The Jim Irsay Collection | January 11, 2024 | Shrine Exposition Hall | Los Angeles, CA – Review and Photo Gallery


Review & photos by Ron Lyon

The Shrine Auditorium on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles hosted the The Jim Irsay Collection – a free, traveling exhibit of documents, pop culture memorabilia and rare, iconic instruments from the colorful history of rock and roll. If that wasn’t enough, Jim Irsay, the CEO of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, gathered together a collection of all-star American rock icons for a free, first-come, first-served concert.

“I started this collection and tour to bring people from all walks of life together to celebrate our shared history and culture and spread positive messages of unity and inspiration throughout this country and world,” Irsay said.

The collection is highlighted by instruments and items owned and used by the greatest artists in music history, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, James Brown, Prince, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia, Les Paul, David Gilmour, Jim Morrison, Pete Townshend, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, John Coltrane, The Edge and other icons, as well as signed photos, handwritten lyrics, and other historic music memorabilia.

In 2022, Guitar Magazine  highlighted this collection of guitars as “The Greatest Guitars on Earth.” Outside of music, the collection includes such historic items as: An 1823 William J. Stone printing of the Declaration of Independence, one of the first “facsimiles” of the final signed document, Artifacts and signed documents from numerous U.S. Presidents, renowned American author Jack Kerouac’s original 119-foot On The Road scroll, the original manuscript for Alcoholics Anonymous’ Big Book, the organization’s founding document including the original “12-Step” Program, a Jackie Robinson game-used bat from 1953, Muhammad Ali’s 1974 championship belt from “Rumble in the Jungle” vs. George Foreman, and his boxing shoes from the 1975 bout “Thrilla’ in Manilla” vs. Joe Frazier, Secretariat’s  saddle from its historic 1973 Triple Crown wins; and Sylvester Stallone’s original manuscript notes for the movie Rocky.

Billed as the The Jim Irsay Band, the concert included a stunning array of legends like Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and blues pioneer Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons guitar (ZZ Top), Ann Wilson vocals (Heart), Mike Mills, bass & vocals (founding member of R.E.M.). Other notable members incuded Kevin Cronin vocals and guitar (REO Speedwagon), Billy Branch (Chicago blues harmonica player), Kenny Aronoff, drums (John Fogerty, Mellencamp, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, guitar & vocals (five-time Grammy nominee), Billy Branch, harmonica (Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Keb’ Mo, Taj Mahal), Tom Bukovac, guitar (Nashville session guitarist), Danny Nucci, guitar & saxophone (actor, Titanic, The Rock), Michael Ramos, keyboards (Mellencamp, Patti Griffin, Paul Simon), Carmella Ramsey, violin, mandolin & vocals (Reba McEntire, John Hiatt, Olivia Newton-John),  and Mike Wanchic, guitar (Mellencamp). Stephen Stills and Jim Irsay were last minute scratches to the lineup.

This evening was by far the best free event I’ve ever attended. Thank you to Jim Irsay for putting this together. Rarely are the photographers so well taken care of. They were given front-row access for the entire evening (with chairs I might add), and VIP access.

1. Down for Love (with Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
2. Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues (Buddy Guy cover)
3. I’ve Got to Use My Imagination / She’s Nineteen Years Old (with Buddy Guy)
4. I Can’t Hold Out / Watch Yourself (Elmore James cover) (with Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
5. Blue on Black (Kenny Wayne Shepherd song) (with Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
6. (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville (R.E.M. cover) (with Mike Mills)
7. Superman (The Clique cover) (with Mike Mills)
8. Have a Cigar (Pink Floyd cover) (With David Gilmour’s “The Black Strat”)
9. Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd cover) (With David Gilmour’s “The Black Strat”)
10. Love, Reign O’er Me (The Who cover) (with Ann Wilson)
11. Barracuda (Heart cover) (with Ann Wilson)
12. Take It on the Run (REO Speedwagon cover) (with Kevin Cronin)
13. Keep On Loving You (REO Speedwagon cover) (with Kevin Cronin)
14. Ridin’ the Storm Out (REO Speedwagon cover) (with Kevin Cronin)
15. Roll With the Changes (REO Speedwagon cover) (with Kevin Cronin)
16. Hard Drivin’ Man (The J. Geils Band cover) (with Peter Wolf)
17. Just Can’t Wait (The J. Geils Band cover) (with Peter Wolf)
18. Centerfold (The J. Geils Band cover) (with Peter Wolf)
19. Love Stinks (The J. Geils Band cover) (with Peter Wolf)
20. Lookin’ for a Love (The Valentinos cover) (with Peter Wolf)
21. Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top cover) (with Billy Gibbons)
22. La Grange (ZZ Top cover) (with Billy Gibbons)
23. Going Down (Freddie King cover) (with Billy Gibbons)

The Jim Irsay Collection Photo Gallery

The Jim Irsay Band Photo Gallery

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