Beatles Exhibit Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

British Invasion

Besides boasting a massive collection of Beatles memorabilia, the British Invasion exhibit spotlights other acts of the swinging '60s.

New additions highlight the exhibit’s update, including an Archibald Ramsden upright piano. In 1963, Paul McCartney moved in with his girlfriend Jane Asher at her parents’ home in central London and lived there for three years. This piano was located in the basement music room of that house and was where Lennon and McCartney composed some of their most iconic songs on the piano, such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “And I Love Her,” “We Can Work It Out,” “Got to Get You Into My Life,” and “Eleanor Rigby.”

Other items featured in the exhibit include:

  • Drumsticks used by Ringo Starr during the Beatles concert at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium on September 15, 1964.
  • A suit worn by George Harrison during the Beatles’ 1966 tour.
  • Paul McCartney's musical score/notes for "Birthday,” written in blue ink on the back of a recording track sheet.
  • A Hofner Senator electric guitar purchased by John Lennon during the Beatles’ time in Germany and used as a practice, studio and composition instrument.

The impact of the Beatles has often been noted but cannot be overstated. The “Fab Four” from Liverpool, England, startled the ears and energized the lives of virtually all who heard them.

Their arrival triggered the musical revolution of the Sixties, introducing a modern sound and viewpoint that parted ways with the world of the previous decade.

In a career that lasted less than a decade, the Beatles changed the course of rock and roll and popular music.

After launching the British Invasion of the United Stated and scoring 20 Number One hits, the Beatles went on to indulge their creative energies in the studio, layering sounds and crafting songs in a way that was experimental yet still accessible. This retreat from the ceaseless mayhem of pop celebrity yielded such musically expansive and lyrically sophisticated albums as Rubber Soul (1965) and Revolver (1966).

The group retired from touring in August 1966, and 10 months later, they released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album that has almost universally been cited as the creative apotheosis of rock and roll, a watershed event in which rock became “serious art” without losing its sense of humor. The group continued to break new ground with the White Album and Abbey Road before calling it quits in 1970.

All of the band members went on to successful solo careers. The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

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