Throughout its 27-year history, the Rock & Roll of Fame has faithfully showcased The Beatles' iconic talents in a variety of ways. Beginning March 18, a new chapter will be unveiled when The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be debuts at the museum.
Designed to be an immersive complement to Peter Jackson’s docuseries, The Beatles: Get Back, the exhibit takes fans inside the group’s 1969 studio sessions that culminated in their final live performance and led to the film and LP titled Let It Be.
Craig Inciardi, the Rock Hall’s curator and director of acquisitions, explains that the exhibition is groundbreaking on many fronts — including the fact that it marks the first time the band is represented in comprehensive unity at the museum.
And, like Jackson’s biopic streaming on Disney+, the exhibit dispels the myth that each rehearsal was filled with discord and spite.
“The original Let It Be film has a reputation of being depressing,” Inciardi says. “Peter Jackson was given the opportunity to screen over 55 hours of film footage and over 100 hours of audio recordings, and he realized that he could tell a much more accurate and compelling story — that it was, in fact, a joyous time for the guys, who showed humor and humanity throughout the sessions.”
Three screening rooms at the Rock Hall feature footage from the two locations in the docuseries: Twickenham Film Studios and Apple Corps, The Beatles London headquarters where rehearsals were held and where their final concert took place on the roof on Jan. 30, 1969.
Not-to-be-missed artifacts include the black-and-gray shirt Paul McCartney wore in the studio, as well as his handwritten lyrics for “I’ve Got a Feeling;” Ringo Starr’s maple Ludwig drum kit and the red raincoat he borrowed for the rooftop concert; John Lennon’s eyeglasses, Wrangler jacket, Epiphone electric guitar and handwritten lyrics for “I Dig a Pony;” and George Harrison’s pink pinstripe suit and handwritten lyrics for “I Me Mine.”
Additional focal points include photography by Ethan Russell, who documented the band’s rehearsal sessions and rooftop concert and provided album art for Let It Be along with images captured by Linda McCartney.
“Peter Jackson’s film is really something that fans and music historians have been hoping and praying for for decades,” Inciardi says. “And this exhibit will bring people closer to The Beatles than has ever happened in a museum exhibit before.” 1190 E. Ninth St., Cleveland, 216-781-7625, rockhall.com