The essence of the upcoming show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll (April 8-October 1)–presenting instruments as works of art in addition to the music they produced–was prefigured by Pat Graham‘s book of photos INSTRUMENT, published by Chronicle in 2011. Pat’s book was born out of a project started in the mid-nineties, when he began photographing and interviewing musicians about their instruments and the stories behind them, starting with Ian Mackaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi (and also the founder of Dischord Records), and his iconic white Gibson SG. Other musicians ranged from Johnny Marr, Bernard Sumner, Alexa Kapranos, James Cauty, Ian Curtis, Jeff Tweedy, to Kim Deal and Kate Nash. The Met has published an exhibition catalogue that offers seven essays by journalists and scholars about the technical developments that have driven rock music. Images include Jerry Lee Lewis’s baby grand piano, Chuck Berry’s Gibson ES-350T guitar, and John Lennon’s twelve-string Rickenbacker.
Pat’s iconic work has appeared in numerous places including Rolling Stone, Spin, Artforum, The Village Voice, Washington Post, and VICE, . He lives in London and is co-creator with Melanie Standage of Past Perfect a Polaroid archive.