Beatles memorabilia going on display at LBJ Library
By Kris Kirst
KTTX TV, Tyler, TX
Posted: Jun 10, 2015
AUSTIN (KVUE) - For two weeks starting June 13, visitors to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library will be able to see John Lennon's guitar and hundreds of other Beatles memorabilia.
On Wednesday, curators wearing surgical gloves carefully take John Lennon's guitar out of the case and display it in its glass home until June 29.
Lennon used the Gibson J-160E to compose hits like "She Loves You," and "I Want To Hold Your Hand."
GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli said Lennon bought the guitar in 1962, but it disappeared a year later. Santelli said the guitar resurfaced last year but won't say how it was found. It will go up for auction in a few weeks and Santelli says it should fetch more than $1 million.
Other items going on display range from Ringo Star's drum head to hand written set notes by a teenage Paul McCartney in 1960, a time before the Beatles became THE Beatles.
The note lists American songs they used to sing, including "Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" by Jerry Lee Lewis, proof of the American invasion in England before Beatlemania hit the U.S. The point of the exhibit is to show when, how and why it happened for Baby Boomers and younger generations.
When asked what Beatlemania meant to him, Santelli said Ringo Starr still couldn't explain it after all these years.
"There are only four people in the world that didn't experience Beatlemania like everyone else. It was the four Beatles," said Santelli.
While it may seem odd for the "Ladies and Gentleman...the Beatles!" exhibit to be housed at the LBJ Library, organizers said it's actually an appropriate home for the exhibit.
"The Beatles come in 1964, just after LBJ takes office as the nation is trying to get over Kennedy assassination. The Beatles really help us to move on in some respects, they give us a little bit of frivolity in a really tragic time," said Mark Upegrove, director of the LBJ Library.
The exhibit wraps up with a life-size display of the Abbey Road crosswalk, allowing fans to replicate the iconic Beatles album cover.
The public can see Lennon's guitar June 13 to 29. Opening day is free to the public.
The exhibit will be on display from June 13 to June 29 at the LBJ Presidential Library. (Photo: KVUE)