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Rock Hall Flips For Pinball Machine Exhibit

When Greg Harris needed some work done on his 1970s era pinball machine, he took it to David Spasic at the Superelectric Pinball Parlor in Cleveland for maintenance.

Little did the Rock and Roll Hall Fame and Museum president and CEO know, this was the beginning of Rock Hall's most-interactive exhibit to date.

David Spasic

"He needed some work done, and we got his game going for him," said Spasic. "When he came and picked it up, I started going through all the [pinball] titles with rock and roll themes."

Harris was surprised to hear that Rock Hall inductees like the Who, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, KISS and Metallica all have licensed pinball machines dedicated to their musical careers.

Soon Spasic was helping Harris sneak a machine into the Rock Hall to entice the curators.

"Greg and I packed up Captain Fantastic, and we brought it over to the Rock Hall.  The next morning he pitched the idea," Spasic said.

The idea was a hit, and this summer the exhibition, "Part of the Machine: Rock and Pinball," opened featuring artifacts from Rock Hall inductees alongside their corresponding pinball machines.

Each morning Spasic starts his day fixing and maintaining more than a dozen games for the exhibit so they're all ready when the doors open and the visitors arrive.

"It's a game, but it has a very social aspect to it.  That's why I think this exhibit is such a great thing.  It has a social and interactive aspect that most museums don't necessarily do," he said.

Visitors get four free tokens to play the games and can purchase more if they can't get enough.

"The machines are getting played a lot," he said.

The popularity of the exhibit has the Rock Hall staff thinking about eventually lending it to other museums around the country.

"It's such a great interactive experience, it'd be really awesome to share," he said.

Part of the Machine: Rock and Pinball is on view now at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.






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@superelectricpinball David Spasic preps pinball machines @rockhall For more visit applause.ideastream.org #rockhall #pinball

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Dave DeOreo is coordinating producer for Ideastream Public Media’s arts and culture team.