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NOVEMBER 9-16

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If you want to be rock ‘n’ roll star, of course, first you get yourself an electric guitar. But the history of rock’s defining instrument is not quite so simple, as the Lemelson Center and Smithsonian Associates will demonstrate with a week of events, beginning today with two films: Monterey Pop (introduced by guitarist Bill Kirchen) represents the documentary tradition, and The Buddy Holly Story (introduced by City Paper theater critic and rabid rock fan Bob Mondello) reflects the fictional Hollywood approach. This Wednesday, electric guitar pioneer Les Paul (pictured) will discuss his musical and technical innovations, and next weekend brings two concerts: Junior Brown and the Ventures, and former Saturday Night Live band leader G.E. Smith on Friday, and Pat Metheny, the Jim Hall Trio, and Joe Louis Walker and the Bosstalkers on Saturday. This all connects to “From Frying Pan to Flying V: The Rise of the Electric Guitar,” an exhibit of notable axes that continues through April 1 at the National Museum of American History. The films are Nov. 9 at 12:30 & 3 p.m., respectively, at the National Museum of American History’s Carmichael Auditorium, 14th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE; “A Conversation With Les Paul” is Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th & Constitution Ave. NW. $20. Next Friday’s concert is at 7:30 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $11; next Saturday’s concert is at 7:30 p.m. at the University of the District of Columbia Auditorium, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW. $11. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Mark Jenkins)