Daytrippin' Beatles Magazine

The Latest Beatles News, Travel, Biography and Discography


Historical Beatle gems hidden among vast display at GRAMMY Museum’s new fab exhibit

by Trina Yannicos
2 entrance photos*


Originally launched in 2014 in New York City to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first visit to the U.S., the “Ladies and Gentlemen… The Beatles!” exhibit has finally made its way to the West Coast. The GRAMMY Museum, which curated the exhibit along with the avid memorabilia collectors of Fab Four Exhibits, opened the exhibit in Los Angeles on July 1, and it will be on display through September 5, 2016.

The exhibit focuses on the years 1964 to 1966 and The Beatles’ influence on America. Along with countless big and small memorabilia items are interactive displays, audio interviews, concert video clips and a short film shown in the Clive Davis Theater featuring musicians, including Ringo Starr, Graham Nash, Petula Clark and Ozzy Osbourne, talking about the impact of The Beatles.

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The big ticket items in this exhibit include Ringo’s Abbey Road jacket, Paul McCartney’s Shea Stadium jacket, Ringo’s black suit from A Hard Day’s Night, and the Beatles’ drumhead which was given to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London in April 1964 when wax figures of The Beatles were made.

While we’ve come to expect most rock and roll exhibits to display original instruments and clothing used by the musicians, it’s the little things that make this exhibit shine and showcase its sincerity and authenticity. For example, an original program from the Beatles’ Carnegie Hall concerts on February 12, 1964 lists Paul McCartney’s name incorrectly as “John McCartney.”

Another unique item is the official proclamation when The City of New Orleans declared “Beatles Day in New Orleans” on September 16, 1964, which coincided with The Beatles’ concert there that same day. All four Beatles signed the proclamation.
The exhibit also includes memorabilia from The Beatles’ early days in Liverpool and Hamburg. A personal letter written by George Harrison in 1962 when The Beatles were in Hamburg showcases the wit and humor of the “quiet” Beatle:
“Thank you for the. We are all still very in Hamburg as the. I started a letter to you on Thursday but it seemed to get a bit ‘you know’, so I have decided to write another.”

Other items of note include the first pair of “granny” glasses that John Lennon ever wore and a lock of John Lennon’s hair given to a fan at a concert in August 1963. John Lennon signed his autograph: “Love from ‘Bald’ John Lennon.”

The exhibit also features a large display of Beatles merchandising products including Beatles coloring books, coin purses and more from 1964 in their original packaging.
There is much to see at this exhibit. Reserve at least two hours to take it all in. And, on your way out, make sure to get your photo while crossing Abbey Road in London with the help of a virtual scenic backdrop – luckily this photo op doesn’t require dodging the traffic!
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Video: Ringo Starr appears at GRAMMY Museum to promote new exhibit and e-book

Ringo Starr at The GRAMMY Museum, June 11, 2013

Ringo Starr at The GRAMMY Museum, June 11, 2013

Ringo Starr appeared at the GRAMMY Museum yesterday at a media preview to promote his new exhibit, ‘Ringo: Peace & Love’, and his new e-book, ‘Photograph‘, both of which are available to the public starting June 12. Ringo explained that these projects, centering around his archive of personal artifacts, were planned in conjunction with each other. Additionally, a more extensive version of the e-book will be published in hardcover format in December.

Ringo credited his wife, Barbara, as motivating him last year to go through his archives. “I found so much stuff I didn’t know I had,” Ringo explained, including a wealth of old photos and letters that his mother had collected over the years. Even though Starr’s mother died in 1986, he hadn’t looked through the box of mementos she left behind until last year. He found old photographs and letters written before he joined The Beatles when he performed with Rory Storm’s band in Liverpool and Hamburg.


Singer Jackie DeShannon, who toured with The Beatles in 1964, at the GRAMMY Museum. Photo by Trina Yannicos

Singer Jackie DeShannon, who toured with The Beatles in 1964, at the GRAMMY Museum. Photo by Trina Yannicos

At the press preview, Ringo answered questions from the audience. He revealed his musical idol when he was a teenager was Lightnin’ Hopkins, an American blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was such a big fan that he considered emigrating to the US as a teenager so he could live in Texas where Hopkins lived. The Beatles’ would have never met Starr had he followed through and moved to the US when he was 18. Ringo got discouraged and gave up on the idea since he did not have the patience to fill out the paperwork required for emigrating to the US.

Starr also put a rumor to rest stating that the Beatles “did not jam with Elvis” that fateful day when the two legends met in 1965 in Hollywood. Starr explained that while he looked up to many rock and roll pioneers who were older than The Beatles, Elvis was the “first one not like my Dad.”

Ringo worked closely with The GRAMMY Museum by loaning many items for display including his clothing, drum kits and personal artifacts for the exhibit.

See PHOTOS of the exhibit here.

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A Look Inside the Grammy Museum

The new GRAMMY Museum is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, California in an new entertainment complex called LA Live. The Museum is next to the Nokia Theater and across from the Staples Center.
The LA Live complex, including hotels, cinemas and restaurants, is expected to be completed in 2010 and strives to become the West Coast equivalent of New York’s Times Square. The LA Live Plaza is an outdoor area at the center of the complex which will host free concerts and events.

As you walk on the sidewalk to the entrance to the GRAMMY Museum, you will see plaques dedicated to each year that the GRAMMY Awards have been held dating back to 1959 showcasing the winners that year.

The four-story 30,000 square-foot GRAMMY Museum cost $34 million to build and is affiliated with the National Academy for the Recording Arts and Sciences. Robert Santelli, Executive Director of the museum, says the GRAMMY Museum will be different than the other major music museums like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Experience Music Project in Seattle because it will feature all forms of music — over 100 genres, ranging from classical to folk to heavy metal to electronica.

Your museum visit starts on the fourth floor where you are introduced to a multitude of musical genres. The interactive crossroads table allows you to listen and learn more about a specific genre if you choose to, such as rockabilly, for example.

On the fourth floor you will also have access to the Grammy Archive, a database of information on Grammy recordings from the last 50 years, and you can explore the history of recorded music in several key cities across the United States from the 1880s to the present in the Music Epicenter display.

There are historic artifacts and clothing on display like the white suit that Michael Jackson wore on the Thriller album, or the infamous low-cut “Dress” that Jennifer Lopez wore at the 2000 Grammy Awards show. Other items on display include the Elvis Presley family bible and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper Grammy award.

On the third floor, you will see highlights from the last three decades of televised GRAMMY Award shows. The first show aired live on ABC on March 16, 1971 from the Hollywood Palladium. That year, Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance with wife, Linda, to accept the Beatles’ Grammy award for the “Let It Be” album.

But the highlight of the GRAMMY Museum is the behind-the-scenes perspective you gain about the recording process. There is a focus on famous record producers, like Clive Davis, Berry Gordy and Ahmet Ertegun, and recording studios like Abbey Road and Columbia, as well as engineers and songwriters, reminding us that behind every great artist is a team of people assisting in that artist’s success.

There is also a special interactive experience called “In the Studio” where you learn the recording process hands-on in eight steps. With touch-screen interactivity and film footage, you meet some of music’s most famous producers and engineers who guide you through distinct activities essential in the technical aspect of creating a record.

On the 2nd floor, there is a behind-the-scenes documentary playing in the 200-seat Grammy Sound Stage Theater which takes you backstage to the rehearsals for the 2008 Grammy Awards telecast featuring the explosive performance onstage of Beyonce with her idol, Tina Turner.

The GRAMMY Museum will be open seven days a week from 10 AM to 6 PM. The Museum is located at 800 West Olympic Blvd, Suite A245 in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit