INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 7, 2022) — Jim Irsay, owner & CEO of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, will exhibit items from The Jim Irsay Collection – his renowned assemblage of historic and iconic artifacts from rock music, American history and pop culture – in Indianapolis for a one-of-a-kind event leading into the 2022 NFL season.
For the first time, the exhibit will include unique, historic Colts artifacts and memorabilia—including game-worn uniforms and equipment, autographed items and more—from Indianapolis and Baltimore.
The evening also will feature a concert by The Jim Irsay Band, a band “which has never existed and will never exist again.” The band will be joined by special guests. Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Ann Wilson of Heart and Buddy Guy as well as acclaimed singer/songwriter John Hiatt with a special appearance by John Mellencamp.
Led by Irsay on vocals, the band includes Mike Wanchic on guitar (John Mellencamp), Mike Mills on bass (founding member of R.E.M), Tom Bukovac on guitar (has played on over 700 albums with major artists), Kenny Wayne Shepherd on guitar (five-time GRAMMY® nominated), Kenny Aronoff on drums (Sir Paul McCartney, Mellencamp, The Rolling Stones, Sting, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson) and Michael Ramos on keyboards (Mellencamp, Los Lonely Boys, Patti Griffin, Paul Simon).
This is a free event and open to the public, but tickets are required. To register to attend, visit Eventbrite to reserve a ticket. Capacity is limited and tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
“I began this collection to preserve, protect and share historic artifacts with others in hopes of telling stories of our shared past and culture and inspiring people to dream big and strive for great things in life,” Irsay said. “I am only a steward of this collection, so it’s my job to share it with as many people as I can. That’s why we’re especially excited to share this special evening with our friends, fans and neighbors right here in Indianapolis.”
When: Friday, Sept. 9
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S. Capitol Ave.
Media Note: Media who would like to cover should RSVP to email@example.com by TODAY.
Entry Gates: 2:00 PM
The Jim Irsay Collection: 2:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Field Access Begins: 5:30 PM
Kickoff Concert: 7:30 PM
Questions? Visit jimirsaycollection.com/indianapolis-faq
The Jim Irsay Collection is highlighted by instruments and items owned and used by the greatest artists in music history, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Prince, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Sir Elton John, Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia, Les Paul, David Gilmour, Jim Morrison, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, John Coltrane, The Edge and other icons, as well as signed photos, handwritten lyrics, and other historic music memorabilia. In 2022, Guitar Magazine specifically highlighted his collection of guitars as “The Greatest Guitars on Earth.”
Items have been displayed at the U.S.’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), The Lincoln Memorial, the world-famous Beverly Hills Hotel, and the Indiana State Museum; as well as at The Centre Pompidou (Paris), the British Library (London), Auditorium Parco della Musica (Rome) and other locations around the world. For general info, visit jimirsaycollection.com.
Born October 7, 1951 in Seymour, Indiana, John Mellencamp is one of the most iconic musicians of all time. His professional music career began in earnest in 1976 when MCA Records released his first album, The Chestnut Street Incident. After releasing a few albums, he broke out in 1979 with his first hit, "I Need A Lover" In 1982 his fifth album American Fool was the year's best-selling album on the strength of two huge hits, "Hurts So Good," and the number 1 single "Jack & Diane," The albums that followed in the 80's, Uh-Huh, Scarecrow, Lonesome Jubilee, and Big Daddy, were released under the name John Cougar Mellencamp. Mellencamp took the music on the road with a band that many considered the best in the business, playing approximately 1,000 shows around the globe during the decade. In 1985, John's concern for the plight of the American farmer, which had been voiced in the Scarecrow album, brought him together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young in launching Farm Aid. It became an annual event and has helped make people aware of the issues farmers face and how they affect on the entire nation. Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He’s a Grammy-winner and the recipient of numerous awards including The Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck Awards, ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award and their highest honor the Founders Award, the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting and the Billboard Century Award, amongst a host of other honors. John Mellencamp continues to live and work in Bloomington, Indiana. He is the father of three daughters, Michelle, Teddi Jo and Justice and two sons, Hud and Speck.
Indianapolis native, John Hiatt is one of America’s most respected and influential singer-songwriters. “You know how writing goes for me, “ John Hiatt says, offering a glimpse into his creative process. “I get a couple of lines going, and then I just tag along as the songs start to reveal themselves. You’ve just gotta jump inside and take the ride.” Hiatt has been on that ride – as have we all, tagging along right beside him – for more than four decades now. In fact, since the release of his 1974 debut, Hangin’ Around the Observatory, rarely has more than a year or two passed without a new Hiatt collection hitting the shelves. In total, John has released 26 critically embraced solo albums as well as an album with the legendary group Little Village with Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe and Jim Keltner. His most recent studio album, Leftover Feelings, is a collaboration with Dobro Master Jerry Douglas that was recorded at the historical RCA Studio B in Nashville. As a credit to John’s songwriting career, over 400 of his songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Bonnie Raitt to Eric Clapton and BB King to Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop. Since 2000 he’s been on a remarkable late-career run, releasing a dozen acclaimed studio albums and embarking on numerous tours in the U.S. and abroad. John’s esteemed career has earned him 10 GRAMMY award nominations, his own star on Nashville’s Walk of Fame, the 2019 BMI Troubadour award, the Americana Music Association’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting, has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he was saluted at the Indiana Governor’s Arts Awards.
"Over the years, some remarkable guitar collections have featured in the pages of this magazine. But, in terms of owning historic instruments with rock ’n’ roll credentials and sheer spending power, nobody can top Jim Irsay." READ ARTICLE
"The list of items [in The Jim Irsay Collection], spanning centuries, is extraordinary. And regardless of your area of interest, there will be something there that will blow your mind." READ ARTICLE
"As much of a spectacle as the cover sets might be—with Irsay backed by members of John Mellencamp’s band and R.E.M., among others—they’re simply a warmup act for the main attraction, Irsay’s massive and still-growing collection." READ ARTICLE
"Irsay, who possesses one of the most impressive collections of musical, historical, sports and pop-culture memorabilia on the planet, is determined to showcase the artifacts while celebrating the music he reveres." READ ARTICLE
Smells like team spirit: Billionaire Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay shares his collection of rare guitars at a free exhibition after splurging $4.4 million on Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's Fender Mustang READ ARTICLE
"Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is displaying his world-renowned collection of historic memorabilia to the public for the first time in the Big Apple. Irsay joined Cheddar News to talk about why he's bringing artifacts from the Beatles to Jerry Garcia to light now." WATCH VIDEO
"Bloomberg caught up with Irsay in advance of the [concert and exhibit in New York]. He talked about how much putting together a world-class collection costs and what it would take for him to part with it." READ INTERVIEW
"The focus [of the collection] is on powerful people who changed the world. 'I have JFK, his rocking chair, Jackie Robinson's bat that he hit a homerun World Series with, Muhammad Ali's shoes from the Thrilla in Manila against Joe Frazier,' Irsay said. 'It's so eclectic because it's everything.'" READ ARTICLE
"To call Irsay’s collection breathtaking would not do it justice. Items on display ran the gamut from historical artifacts — such as letters from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the wanted poster for John Wilkes Booth and the Atlantic Charter signed by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt — to pop culture items such as Hunter S. Thompson’s “Red Shark” 1973 Chevrolet Caprice convertible." READ ARTICLE