Barring another extension, The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will end in December.
“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we’ve passed the audition.” – John Lennon, January 30, 1969
My visit to the Rock Hall in Cleveland was the first since 1998. Even before deciding to make the trip, I was flooded with Facebook ads about the exhibit extension. Being a Beatles fan, I decided that I had to make the trip before the end of the year. It was not a question of if but when. When ultimately came in the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur while the Cleveland Guardians were on the road. It came after the Progressive Field ballpark tour and a self-guided walking tour of filming locations from The Avengers off of Euclid Ave and East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland.
This year will mark the second anniversary of The Beatles: Get Back launching on Disney+. The Rock Hall exhibit opened a few months later in March 2022 on Level 0 aka the Ahmet Ertegun Exhibit Hall. It’s no surprise, really, that the exhibit would get an extension through the end of 2023. I mean, we’re talking about The Beatles! While the exhibit is not as large as what I thought it would be, it’s still worth every moment. I mean, there are three different video screens showing excerpts from the documentary and rooftop concert. My apologies to the other visitors this past week but whenever I hear a Beatles song, I am going to start singing along with the vocals.
The Rock Hall website suggests the exhibit takes an hour to visit. This ultimately depends on how many videos that you’re sitting through. The three screens could be showing anything from rehearsals, studio sessions, to the historic January 30 Apple Corps rooftop concert itself, all from Twickenham, Apple, and the rooftop, respectively. The website features an educational supplement on the exhibit.
The exhibit features some of the instruments, clothing, and handwritten lyrics seen in the docuseries. They are on loan directly from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the estates of George Harrison and John Lennon. You can even see the Glyn Johns Diaries from the sessions. The Rock Hall has tons of other Beatles items on display before fans walk into the exhibit. Technically, they are also part of the exhibit based on the Rock Hall website artifacts. This includes John Lennon’s Epiphone Casino as it appears after he stripped it. What a sight to behold!
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame might be dealing with some controversy because of Jann Wenner’s recent comments. Wisely, the foundation acted quickly to remove him from their board. His racist and sexist comments should not stop music fans from taking in the groundbreaking and immersive exhibit. Yes, the voting could be more transparent but that’s another story altogether. Rock and roll is bigger than any one of us. Furthermore, Rock Hall acknowledges the history of rock and roll by featuring exhibits on not just the pioneers of rock and roll but the roots of rock and roll itself.
If you haven’t been to the Rock Hall for The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be, now is the time to start making plans!