Beatles Exhibition at London’s Movieum

I just came back home after a week in London, and one of the things I did there was visit the Beatles exhibition at “The Movieum“, the London Movies museum. The exhibition marks the start of a collaboration between the Movieum and Getty Images, where the picture agency will be displaying themed images from their collection. I won’t be discussing the photos, because these are mostly well known photos of the fabs, representing the years 1963-1969, most of them were Robert Whitaker’s pictures from 1966 in mostly black and white, but the Movieum also displayed some real items.

Here are some Beatles dolls on top of a collection of memorabilia old and new.

Here’s John Lennon’s Rickenbacker, borrowed from Pete Waterman’s collection. Pete Waterman of 80’s highly successful songwriters team Stock, Aitken & Waterman fame has offices in the same building as the Movieum, which is probably the reason why he lent his Rick to the exhibition. I’m not quite sure which one of Lennon’s Ricks this is, and it looked all shiny and unplayed. The oldest one is owned by Sean, there’s a fake one hanging at London’s Hard Rock Cafe and a genuine one at the John Lennon Museum in Japan. Another of Lennon’s Ricks is on display at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, lent by the Lennon estate. So this one’s a mystery to me.

This is me with George Harrison’s psychedelically painted Mini Cooper. George Harrison owned the Mini that featured in ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. The Mini, an Austin Cooper ‘S’, LGF 695D, was built for George Harrison by Harold Radford (Coachbuilder) Ltd in late 1965 and painted in Metallic Black. In early 1967, the car was repainted and the psychedelic pictures were added using a book, Tantrum Art, for inspiration.
The Mini then was used in the film ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, which was screened by the BBC on the 26th December 1967 in black and white then again in colour in January 1968. Shortly after the film, the Mini was given to Eric Clapton, but Harrison got it back in the 1970’s. The car was due for a repaint, and was stripped ready for painting. Unfortunately, no one had taken good photos of the paintings before the job, so it was impossible to have the old paintings reproduced faithfully. It was eventually repainted using old photos and the film for reference, although there are several differences.

Here’s a comparison between the two paint jobs, the small picture is from Magical Mystery Tour. Click for a bigger image.

In 2008, Ringo Starr arrived at the annual Chelsea Flower Show in George’s Mini, driven by Damon Hill. That year, “A Garden for George”, a tribute to the life of George Harrison opened.

In 2009, the car was commemorated by a one-off “Special Edition” model, which the car manufacturers presented to George’s widow, Olivia Harrison. The car was then auctioned off at the May 2009 “Mini United” fair in the UK to support George’s Material World Charitable Foundation. But the original was to be found at the London Movieum.

2 Responses

  1. TheFabFour says:

    Hi dear Roger. My name is Oscar. I am from Argentina and have just discovered your blog. I'm a Beatle fan too and your post (and blog itself) is excellent. Congratulations !!!.
    Just a question. Do you know until when the exhibition at the Movieum will be ?? I'm travelling to London on Sept-6.
    Kinds Regards.

  2. wogew says:

    Hello Oscar,
    I'm afraid that Getty Images lists the exhibition only until July 12th, so I think I was there on one of the last days.

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