Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Michael, Janis, Jim, & Jimi at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles

This Summer the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is honoring 4 musicians and performers whose talent left a huge mark in musical history and helped define music as we know it nowadays. These legends are: Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, & Jimi Hendrix.

The Grammy Museum has been home for some months of two exhibits that pretend to share and keep their legacy alive. On its fourth floor Michael Jackson has had an exhibit called "Michael Jackson A Musical Legacy" since October 2009; it will be here till the end of this Summer.

Meanwhile Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, & Jimi Hendrix since April 2010 have their own exhibit on the second floor titled "Strange Kosmic Experience - The Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix: The Art and Artifacts of the Icons Who Defined A Generation"; it will be on display till February 13, 2011.

When entering the museum one has the opportunity to see a 60s art masterpiece, Janis Joplin's 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet, which has a unique psychedelic design. Janis bought this car in 1968, and it was painted by Dave Richards who was a roadie for her previous band, Big Brother & The Holding Co.

I recommend you begin your tour on the fourth floor with the Michael Jackson exhibit which features some of the most iconic clothes, items, and memorabilia from the late "King of Pop". Among the most representative items on display are the Hugo Boss white linen suit which was worn by Michael on the cover of his "Thriller" album (below), military inspired Swarovski embroided jackets designed by Bill Whitten (the craftsmanship on these is impressive), Swarovski covered gloves, a pair of gold combat boots, and We Are The World memorabilia (autographed sweatshirt, notes, and letters).

Footage of Jackson at the Grammys from 1974-1993 can be watched on screens, as well as his music videos on a separate room. One highlight of this exhibit is the iluminated dance floor on which you can dance to the beat of "Billie Jean" while the floor tiles light as you move.

On this same floor you can take a trip in musical history through the evolution of the Grammy award, different music genres, and analyze the impact music has had on culture and viceversa during the last decades.

The third floor allows you to witness how music has gone from phonograph to the Ipod, not only by seeing each device but also by comparing how a piece of music sounds on them. An interactive timeline of the Grammy Awards is on this floor next to clothes worn by several performers to the Awards.

Janis, Jim, and Jimi; three icons, who defined the 60s, and coincedentially died at the age of 27 in 1970 and 1971 are honored on the second floor. This exhibit features clothes worn by the three of them (worth watching are Janis' Piet Mondrian inspired shirt designed by herself, and Jimi's psychedelic shirts and bellbottoms), personal items such as IDs, letters written by Janis Joplin, impressive artwork created by Janis, memorabilia from the 1967 Monterrey music festival, psychedelic design 60s concert posters, lyric sheets, photographs from these 3 legends on the walls, including those of Jim Morrison from the "Young Lion Session" by Joel Brodsky, & video footage.

I must say that not only here at the Grammy Museum Janis, Jim, and Jimi are honored; but throughout all of Los Angeles and San Francisco too. From street art to the Hard Rock Cafes and Haight & Ashbury, their legacy is kept alive. The 3 of them consolidated their musical careers in these 2 cities, and were key figures during the Monterrey Festival and "The Summer of Love".

Long live the Kings & Queen!

Photos: Own & Flickr

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