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Thoroughly Modern Johnny

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The LA Modernism Show is rolling into town once again on May 4-6. You’ll remember last year’s event was hosted by Will Ferrell, and this year’s celeb host is Johnny Depp, with a theme perfect for the mascara-wearing pirate who has been known to pick up a guitar or two: “Music & Design” will include examples that demonstrate how modern design influenced music of the 20th century:

On display will be the first electrically amplified piano designed by John Vassos and produced by RCA–a 1939 World’s Fair show-stopper along with other unusual pianos including the Rippen Aluminum Grand.

Likewise 20th century guitar makers such as Gibson and Fender remedied the modern demands for louder instruments by creating solid bodied guitars in more exciting shapes and colors with space age names such as the Telecaster, Explorer, and the Flying V on the headstocks. In the last few years prices for these vintage classics have skyrocketed to nearly a million dollars with Eric Clapton‘s guitar selling at auction for $990,000. A collection of rare vintage guitars, 1940′s jukeboxes, speakers designed for the modern home by George Nelson will also be exhibited.

The show, sale and events are all at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, tickets available here.

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