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January 23, 2014 -- When The Beatles landed in New York on February 7, 1964, the band's impact on American music and culture was almost immediate. Fifty years later, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and The GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles celebrate the anniversary of The Beatles' arrival in America with a new free multimedia exhibition, Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles! The traveling exhibition will debut at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, on display in the Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery from February 6 through May 10, 2014. In conjunction with this exhibition, The Library for the Performing Arts will also present a variety of free programs and screenings further exploring The Beatles' enduring influence.

"Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles! will examine the musical and cultural significance of the group's arrival in America," said exhibition curator Bob Santelli, Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum. "As social history, Beatlemania turned America upside down, inspiring new ideas in music, fashion, art, literature, film, even politics. Little in America was untouched by The Beatles in the 1960s. This exhibit explores that impact, using historical film footage, oral histories, and period artifacts."

The exhibition -- which includes more than 400 items from private collectors as well as The GRAMMY Museum and The Library for the Performing Arts' holdings -- focuses on the band's early years and live tours in America between 1964 and 1966. Displays devoted to their plane-side press conference, famed Ed Sullivan Show appearances, Carnegie Hall concert, and album releases chronicle the band's major milestones during the mid-1960s. Other sections consider the historical context surrounding the band's arrival, from the American bands and artists that The Beatles were listening to at the time, to the state of rock 'n' roll leading up to Beatlemania. Full-scale installations recreate a typical Beatles-obsessed teenager's bedroom filled with posters and ephemera, a Woolworth's shop window displaying real Beatles merchandise and products sold at the height of Beatlemania, and the band's stage set-up used during their 1964 American tour.

One exhibition highlight is the selection of rare, behind-the-scenes photos of The Beatles taken by Bob Bonis, who served as tour manager during all three of the band's American tours. These intimate photographs capture candid moments from life on the road with the band, and Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles! marks the first time Bonis' images have been displayed publicly.

Oral histories incorporated within the exhibition document The Beatles' influence on musicians and fans alike. Listening kiosks throughout the gallery will play interviews recorded specifically for this exhibition with artists such as Max Weinberg, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick. A recording station within the exhibition will also invite visitors to share their own first-hand accounts of how The Beatles shaped their lives.

"When The Beatles landed in America 50 years ago, New York was their first stop," said Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. "So it feels only fitting to celebrate the anniversary of their arrival by unveiling this new exhibition here at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Along with our collaborators from The GRAMMY Museum, we hope this exhibition offers everyone -- not just long-time Beatles fans -- a chance to better understand how The Beatles shaped American culture, and also feel some of the excitement that swept the country at the height of Beatlemania."

Items and features of the Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles! exhibition include:

  • Clothing worn by the band, including the jacket worn by Paul McCartney during The Beatles' 1965 Shea Stadium concert, and a pair of John Lennon's iconic glasses
  • Original lyric sheets written by Paul McCartney
  • Hand-written setlists from The Beatles' concerts  
  • Rare footage of The Beatles' 1964 performance at The GRAMMY Awards
  • Guitars owned by George Harrison, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly
  • Gold record presented to The Beatles by Capitol Records
  • Venue contracts from the band's American tours
  • Kid-friendly, interactive elements including a virtual drumming lesson from Ringo, and a playable home-made skiffle bass
  • Artifacts from performers featured in T.A.M.I. Show, chronicling the film's impact on The Beatles

In conjunction with this exhibition, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will present the following free programs and screenings further exploring The Beatles' lasting impact. All programs take place at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, February 9 @ 1:00 p.m.
Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! Symposium
Please note: tickets for this event must be reserved in advance at
Exhibition curator Bob Santelli, Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum, moderates an afternoon of conversations and presentations with leading Beatles experts and authors. Participants include: radio disc jockey Dennis Elsas; independent historian and collector Chuck Gunderson; Allan Kozinn, New York Times reporter and author of The Beatles: From the Cavern to the Rooftop; Beatles expert Russ Lease; and Bruce Spizer, author of The Beatles Are Coming!: The Birth of Beatlemania in America.

Monday, February 10 @ 6:00 p.m.
The Beatles: All These Years, Volume 1 – Tune In - Mark Lewisohn in Conversation with Bob Santelli
In conversation with Bob Santelli, Beatles authority Mark Lewisohn – author of the acclaimed Tune In, the first volume of the trilogy The Beatles: All These Years – looks at the impact America had on The Beatles in the period before Beatlemania swept the U.S. Lewisohn also discusses how breaking into the American market was an early goal for Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, and the frustrations behind the scenes before the band's arrival. Part of The Library for the Performing Arts' series Life Upon The Wicked Stage: New Books in the Performing Arts.

Thursday, February 13 @ 6:00 p.m.
Film: What’s Happening! The Beatles in the USA
With Albert Maysles in person

A humorous, freewheeling, and candid account of The Beatles' arrival in America in February 1964. The Maysles follow the band for five days, from the crazed airport reception to unguarded moments inside the Plaza Hotel; in preparation for their landmark Ed Sullivan Show appearance to their equally frenzied homecoming. Directed by Albert and David Maysles. 1964, 81 min. Courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd.

Thursday, February 27 @ 6:00 p.m.
WNYC's Soundcheck Presents A Soundcheck Smackdown: “Beatles vs. Rolling Stones”
WNYC's Soundcheck, hosted by John Schaefer, is New York City’s on-air and online destination for new music, live performances, and engaging conversations with artists, critics and tastemakers. In 2010 Soundcheck hosted an epic “Smackdown” debate, pitting The Beatles against the Rolling Stones. The Library for the Performing Arts says it’s time for a rematch! Who will win? Join us for a live taping of Soundcheck that might just split the earth in two.

Tuesday, March 11 @ 6:00 p.m.
Film: Gimme Shelter
This film captures the visceral excitement of Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones. The film opens as the Stones begin a tour of the U.S. with a successful concert in Madison Square Garden where Jagger gives a rousing rendition of "Sympathy for the Devil." The documentary then focuses on the free concert at Altamont, California where 3,000 people came to celebrate Woodstock West. Directed by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin. 1970, 90 min.

Thursday, April 3 @ 6:00 p.m.
The Upright Citizens Brigade Meets The Beatles
The Upright Citizens Brigade comes to The Library for the Performing Arts to celebrate The Beatles' famous wit and good humor. UCB performers will offer a selection of signature sketches, plus an improv set inspired by the exhibition Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles!

Monday, April 7 @ 6:00 p.m.
Revolution: The Beatles and Contemporary Classical Music with Alarm Will Sound
The New York Times has called Alarm Will Sound the “future of classical music,” so you may be surprised to learn this pioneering chamber orchestra cites The Beatles as a major source of inspiration. But with a repertory that spans from Bach, Ravel, and Bernstein to Aphex Twin, Radiohead, and Frank Zappa, this versatile troupe of virtuosi is redefining what an orchestra is. Join AWS music director Alan Pierson and composer/performer Matt Marks for an evening of Beatles listening, fascinating discussion, plus a video presentation of AWS’s orchestral realization of The Beatles’ "Revolution 9."

Monday, April 14 @ 6:00 p.m.
Film: Give My Regards to Broad Street
When the master tapes of a new album by a popular musician (Paul McCartney) go missing, he has until midnight to recover them, or else an evil businessman will take over his beloved music company. McCartney not only wrote the film but also stars as himself, along with Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach, Linda McCartney, and Tracey Ullman. Directed by Peter Webb. 1984, 108 min.

Thursday, April 17 @ 6:00 p.m.
Mods, Rockers, and Screaming Girls: The Beatles and '60s Fashion
Phyllis Magidson, Curator of Costumes and Textiles at the Museum of the City of New York, and Barbara Cohen-Stratyner, Curator of Exhibitions at The Library for the Performing Arts, discuss the transatlantic fashion trends of the 1960s and how The Beatles impacted those trends.

Monday, May 12 @ 6:00 p.m.
Film: Imagine: John Lennon
Featuring home footage taken by Lennon himself, this documentary offers a fascinating and intimate look at the musician's life and legacy. Directed by Andrew Solt. 1988, 100 min.

Thursday, May 15 @ 6:00 p.m.
Film: Good Ol' Freda
This documentary looks back at the career of Freda Kelly, long-time secretary for The Beatles. Directed by Ryan White. 2013, 86 min.

Thursday, June 5 @ 6:00 p.m.
Film: Shanghai Surprise
Featuring a cameo and songs by George Harrison, this film stars Sean Penn and Madonna as a fortune hunter and missionary nurse who team up on a quest for stolen opium. Directed by Jim Goddard. 1986, 97 min.

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles! is curated by The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE and Fab Four Exhibits, and is supported in part by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Press Contacts:
Nora Lyons, The New York Public Library |
Andie Cox, The GRAMMY Museum |

About The New York Public Library For The Performing Arts
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts houses one of the world’s most extensive combination of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. These materials are available free of charge, along with a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances. An essential resource for everyone with an interest in the arts — whether professional or amateur — the Library is known particularly for its prodigious collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters and photographs. The Library is part of The New York Public Library system, which has 90 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, and is a lead provider of free education for all.  

About The GRAMMY Museum®
Paying tribute to music's rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the GRAMMY Award. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district.  Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests can experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum can deliver.