Dolly Parton played a $99 mini electric guitar at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Dolly Parton
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty)

Throughout last Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, viewers were treated to an evening of standout six-string action, with artists taking to the stage to show off both their playing chops and flashy electric guitars.

Examples include Lionel Richie and Dave Grohl’s rendition of Easy, which found the latter playing the solo on his Gibson Trini Lopez guitar, and Judas Priest’s three-song medley, which saw K.K. Downing – and his Gibson Flying V – reunite with his old bandmates.

For all the high-end gear on display, though, it was Dolly Parton’s wild, bejewelled electric guitar – used to premiere her all-new track Rockin’ – that was among the most spectacular gear highlights.

More surprising than the look, however, is the fact that the guitar is a none-more-metal Mitchell MM100 – a modest mini-scale model that only costs $99 (opens in new tab).

Sure, the custom aesthetics would have added a fair amount to the total value – and the guitar’s role in the Roll Hall induction ceremony will no doubt make it far more expensive should it be sold in the future – but at its core, the guitar is as basic as it gets.

The humble 22.5”-scale six-string sports a basswood body and a bolt-on rock maple neck, and helped Parton squeeze out her Rockin’ tones by way of two “Humbucker Ceramic” Mitchell pickups. 

Other specs from the show-stealing guitar include a string-through-body design, 24 frets, a reverse-PRS-esque headstock and a control layout that comprises master volume and tone knobs, and a three-way switch.

Check out the video above to hear the guitar in action.

It isn’t the first time Parton has customized and played a cheap guitar. Previously, she’s been spotted with a Samick Greg Bennett Malibu Series Strat-style guitar, which carries an even cheaper price tag of around $85.

The modded model, which you can see in action below, featured an all-white finish that was souped-up by way of an all-encompassing rhinestone body design. The guitar is just as humble as the MM100, featuring three-single coils, a maple bolt-on neck and rosewood ‘board.

Elsewhere in her arsenal of eye-catching guitars, Parton has also been partial to a rhinestone-loaded Taylor GS Mini, which she played at Glastonbury Festival 2014.

Parton has previously revealed Rockin’ was written especially for the ceremony, and was originally born from the country legend’s hesitation – and initial refusal – to accept a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.

After receiving a nomination, Parton attempted to remove herself from the slate, saying, “I don’t feel that I have earned that right.” 

Her wishes were ignored by the Rock Hall foundation, which issued a statement in response that read, “It is not defined by any one genre, rather a sound that moves youth culture. Dolly Parton’s music impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed.”

Dolly Parton

(Image credit: Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame via Getty)

Of the song, Parton told Pollstar (opens in new tab) prior to the ceremony, “When I said I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to take votes from someone who’d spent their life in that. But I said, if they put me there, I will accept gracefully. And I will. I even wrote a song about the whole situation to sing at the ceremony. 

“It’s a fine little song, and it’s real rock-y, so I’ll have something fun to play off of, to ease some of the tension.”

After receiving her induction, Parton said on the evening, “I’m a rock star now! Back when they said they were going to induct me into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I didn’t really think that I’d done enough to deserve that. I didn’t understand it at the time. But this is a very, very special night for me.”

In honor of her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Parton will be writing and recording a fully fledged rock album, for which she has set her sights on recruiting some of the biggest names in the game, including Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Speaking to People (opens in new tab), Parton said, “I'm gonna have to live up to it if I'm gonna be in the Hall of Fame, so I'm gonna go ahead and do a rock 'n' roll album, and I'm gonna pull people from the rock 'n' roll field to sing with me on it.”

If that’s the case, we imagine her Mitchell MM100 will be plenty busy in the coming months.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.