Guitar Walk

Visitors to Walnut Ridge, AR will soon get to experience a genuine rockabilly guitar, and on a massive scale. Plans for the Guitar Walk to be built downtown have been updated to look the part of a genuine electric guitar, down to the finest details. The Guitar Walk is taking on the look of a modified Gibson Epiphone guitar. John Lennon, as well as other Beatles and numerous rockabilly and Sun Studio artists, played at the phones, or similar guitars from other manufacturers, and that's why we are leaning toward using the look of an Epiphone, by Gibson.

The Guitar Walk is to be constructed south of the chamber of commerce offices, less than 20 feet from the Rock n' Roll Highway 67. Visitors approaching the guitar's headstock, will notice six well groomed bushes, representing tuning pegs and that's the start of what appears to be the worlds largest guitar. At 100 foot long by 40 feet wide this guitar should break all the existing size records.

As the visitors walking down the neck of the guitar, they will notice the cement isn't drab grey, instead the entire guitar will have coloring embedded in the concrete, to match the color configuration of an actual guitar. The strings of the guitar won't really be there, instead the concrete will have strips cut to an appropriate depth, representing the actual placement of the guitar strings. Additionally plans call for using flat brass bars for "frets" along the neck, providing perfect detail, gets permitting the Guitar Walk to remain handicapped accessible.

On the body of the guitar, visitors will see the instrument's bridge and the pickups are shown in great detail as part of the embedded coloring, and they will also notice the aluminum volume and tone knobs have been formed and raised to make stools. Plans call for the "F-note cutaways" to be raised and used for benches as well.

Spaced around the outside of the Guitar Walk body will be eight life-sized silhouette sculptures, representing some of the Sun Studio and rockabilly artists who traveled The Rock n' Roll Highway 67 in the 1950s. Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Conway Twitty are just a few of the original silhouette sculptures that have been included, and each will be accompanied by an aluminum plaque providing an overview of why that person was selected to be one of the first to be included around the Guitar Walk.

In addition to the Guitar Walk, the tourism committee has fully funded a Beatles tribute, known as the British Invasion of the Rock n' Roll Highway. That sculpture will also be places in downtown Walnut Ridge, a block away from the giant Guitar Walk. The 20 foot wide by 10 foot tall tribute, commemorating The Beatles' surprise visit to the Walnut Ridge Airport in 1964, consistss of a hand etched rendition of the iconic Abby Road album cover with a scale silhouette of the Fab Four walking across Abbey Road.

For additional information contact Charles Snapp, snapp1@sbcglobal.net, or call 501-412-6497. All work and donations are being done through the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee and Downtown Walnut Ridge Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.