Just a few of our exhibits...


REO Speedwagon stands on the roof of the record company that presented them with the multi-platinum award for their sales of their hit record


This artifact was on display at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas until recently when the band had it shipped to the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum to be included in the REO Speedwagon exhibit.

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Rick Nielsen formed  the band Fuse in 1967 with Tom Peterson (later known as Tom Petersson), who had played in another Rockford, Illinois band called The Bo Weevils with drummer Bun E. Carlos.  According to Rolling Stone, the band adopted the name "Cheap Trick" on August 25, 1973.  There are a few stories as to where the name came from including that it was inspired by the band's attendance at a Slade concert, where Petersson commented that the band used "every cheap trick in the book" as part of their act.


The band was signed to Epic Records in early 1976.  The band released its first album, Cheap Trick, in early 1977.  Their second album, In Color, was released later that year.   When Cheap Trick toured in Japan for the first time in April 1978, they were received with a frenzy reminiscent of Beatlemania. During the tour, Cheap Trick recorded two concerts at the Nippon Budokan. Ten tracks taken from both shows were compiled and released as a live album entitled Cheap Trick at Budokan in 1978.  It is listed as one of  "the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" by Rolling Stone magazine.

Jimmy Stafford Guitar

Custom made Bennett Guitar owned by Jimmy Stafford of Train

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Jimmy Stafford of Train plays this custom guitar in this video of "Drops of Jupiter"

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Listen to Jimmy Stafford talk about this guitar
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Train - "Drops of Jupiter"

Jimmy Stafford a founding member of the band Train walks on to the stage last in this video and is standing on the right-hand side of the stage.  Wearing this long black jacket and plaid pants playing a very unique "Telecaster" style guitar.  The guitar features a special pickup known as a piezo pickup that allows the guitar to sound like an acoustic guitar as well as an electric guitar.

Steve Dahl and "Teenage Radiation"  - Greg Potter - drumkit

Emmy award winning drummer Gregg Potter, is the drummer with the new Buddy Rich Big Band. Gregg fronted the BR Band at the 25th Anniversary Buddy Rich Memorial Concert in England at the London Palladium in April of 2012, with that performance he has definitely put his mark on the drumming world. Gregg began his professional career after winning the Slingerland/ Louie Bellson National Drum Contest at the legendary Frank_м_s Drum Shop in Chicago. While still a teenager, he landed the drumming spot with radio icon Steve Dahl. Along with Dahl and his band Teenage Radiation, Gregg scored two hit singles, performed on Dahl's daily radio show, syndicated national shows, Emmy Award winning television specials, feature film soundtracks, daily morning television shows, and live concert appearances.

Ministry - Al Jorgenson

Ministry is an American industrial metal band founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1981 by producer, singer and instrumentalist Al Jourgensen. Originally a synth-pop outfit, Ministry evolved into one of the pioneers of industrial metal in the late 1980s.  Al Jorurgensen lends this very unique one of a kind mic stand to the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum.

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Daughters of Eve

In late 1965, Carl Bonafede was looking for an all girl band to manage as he also manged the Buckinghams. Bonafede held many audions and landed Judy Johnson and Marsha Tomal, bassist Andrea Levin, and drummer Debi Pomeroy.  Influenced by the male dominated music scene and they stood out as the all female band. They hit the ground running at a gig at Senn High School as their and began attracting a local following oftem finding themselves on the same bill as the Buckinghams, the Flock, and many other from the Chicago music scene.

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Lane Lindstrom dedicated his life to his passion for radio. His passion was recognized by the 101st Illinois General Assembly through Resolution HR0582

Because of Lane's dedication and love for radio broadcasting, and with permission of his family, we have named the Illinois radio exhibit, "Radio Lane's". 


The exhibit is recognized by the logo that was created for him and  is shown here. Through the generous donations from the Lindstrom family the exhibit includes a complete "Studio A"  exhibit from from WAJP.

Read the 101st Illinois General Assembly proclamation.  Click the link

Al and Mary Jane Pohlers,were lifelong Joliet residents who started the city’s first FM radio station. 

In the1940s, Al started “Al Pohlers’ Memory Hour,” a Sunday afternoon radio show featuring local talent and co-hosted by Mary Jane. The program played on four AM stations in the area, and was originally broadcast from the machine works, before the show eventually relocated in the 1950s.


Then, on Easter Sunday of 1960, the pair took their own station on the air. It was called 93.5 WAJP-FM and offered easy listening while also promoting patriotism and civic duty.

Every afternoon, Al and Mary Jane would take to the airwaves from 4:30 to 6 p.m. for “Polka Time,” a program where callers could recognize loved ones’ birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and the like, and listeners could hear a combination of commendations and polka music.

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Shure Radio Company - Shure Inc.

Was founded on April 25 by S.N. Shure and started as a one man company selling AM radio kits and parts. The Office was located downtown Chicago. By 1931 Shure began developing its first microphone. And by 1942 Shure became the biggest supplier to the Allied Forces providing the T-17B to the U.S. Army and Navy.  The company designed products to military specifications...which explains why their products are still durable today.

Ever wonder where this iconic microphone got its shape?

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Shure Vocal Master, the first portable total sound system, includes a six-channel mixer, power amplifier, and loudspeakers.
Bill Zenke of Joliet, IL donated a complete Shure Vocal Master PA system including monitors.
The Shure Vocal Master came out in 1967 and was built like a tank to last. 

Because the Shure builds to military specs this PA now owned by the museum still works perfectly.

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