The Beatles in Detroit

By | Category: Travel news

The influence of The Beatles is hard to underestimate. Although the “fab four” were together for only  a decade, nearly fifty years after the group formed in 1960, anything connected to them draws crowds, media attention and money.

Image © Henry Ford’s Online Press Room

Image © Henry Ford’s Online Press Room

Next week in Dearborn, Michigan (virtually part of Detroit) an exhibition opens at the Henry Ford Museum there called The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition.

The appeal of this exhibition is not that it is in Dearborn, Detroit, Michigan or even the United States. The appeal is that, going on display, are items from the best and probably the biggest private collection of memorabilia. Will you ever see all these items together again if you don’t see them now?

The exhibition doesn’t just take up one room or even one gallery. It takes up four which chronologically take you through their times.

The first gallery covers what the museum calls, Beginnings, Influence and Life in Liverpool and looks at the late 50s before they all came together and the early 60s in Liverpool. Part of the very stage that supported some of the band’s early shows is on display, as well as instruments, personal letters and photographs, and various documents detailing their growing fame. The curator says that what you will see on display is incredibly rare, as they come from a part of the band’s history before it was illuminated by the international spotlight.

image ©

image © Henry Ford’s Online Press Room


The second gallery covers Life on the Road which follows the group as they become established and spread the Beatle phenomenon worldwide. Not only can you see how frenetic some of those gigs became but you can also see the huge volume of Beatles merchandise produced, from replica instruments to clothing, costumes, board games and trading cards.

In the third gallery the theme is Innovation in the Studio and you have the opportunity discover how the Beatles’ music was created by mixing it yourself using tools that were available at the time.

The last gallery’s theme is The Decade of the Break-up which reveals the surprise and apparent despair that some people exhibited when it was announced. If you weren’t there at the time, it’s hard to understand the outpouring that happened. But then, maybe some people can’t understand the colossal impact The Beatles had on music and culture since they were more than just a pop group.

The exhibition lasts just over four months although, given the number of early bookings, it might get very busy. Detroit has direct links to the UK on Delta and Virgin Atlantic. In addition there are direct flights on Air France and Lufthansa from France and Germany for readers in those countries.

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