Come play real, working pinball machines along side pricles artifacts and memorabilia from the biggest names in Rock & Roll.
The first pinball machine was produced in 1931 and, almost immediately, the game was labeled a menace to society, a time-waster and corrupter of youth. Considered gambling, pinball was banned from the early 1940s to the mid-1970s in most American big cities. Naturally, it became a symbol of youth and rebellion, right along with rock & roll. The marriage of rock and pinball was formalized in 1969 when the Who released Tommy. The rock opera highlighted the mad pinball skills of pinball wizard Tommy Walker. Since then, numerous superstars have been artistically immortalized on pinball games — wedding the power and energy of rock & roll to the silver ball.
Fans can view pioneering pinball machines of their favorite musicians such as Captain Fantastic (1976), based on the album by Elton John and his character in Tommy; and Beat Time (1967), one of the oldest rock and roll tables which capitalizes on Beatlemania, featuring several mop-topped musicians and a drumhead emblazoned with “The Bootles.” Other rare and sought-after playable machines in the exhibit pay tribute to the Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Elvis, Metallica, and KISS. From Peter Criss of KISS’ drum set to Pete Townshend’s guitar, fans will find other artifacts on display as they learn more about the popular pinball and rock subculture.