It might seem like the opposite of punk attitude to be seen anywhere near a museum, but at a new Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas, visitors can take tours guided by the legends of punk rock themselves.
Opened on March 10, 2023, the Punk Rock Museum on Vegas’s Western Avenue is an homage to the genre, its stars and its ripple effect on culture. What started life as an idea for a punk retail store, has evolved into today’s 1,115 square metre space showcasing punk artefacts and memorabilia as well as exploring the lived history of the scene from those at its epicentre.
It’s history according to the people who lived it. It’s hearing stories about the L.A. punk scene from people who were part of the L.A. punk scene in the ‘80s. It’s hearing tour stories from the 2000s from someone like Chris No.2 from Anti-Flag.Vinnie Fiorello, museum co-founder
The list of tour guides will include legendary personalities from Circle Jerks, The Offspring, Suicidal Tendencies, and The Vandals. Among highpoints of the collection are handwritten lyrics and gig setlists, a Sid Vicious belt, a Vultures T-shirt worn by Debbie Harry of Blondie, and a 1959 Les Paul guitar belonging to Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls.
As well as meeting their heroes, guests will even be able to use The Jam Room to play guitars and a selection of other instruments used live or in recordings by punk stars. There’s also a bar.
The museum is the brainchild of Mike “Fat Mike” Burkett of NOFX, Warped Tour manager Lisa Brownlee and others, who formed Punk Collective to fund and drive forward the project. Many of the artefacts come from one man’s collection: co-founder of the museum, Vinnie Fiorello, of ska punk band Less Than Jake.
“Once you unwind that ball of influence of punk rock music, it starts to get pretty awe-inspiring,” Fiorello said. He cites the DIY culture permeating the music industry today as something that punk helped to grow.
No one would book punk bands. So bands started to find places to play and book themselves, then book their friends.Vinnie Fiorello, museum co-founder
Admission starts at 30 dollars plus tax and fees. Guided tours are 100 dollars and will typically run for 60-75 minutes up to three times a day. Don’t miss the special packages including merchandise and refreshments.