Guitar Hall of Fame: Statement of Purpose

The International Guitar Hall of Fame and Museum, a not-for-profit organization in Cooperstown, NY, has been a longtime, 15-year plus dream for Arlen Roth. Arlen Roth has given his life to the guitar since 1962, when he first started playing, and he has done more to bring the guitar to the masses than almost any other player in history. He is known as “The King of Guitar Teachers”, “The Master of the Telecaster”, and his company, Hot Licks, was the true pioneer in bringing video instruction and documentation by famous musical artists to the entire world, with millions sold. He has 11 solo albums to date, has published 12 best-selling books, been a top columnist for Guitar Player Magazine and has toured and recorded with many of the world’s top artists. His current lessons for Gibson.com reach hundreds of thousands all over the world. This non-profit entity will truly represent a huge part of his already substantial legacy to the world of the guitar and music in general. He has assembled a world-class group of top people in the field of guitar to help with this wonderful institution who represent a cross-section of the best in the industry, and who share his deep passion for the guitar, the most popular instrument the world has ever known!

Arlen RothArlen has always wanted to create the perfect “home” for the guitar, and wanted a beautiful, country-like setting for the Hall of Fame that would be “classic” in stature, and would feature all genres of the guitar. The picturesque upstate NY location of Cooperstown, and these classic 19th Century buildings seemed to “fit the bill” perfectly, and all sides of the guitar will be represented within “mini-halls” for Blues, Rock, Country, Jazz, Classical and Flamenco, Rockabilly, Folk, R&B, Steel Guitar and Bass Guitar. There will also be a Museum shop, offering all kinds of wonderful Hall of Fame paraphernalia, souvenirs, instructional materials and instruments and accessories, as well as a “Hall of Fame Café”. With Cooperstown being synonymous with the term “Hall of Fame” due to the great Baseball Hall of Fame being there, the location is truly perfect! Arlen always wanted this to be the kind of place he would visit and never want to leave! For example, a fan may come in drawn to exhibits about Les Paul, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, but they’ll also leave with new-found knowledge about artists such as Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson and Jimmy Bryant. In this sense, the Hall of Fame will always be there to not only entertain, but also to educate!

The exhibits will be full of exciting artifacts relating to the 180-plus inducted guitarists, such as their guitars, performing clothes, historical items, photos. Each exhibit will feature interactive kiosks where visitors can learn about, hear, and even see interviews and instruction by each artist on display. There will also be a continually changing exhibit gallery featuring new shows about various aspects of the world of the guitar, changing every 3 months. Every summer, the Guitar Hall of Fame will feature a “Cars and Guitars Show” in the streets of Cooperstown to also help promote the Museum and to draw car and guitar enthusiasts from all over.

We also wish to establish a Guitar Hall of Fame Summer Camp for boys and girls interested in playing the guitar, with instruction by some of the world’s top players and teachers. The Museum will constantly be host to exciting shows, near Doubleday Field, and also has the Glimmerglass Opera House nearby as well.

Our goal is to start renovation soon, and to open the doors to this wonderful Hall of Fame and Museum by 2013. So please contribute now, become a Charter Member, and claim your limited-edition Tee Shirt that lets everyone know you’re an original “founding member” of the International Guitar Hall of Fame and Museum. You’ll be glad you helped make this “dream” become a reality!