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Carnegie ready to rock
Ace Frehley will be at the opening night of the Carnegie ROCKS! exhibit. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Carnegie Arts Center is set to bring some Rock and Roll to town when the Carnegie ROCKS! Exhibit opens May 24 with special guests Ace Frehley of KISS, Night Ranger, and George Lynch in attendance.

The one of a kind exhibit is from the collection of Turlock’s Matt Swanson. It features more than 40 original electric and acoustic guitars that were strummed by some of Rock and Roll’s most iconic musicians.

Tickets are on sale now for the VIP opening night at $250 that will include a performance by Night Ranger in the Carnegie Loft, a guided tour from Swanson, and a signed book and commemorative pilsner glass. Sponsorship packages, which start at $1,000 will also get early entry, a meet and greet with Frehley, Lynch and Night Ranger, and priority seating.

The event also will feature open hosted bars and food.

Only 200 spots are available. Funds raised will benefit the Carnegie Arts Center.

The exhibit will include the 1974 Cherry Sunburst Les Paul guitar played by Frehley in the mid to late 1970s when KISS was at their height. A Marshall stack used by Steve Vai on David Lee Roth's "Eat Em and Smile" tour will be on view along with an original 1959 Telefunken microphone used by Les Paul, a Monteleone guitar, and memorabilia such as a vintage sign proclaiming "The Iridium Proudly Presents Les Paul" from the Iridium Jazz Club in New York. Other items include the red strat used by Brad Gillis on the Ozzy Osbourne and Night Ranger tours and the last costume worn by Frehley in performance with the original members of KISS.

Rounding out the exhibit will be numerous video stations where visitors can see the items on display being used in performance. The Carnegie ROCKS! will feature these items and a great many more guitars, amps and celebrated items from Rock and Roll history. The exhibit will be at the Carnegie through Aug. 17.

Heavily inspired by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend, Frehley was a devoted student of Rock and Roll. Answering a "Guitar Player Wanted" ad in New York’s Village Voice newspaper, the then 22-year-old struggling musician came in and played with such skill and ferocity that it left all the other auditioners out of condition. Frehley joined Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss to create KISS and together they changed the landscape of Rock and Roll.

“I don’t think that much about how I influenced a whole generation of guitar players because that idea is so big,” Frehley said.

Lynch is best known for his work with the bands Dokken, Lynch Mob, and Souls of We. He is ranked #68 in "100 greatest guitarists of all time" by Guitar World magazine.

The Bay Area based band Night Ranger first tasted fame in the 1980s when their smash hits "Sister Christian,” “When You Close Your Eyes” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America” hit the airwaves. They have sold 17 million albums worldwide and are now celebrating their 30th anniversary of touring and recording together.

Tickets are on sale to the general public using the event website: