Blue Suede Shoes was released in 1956 on Elvis Presley’s first album.
Elvis Presley released his first album in 1956. The same year, twins were born in Northern Sweden, Samuel and Michael Åhdén. As they grew up, the twins developed a twin passion: American music and American cars.
The twins were especially fond of the American music and cars of their early youth: the 1950s and 60s, when the likes of Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, Roy Orbison, and Dean Martin were topping the charts in the United States.
Low riders, meanwhile, were cruising the streets.
Slowly but surely, Michael and Samuel started to amass a massive collection of guitars, basses, amps, and music accessories – as well as motorcycles and ornaments from classic American cars and other types of memorabilia.
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Their collection focuses in guitars. It is reputedly one of the finest privately owned collections of guitars in the world. It is on display at Guitars – The Museum in Umea, a city of 120,000 in inhabitants in Northern Sweden.
The museum occupies the top floor of an old brick school, which was built in 1917. The building also houses a club, a music store, a restaurant serving American inspired food, and a bar.
There are guided tours of the museum three times a day. Private tours can also be arranged, but should be booked in advance.
The guitar museum was one of the highlights of my visit to Northern Sweden. It should definitely be included on any visit to Umea.
For a serious music buffs, it might even be worth the trip from Stockholm.
It would be quite an undertaking, but having signs with descriptive notes of the displays would certainly add considerable value to the exhibits.
Special thanks to our charming hosts Sirpa Karki and Hanna Sondell at #VisitUmea and #VisitVasterbotten as well as all of the guides and others that made our trip to Northern Sweden so special.
Guitars – the Museum, Vasagatan 18 – 20, Umea, Sweden. Telephone: +46 (0) 90 -580 90. Museum Website: Guitars – The Museum.
Umea is a one hour’s flight north of Stockholm. By train, the trip takes more than six hours.
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Click here for information on Insight Guides Sweden.