SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Beatles and The Stones. Elvis to Metallica. Kiss to Dolly Parton, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Alice Cooper to The Who. There’s something for most everyone to see and interactively experience at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibition, which opened this week at Universal Preservation Hall. The show runs through late September.
Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball beginning Sunday, July 26 for a two-month run. The interactive exhibit showcases rock-themed, playable pinball machines and combines them with merchandise and artifacts to explore the artistic portrayal of artists and bands.
On display are 16 playable rock ‘n’ roll themed pinball machines in all, in addition to an assortment of music artifacts on display hailing from the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll.
A “Tommy” pinball machine – owing a nod to the Who and the group’s opus Tommy is here, as is group guitarist Pete Townshend’s acoustic guitar – which he used to compose “Pinball Wizard” and several other songs for the ’Tommy,’ album, and which fortunately he did not smash.
Making its debut as part of the exhibit is Alice Cooper’s new pinball machine – “Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle,” a horror adventure game narrated by Cooper himself and featuring songs spanning Cooper’s career. The pinball machine is joined by the exhibit of the Alice Cooper group’s original electric chair show prop, upon which the band’s singer sat and performed on stages across the world in 1971.
Additional items on display include Peter Criss of KISS’ drum set, Dolly Parton’s dress, memorabilia connected to the early days of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley, as well as a metallic ode tracing their legend to Metallica and Judas Priest.
As for the pinball machines, which are playable, they deliver the bings, bongs, and dual flipper action polyrhythms associated with the likes of Elton John, KISS, AC/DC and others.
UPH, a partner in the Proctors Collaborative, will sell tickets for 90-minute blocks throughout the run. Tickets will be available for admittance at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day and hours will be extended to include 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. admittance on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The event concludes on Saturday, Sept. 26. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and are available now at universalpreservationhall.org.
“Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball,” is presented at UPH by Adirondack Trust Company.
UPH will follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State safety guidelines in establishing safety protocol for exhibit visitors. Each visitor, staff person and volunteer will be required to bring and wear a face mask and to wear provided gloves while playing the pinball machines. All individuals will also be required to maintaining proper social distancing. UPH staff will also take and record each individual’s temperature and procure proper tracing information, and sanitize all surfaces including handrails, light switches, elevators, exhibit pieces, restrooms and common surfaces before new groups are admitted. Capacity will be initially limited to 20 guests per time slot and will re-evaluated regularly.