Classic rock band Aerosmith kicks off the second leg of its Las Vegas “Deuces Are Wild” residency at Park MGM on Wednesday with a treat for devoted fans: $49 tickets for a chance to explore the band’s museum.
It features a 50-year collection of band memorabilia that includes instruments used in concerts, outfits, set pieces, a gold record for the 1976 hit “Get Your Wings,” and the original handwritten lyrics from “Dream On,” Aerosmith’s breakout hit from its1973 debut album.
Previously, VIP access was limited to those who wanted to shell out $250 for a backstage tour, $750 for a Q&A with three band members, or $2,500 for a meet-and-greet with guitarist Joe Perry and lead singer Steven Tyler.
Fans aren’t required to purchase concert tickets to visit the museum, which is on the lower level of Park Theater. The half-hour guided tours run daily from noon to 3 p.m. and are followed by unstructured time to wander on your own, though guests aren’t permitted to take photos or videos.
Amanda Ayre, who runs the band’s fan club and VIP programs and also helped curate the exhibit, said this is the first time many of the items have been displayed to the public.
“Because this isn’t a touring show, we wanted to do something special beyond the VIP lounge and a meet-and-greet,” Ayre said. “We never had an opportunity until now to showcase some of the really cool stuff we have in the Aerosmith warehouse, which is like a rock and roll hall of fame for the band.”
Ayre said nothing was off limits for inclusion in the Las Vegas museum, whether it was Tyler’s high school band drum, Perry’s custom guitars or items pulled from band members’ private vaults. Each member selected outfits to display (Tyler sent a pair of moccasins he hand-painted in the 1970s) and memorable instruments to include (Perry picked more than 20 guitars).
“The (band members) love to look back over the collection themselves,” Ayre said. “When the band finally saw the collection put together, Steven teared up. Joe said every amp in the collection tells a story to him.’”
Aerosmith fans aren’t the only ones who grow wide-eyed over some of the objects on display; band members sometimes find old favorites, too.
“One afternoon before showtime, Steve took a microphone scarf from the display and Joe took an old guitar from the collection to use on stage that night.”
Notable museum items that Ayre said fans shouldn’t miss include those handwritten lyrics to “Dream On,” scribbled on an original 1978 copy of the first Aerosmith fan club newsletter; a hand-painted drum from the “Living on the Edge” tour; Perry’s guitar and amplifier collection; and band member Brad Whitford’s “Barn Guitar,” custom-made from wooden planks from the “The Barn,” the New Hampshire spot where the band first started performing.
“It’s a very personalized exhibit,” said Ayre. “Because it takes three days to put up and three to take down, we can’t tour with it. This is stuff you won’t see anywhere else.”
The museum will be open until December.
Info: Aerosmith Museum Tour
Follow Michael Hiller on Instagram, @checkingincheckingout.