Best Place to See Vintage Music Memorabilia - 2013
Musical Instrument Museum
4725 E. Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Phoenix is home to an innovative museum that has no comparison. Not only is there nothing like it in the United States, but the Musical Instrument Museum here even surpasses the one in Brussels that inspired it. The MIM has hundreds of instruments from every corner of the Earth, of course, with displays for more than 200 countries and territories, complete with listening samples. It also has a music theater and interactive room, where playing with the exhibits is encouraged, as well as music memorabilia from rock stars and other celebrity musicians from the past century or so. They have guitars played by Elvis Presley, an original theremin build by the inventor himself, and the piano played by John Lennon when he composed "Imagine." The Artist Gallery features a collection of customized microphones used onstage by singers like Rihanna, and there's even a marijuana-leaf-decorated mic used by Snoop Dogg. There are also displays for Arizonan music, such as tributes to locals who hit the big time, including Linda Rondstadt, Waylon Jennings, and Russell "Big Chief" Moore, a Pima Indian who played with Louis Armstrong.