The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool held a special launch of a new exhibit Nov. 11 to celebrate the contributions of the British Invasion, Donna Jackson, Beatles Examiner Liverpool correspondent reported Nov. 12. The exhibit is a cooperative effort between the Beatles Story and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The highlight of the opening evening was a live performance by The Zombies.
“The new exhibition at the Beatles Story Pier Head celebrates the British Invasion and is curated by the Grammy Museum,” Jackson said. “It’s the first time that the Grammy Museum has exhibited items outside the U.S.”
“The British Invasion: How 1960s Beat Groups Conquered America” features a wealth of items, including clothes worn by The Supremes and the Beach Boys, tour jackets used by The Zombies and the opportunity to have a virtual drum lesson with Ringo Starr. The interactive drum lesson, which features Ringo on video, was used in the Los Angeles Grammy Museum’s “Ringo: Peace and Love” exhibit last year. The launch also featured a new addition to the exhibit, Keith Moon’s Premier 12 piece drum kit from 1974.
“The Beatles feature within the exhibition, but the scope is much wider and celebrates the contribution of other British bands including The Hollies and The Zombies,” Jackson said. “The centerpiece of the exhibition is Keith Moon’s drum kit. Other items, reflecting the American influence on the Beatles and other bands of the British Invasion, include costumes from the Supremes, Brian Wilson and Ray Charles, as well as handwritten lyrics, guitars and other memorabilia. (The exhibit) recognizes the wider impact that the Beatles had; they may have led the British Invasion, but it’s great to be reminded of all the really fabulous groups and singers that followed.”
Guests on opening night enjoyed a surprise trip on a ferry on the Mersey where they were entertained by a live concert from The Zombies. Among the celebrities who turned up were Quarrymen Rod Davis and Colin Hanton, Julia Baird, Beatles author Joe Flannery, Bobby Elliott of the Hollies, and Roag Best of the Pete Best Band and the Casbah Club. Over 150 guests were on hand to hear The Zombies sing “She’s Not There” and “Time of the Season.” They were also given a private tour around the exhibit.
“The event was a huge success and it was fantastic to see so many turn out to view the new exhibit and meet The Grammy Museum team from L.A,” said Martin King of the Beatles Story said. Robert Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum, added: “The Grammy Museum is excited to tell the story of the British Invasion of America in Liverpool, the city where it all started. The wave of British rock & roll that hit America in the 1960s profoundly impacted our music and culture, and continues to do so today.”