock halls of New York’s Met museum

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An exhibit called "Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll" is on show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on April 1, 2019. (AFP)
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The exhibit was put on in partnership with the Cleveland-based Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (AFP)
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The exhibit is titled “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll.” (AFP)
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The Met is displaying flamboyant costumes of rockers along with show memorabilia. (AFP)
Updated 07 April 2019
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Guitars of the greats rock halls of New York’s Met museum

  • The exhibit “tools of innovation and outstanding artistic innovation”
  • More than 130 instruments from 1939-2017 are in the show

NEW YORK: The art of rock and roll is getting its due at an upcoming show at New York’s Met museum, which is decking its halls with instruments from the genre’s greats.
The storied Manhattan institution has amassed a staggering collection of rock memorabilia and instruments from superstars including Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Prince, Joan Jett, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Presley for the show “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll,” set to open Monday.
The exhibit put on in partnership with the Cleveland-based Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrates “tools of innovation and outstanding artistic innovation,” Max Hollein, the Metropolitan Museum’s director, told journalists at a preview.
The more than 130 instruments from 1939-2017 in the show are organized to depict how musicians used and advanced emerging technologies throughout the 20th century to create new sounds and styles.
In addition to instruments, the Met is displaying flamboyant costumes of rockers along with show memorabilia like gig posters and even the remnants of smashed guitars.
“Instruments are some of the most personal objects connected to musicians, but as audience members we are primarily used to seeing them from far away, up on a stage in performance.” said Jayson Kerr Dobney, the show’s curator.
“This exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to examine some of rock and roll’s most iconic objects up close.”

Steve Miller — whose Steve Miller Band is known for such hits as “The Joker” and “Fly Like An Eagle” — told journalists that “he was stunned by the power and the elegance and the intelligence” of the show, which he loaned several guitars to.
He praised curators for their work to “cut through years of nonsense designed to trivialize these instruments.”
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, whose iconic “Stairway to Heaven” guitar is on display, voiced awe at making it into the Met, which he dubbed “the holy grail.”
“For me to be here... I never would’ve even dreamt about it, even as a kid,” Page said. “I was really keen to be able to loan whatever I could to make it come alive.”
The show came under some criticism when it was announced, because the initial teaser before the full list of more than 80 artists was released spotlighted just one woman, Grammy-winning contemporary rocker St. Vincent.
Indie rockstar Neko Case voiced her anger, tweeting “Do you really think NO OTHER WOMEN, OR FEMALE IDENTIFYING performers contributed to rock n’ roll?“
But the show was ultimately more inclusive than it first appeared, and Dobney addressed the gender issue in the show’s catalog: “Rock and roll was for many years a boys’ club,” he writes with Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi.
“In the 1950s and 1960s, and even beyond, the women in rock and roll bands, were primarily limited to vocals, the reason they were under-represented in these pages.”
Along with Jett and Mitchell a number of female performers are represented including Patti Smith and Lady Gaga, whose enormous futuristic piano is featured in the exhibit to run from April 8 until October 1.
At the show’s preview Don Felder of The Eagles played the intricate solo from the band’s hit “Hotel California.” He said that after arriving in New York as a 20-something, “the very first thing I did the following day is I came to the Met.”
“It’s such an incredible honor that 50 years later, this guitar would be hanging” here, Felder said of his double-neck Arctic White instrument.


College golfer in hijab out to blaze trail for Muslim girls

Updated 19 April 2019
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College golfer in hijab out to blaze trail for Muslim girls

  • One of the top junior golfers in Northern California coming out of high school, Ahmed was a starter in her first year at Nebraska and the No. 2 player most of this spring
  • She is believed to be the only golfer at the college level or higher who competes in a hijab

LINCOLN: Noor Ahmed outwardly lives her Muslim faith, and even growing up in a state as diverse as California she says she encountered hostility on the street, in school and on the golf course.
One of the top junior golfers in Northern California coming out of high school, Ahmed was a starter in her first year at Nebraska and the No. 2 player most of this spring. She is believed to be the only golfer at the college level or higher who competes in a hijab, the headscarf worn in adherence to the Muslim faith.
Arriving in Lincoln two years ago, Ahmed sensed hesitancy from teammates mostly from small Midwestern towns and unaccustomed to seeing a woman in a hijab. She didn’t feel embraced until an unfortunate yet unifying event roiled the campus midway through her freshman year.
A video surfaced of a student claiming to be the “most active white nationalist in the Nebraska area,” disparaging minorities and advocating violence. The student, it turned out, was in the same biology lecture class as Ahmed.
Teammates offered to walk with her across campus, and one who would become her best friend, Kate Smith, invited Ahmed to stay with her. She didn’t accept but was heartened by the gesture.
“That,” Smith said, “was when she realized how much each and every one of us care for her on the team, that it wasn’t just like, ‘Hey you’re our teammate.’ No, it’s ‘We want you to be safe, we want you to feel at home here.’“
Having grown up in the post-9/11 era, Ahmed, like many Muslims in the United States, has been a target for bullying and verbal abuse. She began wearing the hijab in middle school.
On the course, in an airport or even walking across campus she can feel the long stares and notices the glances. She said she has never been physically threatened — “that I know of” — and that most of the face-to-face insults came before she arrived at Nebraska.
Much of the venom spewed at her now comes on social media. She has been the subject of several media profiles, and each sparks another round of hateful messages. She acknowledges she reads but doesn’t respond to messages and that an athletic department sports psychologist has helped her learn how to deal with them.

Hijabi golfer Noor Ahmed. (AP)


“I’ve been called every racial slur in the book,” she said. “I’ve been told explicitly that people who look like me don’t play golf, we don’t have a right to exist in America, you should go home. It would definitely faze me a little bit, but it never deterred me. I’m really stubborn, so I’m going to prove you wrong, just wait. When people think they’re dragging me down, it kind of fuels the fire in me that I’m going to be a better golfer, I’m going to be a better student, I’m going to keep climbing up the ladder.”
The daughter of Egyptian immigrants is from a close-knit family in Folsom, California, and she steeled herself for the cultural adjustment she would have to make at Nebraska.
She dealt with loneliness and anxiety, especially her freshman year. She had difficulty finding a support network. There is a small Muslim community on campus, but she didn’t immerse herself in it. The demands on athletes are great, and they are largely segregated, eating and studying in facilities separate from those used by regular students.
Nebraska coach Robin Krapfl said she was initially concerned about how teammates would react to Ahmed. Krapfl remembered meeting with her golfers and telling them about her.
“I could tell by a couple of the looks and maybe even a comment or two that they weren’t 100 percent comfortable with that,” Krapfl said. “A lot of our girls come from small-town communities that are very limited in their ethnicity. It’s just the fear of the unknown. They had just never been exposed to being around someone from the Muslim faith.”
Krapfl said she saw a golfer or two roll their eyes, another shook her head. “I overheard, ‘Why would Coach bring someone like that on the team?’ “
“Luckily when she got here people could see her for who she was and the quality of person she was,” Krapfl said. “It took a while. It really did. You’ve got to get to know somebody, who they really are and not just what they look like.”
Smith said she sometimes cringes when she and Ahmed are in a group and the conversation turns to politics, immigration or even fashion, like when someone innocently or ignorantly tells Ahmed that she would look good in a short dress or a certain hairstyle.
“She can never wear a short dress, so why would you want to depict her as that?” Smith said. “You have to respect her beliefs and why she’s doing it. Also, I think a lot of things are connected to women’s beauty standards and how people don’t think she can look beautiful when she’s covered. I think she’s a really beautiful girl no matter how much skin she’s showing.”
For all the challenges Ahmed faced, there have been positives. Some people have complimented her for living her faith as she sees fit, a Muslim teen who golfs in a hijab and lives in the United Kingdom wrote to says she draws inspiration from her, and a player for another college team approached her at an event to tell her she recently converted to Islam and just wanted to say hi.

She started playing golf at 8. (AP)


“I remember going and crying and, wow, I’m not alone out here,” she said.
Ahmed said she’s naturally shy and a bit uncomfortable with the attention, but she hopes Muslim girls coming up behind her are watching.
“I grew up never seeing anyone like me,” she said. “Honestly, I didn’t realize how much grief I was carrying, having never seen an image of myself or someone who looked like me in popular American culture. It’s a big deal.
“Why are basketball and football so heavily African American? If I were black and I saw people who looked like me competing in that sport, that’s probably the sport I would choose. I think it’s really important when we’re talking about trying to make golf and other sports and other areas in American culture diverse, how important it is to see someone who looks like you and how it will fuel other people’s interest.”
Ahmed started playing golf at 8, and her parents encouraged her to take the sport to the highest level possible. Wearing the hijab has never interfered with her game and she has never considered not wearing it on the course.
“I think Muslim women who choose to observe it or choose not to observe it have the right to exist in any space they want to be in,” she said, “and I would feel like I would be sending a message that the hijab doesn’t exist in this place or it shouldn’t, and I don’t feel comfortable with that.”