Rick's Picks Draws Tourists to Rockford

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- "It's a real good look into him and his life, and I've really enjoyed it," said New York resident Larry Powell who came to the exhibit after reading about it in the Chicago Tribune.

Exhibit organizers say they expect recent publicity from the Chicago Tribune and VH1 to attract more people to the Rockford area.

"You don't see this everywhere in Rockford, and we think we're going to attract people from Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Quad Cities and we're hoping we can get a lot of tourism in here," said Dan Roszkowski, chairman of the guitar committee that brought the exhibit to Burpee Museum of Natural History.

Visitors from as far as Sweden and Japan have toured Rick's Picks already. Many say it compares favorably to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

"You go there, you can't get up close and look at anything. You're roped off, you're ten fifteen feet away from any of the exhibits. He says here you get up, it's a hands on experience, you open the drawers, you see the items in the drawers," said Dan Roszkowski.

The exhibit displays everything from more than 70 of Rick Nielsen's guitars to some of his school photos and letters.

"I mean, there's just so much stuff here. It's kind of hard to pick a few favorites," said Rick's Pick visitor Larry Powell.

Luckily for fans, there is much more memorabilia in storage that will be put on display as the exhibit continues.

The exhibit will be on display at the Burpee Museum in Rockford until April 11th.

Organizers of Rick's Picks are in talks to make this a traveling exhibit. They say there has been interest from Tokyo, where Cheap Trick recorded one of its most popular albums.

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