The Magical History Tour brings Beatlemania to the Motor City

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Beatles fans and music aficionados alike will appreciate The Henry Ford Museum’s newest special exhibit.  

“The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition” was brought to the museum in late April and will be there until Sept. 18.  

According to Historical Presenter Ken Gough, after leaving The Henry Ford, the exhibit will travel across the United States and Europe, sharing Beatles memories and memorabilia with fans across the world.  

“This is the first place on Earth that the exhibit has appeared,” Gough said. “I was a lifelong Beatles fan and I just couldn’t believe it when they told me we were going to have this exhibit.”

Visitors enter the exhibit through an arc carved into a large drum kit bearing the exhibit’s name.  

From here, the exhibit is broken down into four sections that take visitors through the timeline of the Beatles’ career. These sections highlight the Beatles’ time in Liverpool through their early years in Hamburg, their three-year world tour, Abbey Road and recording studio innovations and finally their break up.  

“The Magical History Tour” includes a replica of The Cavern, a music venue where the Beatles would often play at the beginning of their career.

It also features displays where visitors could hear songs that inspired individual members of the innovative band like “Roll Over Beethoven” by Chuck Berry and “That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

The Henry Ford brought the Beatles recording studio to visitors with samples of classic Beatles’ songs playing across the exhibit and displays where guests can play sound bites of different techniques implemented in the studio.  

Visitors can even “become” the band by sticking their head through wooden cutouts of the renowned black mop tops and gray suits.  

Photos of Liverpool, tour stops and Paul, John, Ringo and George are interspersed between the interactive displays.  

Finally, visitors step through a tunnel of psychedelic images projected onto white panels as some of the band’s later tunes are played.  

The exhibit ends with a display of the letter announcing the breakup of the Beatles, member’s guitars, outfits and photos.  

“[Visitors] should regard, in this case, the artifacts are the songs,” Gough said.  “Even today, all these years later … it always seems to start with the Beatles.”

The Henry Ford hosts special exhibits like “The Magical History Tour” about two to three times a year.

Museum members have free access to the exhibit. For more information, visit the henryford.org.