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Seattle's Experience Music Project ready to rock
It all started as a tribute to Hendrix
(CNN) -- American rock 'n' roll is being preserved in Seattle with a $250 million shrine made of glass, aluminum and heavy metal -- stainless steel.
The Experience Music Project, EMP for short, showcases rock from its cradle in the blues of the deep South to its evolution into everything from punk to rap.
A stellar lineup of acts will christen EMP in a series of concerts in Seattle this weekend.
Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alanis Morrisette, Beck, Kid Rock, Filter, matchbox twenty, No Doubt, and Dr. Dre -- with Eminem and Snoop Dogg -- all will perform.
Dr. Dre is also one of 40 artists offering videotaped interviews about their contributions to pop music, as part of EMP's oral history exhibits.
"I actually got a chance to see the museum and it's incredible," Dr. Dre told CNN. "The way they built it and the shapes and all the plans. I'm just happy to be a part of it."
More than a decade ago, the rock 'n' roll museum fantasy strummed through the head of Paul Allen, the hi-tech mogul who co-founded of Microsoft with Bill Gates.
Allen, along with his sister, Jody Patton, initially intended to honor Seattle rock virtuoso Jimi Hendrix with a permanent exhibit. Allen is a voracious collector of rock 'n' roll memorabilia.
Then came a thunderous revelation, like a Nirvana power chord: pay tribute to all of American popular music with megadoses of rock, and toss in jazz, gospel, country, grunge and any other relevant forerunner, spin-off and subset.
But EMP will undoutedly attract some visitors who turn off music blaring on the radio and tune in to quiet observation of architecture.
The swoopy, glittering museum is the latest masterpiece of Frank Gehry, the 71-year-old architect who rocked the world with his stunning Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Gehry's 140,000-square-foot EMP unfurls just below Seattle's Space Needle.
The EMP owns 85,000 artifacts in all, from Elvis Presley's mementos to the white Feder Stratocaster Hendrix played at Woodstock. A dizzying array of interactive and electronic experiences include "Sound Lab" where aspiring rockers get computer-aided music lessons.
Paul Allen understands the need to jam; he's a part-time guitarist and songwriter.
Friday he unveils a rock 'n' roll playground and preservation hall to share with the world.
Experience Music Project is located beneath the Space Needle on Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle. Summer hours are 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily. Adult admission tickets are $19.95. Weekend concert tickets range from $40.00 to $150.00 and can be purchased online or through Ticketmaster.
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