Indianapolis stadium hosts an impressive collection of pop culture memorabilia
A MARTINEZ, HOST:
The NFL season got started last night, but today the Indianapolis Colts stadium plays host to a different sort of crowd. Fans are coming to see an impressive collection of pop culture memorabilia.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Jim Irsay owns the Colts. He's also an avid collector. He's taken some of his artifacts on the road for public display throughout the year. Irsay owns Jack Kerouac's scroll of "On The Road," along with first editions of Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn," the shoes Muhammad Ali wore during the Thrilla in Manila and even one of Jackie Robinson's bats - also signed letters from Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.
MARTINEZ: But musical instruments is where Irsay really goes deep. He has the Fender Stratocaster from when Bob Dylan went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and was booed.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
BOB DYLAN: (Singing) I ain't going to work on Maggie's farm no more.
MARTIN: But there were no boos when Eric Clapton played MTV's "Unplugged" series in 1992. Jim Irsay owns the 1939 Martin guitar that Clapton used on songs like his reimagined slowdown of "Layla."
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MTV UNPLUGGED")
ERIC CLAPTON: (Singing) What will you do when you get lonely, no one waiting by your side? You've been running and hiding much too long. You know it's just your foolish pride. Layla...
MARTINEZ: One of his newer and more expensive acquisitions is a 1969 blue Fender Mustang used by Kurt Cobain in Nirvana's hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
(SOUNDBITE OF NIRVANA SONG, "SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT")
MARTINEZ: Irsay dropped 4.5 million bucks on that one, and the Cobain family donated a portion of those proceeds to the Colts' mental health awareness campaign.
MARTIN: Plus the Gibson Les Paul guitar that Journey used for this iconic hit - Irsay owns that one, too.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'")
JOURNEY: (Singing) Don't stop believing. Hold on.
MARTIN: That could be the rallying cry for Colts fans. The team kicks off the season on the road Sunday against the Houston Texans.
(SOUNDBITE OF JOURNEY SONG, "DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'" Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.