“A traveling museum of rock music”: The Jim Irsay Band is playing a free show in LA next month featuring Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Kenny Wayne Shepherd – and some of the world’s most valuable guitars

Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons and Kenny Wayne Shepherd
(Image credit: Lionel FLUSIN / Scott Dudelson / Steve Jennings / Getty Images)

Jim Irsay has announced plans to host a free show in LA on January 11, featuring an incredible selection of guest talent and, we think it’s safe to presume, some of the world’s most expensive guitars.

The Jim Irsay Collection Exhibit and Concert (to give the event its full title) is described as “a traveling museum of rock music, American history and pop culture” and is set to hit LA’s Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall next month.

A string of A-list special guests have already been announced, including Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Ann Wilson and Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band. 

Elsewhere, Irsay will take on vocal duties for selected songs, with backing provided by even more guitar talent: namely, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Nashville session legend Tom Bukovac, while REM’s Mike Mills (bass) and Kenny Aronoff (drums) will handle the rhythm section.

While the show takes place in the evening, ticket holders will also be able to view the the Indianapolis Colts owner’s guitar and pop culture collection in the venue’s expo hall.

As regular readers will recall, the Jim Irsay collection was valued at more than $1 billion earlier this year and features David Gilmour’s Black Strat, Kurt Cobain’s Smells Like Teen Spirit Mustang and Jerry Garcia’s Wolf guitar, among many other iconic instruments from The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Prince. 

Previous Irsay performances have seen the collector allow some of the most expensive guitars in the world to be put through their paces onstage by artists. For instance, the time Kenny Wayne Shepherd performed Comfortably Numb on David Gilmour’s Black Strat.

We’re hoping for more of the same from the January show – and perhaps even an outing for one of Irsay’s most recent acquisitions, Eric Clapton’s 1964 ‘The Fool’ Gibson SG

To get hold of tickets for the Jim Irsay Collection Exhibit & Concert, Los Angeles on January 11, 2024, head to Eventbrite.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.