Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas

Located right off of the Las Vegas Freeway sits The Punk Rock Museum, a new and exciting addition to Sin City. Not only is it a museum, it also has a bar, a wedding chapel, punk shop, and a tattoo parlor. 

Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

During my recent trip to Vegas to cover a show at The Sphere I reached out to museum to see if I could stop by and visit the new exhibits. The museum was super accommodating to my busy 36-hour visit to Vegas and allowed me to check it all out with Ronny as my tour guide.

Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Coming up on its one-year anniversary in April, The Punk Rock Museum is dedicated to the punk rock music genre and covers over half a century worth of music history. It was founded by “Fat Mike” Burkett of the band NOFX, and developed by Burkett and punk rock veteran Lisa Brownlee.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Punk rock first emerged in the 1970’s from rock and roll and is defined by its non-conformist lyrics and unique musical style. Punk is music genre, but also a fashion style, lifestyle, and ideology. Created as retaliation to the overproduced and corporate nature of mainstream music, punk rock is the epitome of progressiveness. The museum embraces all of the journey from the 1970’s to present day.

Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Punk Rock Museum prides itself on having the most expansive and inclusive collection of punk rock artifacts in the world. On display are show fliers, photos, artist’s clothing, instruments, handwritten lyrics, artwork, and set lists, as well as much more. There is so many details to see you cannot even take it all in on one visit.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Some notable artifacts include a couch Kurt Cobain passed out on while recording The Melvins. “If that couch could speak, it would definitely seek therapy,” reads a plaque with a quote from engineer Billy Anderson, posted next to the sofa. “Kurt sleeping on it during the recording wasn’t the only thing that happened on it.”

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Billie Joe Armstrong’s guitar, the molds of the iconic Devo helmets, a piece of the original CBGB stage, and The Offspring’s MTV Music Award are also on display throughout the museum tour.

Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Other exhibits include Joe Strummers last bag of weed and last performance shirt. Strummer, frontman of the Clash, died in 2002 after suffering a heart attack in his home. At the time, he was in the midst of a career comeback and he remains one of the legends of the punk rock music movement.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Another unique space inside the museums is the Pennywise rehearsal garage. Fletcher Dragge, the band’s guitarist and one of the founders of the Punk Rock Museum, dismantled the garage from its original location in Hermosa Beach, California, where it had stood for over 20 years, and carefully reconstructed it within the museum premises. “The equipment, walls, posters and the smell are all original, This carpet was pulled from a dumpster in Hawthorne, CA (a Pennywise tradition from day one)” is written on a sign next to the garage exhibit.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

My personal favorite came toward the end of the tour where you can see a case with Clash guitars next to Lemmy’s stage clothes, bass and a bullet necklace containing the late rockers ashes.

Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

A cool interactive exhibit the museum features is a guitar room where visitors can play guitars and basses played through the amps the artists played them through. The equipment comes from bands like Rise Against, NOFX, Pennywise, Sick of it All, Strung Out, and more. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Upstairs there is space dedicated to Vans Warped Tour. This area brought back so many great memories of covering this show every summer as a new music photographer in parking lots across the midwest.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The museum has a temporary exhibit curated by James Spooner titled Black Punk Now – After Afro-Punk, Beyond Bad Brains. Spooner is an award-winning graphic novelist, filmmaker and tattoo artist. He directed the documentary “Afro-Punk.” The exhibit explores the experience of being a Black punk rocker, and spotlights today’s generation of Black punks, underground BIPOC punk festivals and more. The exhibit will be open through March of this year. 

This is hands-down my new favorite attraction in Vegas and if I lived in town I would be there every weekend saddled up to the Triple Down Bar enjoying drinks and some of the greatest music of all time. The Triple Down is named after Las Vegas’ famed punk dive, the Double Down and is open seven days a week. Many of the cocktails are inspired by famous rockers like “The Fletcher,” the favorite cocktail of Pennywise’s Fletcher Dragge.

The bar is open to the public 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. and has two happy hours 7-9 p.m. and 12-2 a.m.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Why The Punk Rock Museum Is The Best New Attraction In Vegas
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

General admission to the museum is $39.00, children’s tickets (4-12 years old) are $19.50 and children under 4 can enter for free. They also offer a discount for students and veterans/military. A guided tour is also an option for $100.00 and led by well-known pop punk band members. You must register for a time slot ahead of time for any ticket type to ensure the museum does not go over their capacity limits. Celebrity tour guides have included members of The Offspring, Rise Against and even Kevin Lyman, the founder of Warped Tour in the past.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

In celebration of The Punk Rock Museum’s first anniversary, they are hosting a show in their parking lot on March 31st. The bands performing will be: Suburban Resistance, Sakura, Soldiers of Destruction, The Last Gang, Get Dead, and The Vandals. Tickets are $55.00 which includes a general admission ticket to the museum.  

From punk music, to getting married, getting a tattoo, and having a drink at the bar, you’re sure to have a myriad of experiences at The Punk Rock Museum.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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