It's no surprise the Play it Loud! exhibit of instruments now on display at the Rock Hall of Fame has more guitars in it than anything else. What is amazing is that it includes so many iconic ones... guitars you'll recognize long before you're close enough to read the accompanying information card that tells about the axe and the role it played in Rock history.
One that even casual fans will recognize from distance at first glance is the battered Fender with a Telecaster body and an Esquire neck Bruce Springsteen had riding his back as he leaned into Clarence Clemons on the cover of Born To Run. Bruce considered the instrument an extension of himself, saying it was so integral to him that he didn't even feel like he had it strapped to him, which he regularly did through four decades of recording and touring.
In addition to appearing on the cover of Bruce's 1975 breakthrough album, it was in the cover shots for Live 1975-85, Human Touch and Wrecking Ball albums.
The 1953/54 guitar Bruce bought for $185 in 1973 no longer accompanies him on the road. It's been retired out of concern that it has withstood so much that continuing to travel and perform with it would do it in. The good news is that means fans can see the a guitar that millions could only admire from a great distance and on album covers very, very close, and near the sax Clarence blew some of his most electrifying solos with.