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Pop star guitar on show at National Museum

15 APRIL 2007

The first guitar owned by Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee goes on show at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra tomorrow.

Lee's story of his chance discovery at the age of 14 is being introduced to the Museum's Eternity gallery, which tells the personal stories of 50 ordinary and extraordinary Australians.

National Museum curator Rowan Henderson said Lee's story demonstrated the possibilities which opened up to people.

"Ben and his mates received some very harsh feedback when they sent their Noise Addict demo tapes to all the record labels they could find,"Rowan said.

"They persisted and it was their first gig at a Sydney library sausage sizzle where a music industry promoter heard them and immediately signed them to support the band Sonic Youth. It's proof positive of what can happen if you make opportunities for yourself and are brave enough to grab chances when they come your way even if you are only fourteen."

WHAT: Ben Lee guitar install

WHEN: 10am, Monday, 16 April, 2007

WHERE: Eternity gallery, National Museum of Australia

Lee, who is in the United States working on his new album, said he was thrilled to have his story included in the National Museum.

"It's nice to be able to contribute a tiny thread to this huge fabric we call popular culture. Fame is fleeting, and pop stars become footnotes at best. But an interesting footnote has its own glory. I'm honoured to be a part of the story of what it means to be a musician, what it means to be human, what it means to be Australian."

Other stories currently featured in Eternity include those of aviation pioneer Nancy Bird Walton, children's performers the Wiggles, Olympic speed skater Steven Bradbury and former Prime Minister Harold Holt.

For interviews or more information please contact Dennis Grant on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481; Leanda Kitchen on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or media@nma.gov.au