After nearly three years and six stops thus far across the U.S., the traveling exhibit Ladies and Gentlemen … the Beatles! is now at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live through Sept. 5. In advance of Thursday’s (July 7) public opening/Q&A session, a private opening reception Wednesday took invited guests on a guided tour of the exhibit.
Curated by the Grammy Museum and Fab Four Exhibits, Ladies and Gentlemen … the Beatles! colorfully details the Fab Four’s game-changing impact on pop culture.
Among the standouts within the more than 400 items of memorabilia, rare photos, clothing and tour artifacts on display:
-Set list written by a 17-year-old Paul McCartney for one of the group’s early club gigs in Hamburg, Germany. Primarily featuring covers of songs by Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, the list includes one original tune—“One After 909,” which didn’t appear on a Beatles album until 1970’s Let It Be.
-A Gibson ES-335 guitar owned by Roy Orbison, who toured the U.K. with the Beatles in 1963. Orbison and George Harrison were later members of super group the Traveling Wilburys.
-A 1963 45 single of “Please Please Me/Ask Me Why” on the Vee Jay label. The group’s first release in the U.S. incorrectly spells the quartet’s name as Beattles. To anyone owning a mint condition of that single: it’s currently worth between $4000-$5000.
-A display case brimming with Beatles merchandise ranging from lunch boxes and coin holders to sneakers and record carrying cases.
-A black tone-on-tone suit that Ringo Starr wore in the first half-hour of A Hard Day’s Night and later on the album cover of 1964’s Beatles for Sale.
-John Lennon’s gold-framed granny glasses circa 1967.
-A giant map of the U.S. displaying tickets from all of the Beatles’ North America tours. The cost for the group’s Hollywood Bowl show in 1964: $4.50.
Rounding out the exhibit are rare photos of the Beatles taken by Bob Bonis, who worked as U.S. tour manager for the group as well as the Rolling Stones between 1964-66.
Helming Wednesday evening’s tour were Beatles historian/authors Chuck Gunderson and Bruce Spizer. For Thursday night’s public opening/panel session, hosted by Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli, both gentlemen will join fellow Beatles historian Russ Lease, TV/radio personality Bob Eubanks and Debbie Gendler Supnik, who was in the Ed Sullivan Show audience when the Beatles made their 1964 American television debut.
Ladies and Gentlemen … The Beatles! will make its next stop at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The exhibit originally opened in February 2014 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Past locations for the exhibit include the Grammy Museum Mississippi, the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin and the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Coming next to the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live: Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk (Sept. 16).