Enter the new Grammy Museum and run head-on into 160 musical genres, photos and footage from 50 years of awards ceremonies, historic costumes and instruments, plus dozens of interactive displays that illuminate popular music's origins and cultural impact through the decades.
Then settle into a simulated sound booth to record, mix and master a song.
The Grammy Museum is more than just a glorified Hard Rock Cafe-style collection of music memorabilia. The $34 million facility boasts three floors of exhibit space filled with artifacts, sound stations and interactive, video-driven elements that invite deep exploration of how music is created, recorded and consumed.
"We don't use objects and artifacts as the primary way to
The first stop for hand-dirtying comes on the top floor, where museum visits begin. Guests are welcomed by wall-size video screens and the Crossroads Table, a touch-sensitive digital display that shows how different music genres interrelate. Interactive maps highlight the musical legacies of various American cities, and short video series delve into emerging music styles from the past five decades and how they correspond with pop culture.
For example, the 1960 s brought protest songs and music festivals that fueled the counterculture movement. The '70 s gave us corporate rock and its antithesis: punk. The '80 s ushered in gangsta rap and MTV, the '90 s were all about grunge, and the new millennium brought the iPod and digital downloads. The custom-made videos are among 30 films created just for the museum.
"What we've tried to do, in a very large snapshot, is give you an overview of the depth and
One floor is dedicated to songwriting and the recording process. Profiles of producers and industry-shaping executives fill the walls, while eight simulated sound booths beckon visitors to try their hand at rapping, singing, mixing songs, building beats and mastering recordings. There's also a Grammy-centric display, complete with photos and footage of the show's most memorable moments, along with actual Grammy trophies from 1958 to the present.
Another floor hosts special exhibits - like the current one highlighting music and politics - and a 200-seat theater for lectures, meetings and intimate performances. More than 100
Though artifacts aren't the focus of the museum, unique bits of history are sprinkled throughout. Look for a 1943 poster touting Frank Sinatra's appearance at the Hollywood Bowl (general admission: 75 cents), Elvis Presley's guitar, Miles Davis' trumpet, Stevie Wonder's harmonica and handwritten lyrics to Eminem's hit song, "Stan."
The Grammy Museum is the latest addition to the L.A. Live complex, which includes the Nokia Theatre. The Grammy Awards will be presented across the street at Staples Center on Feb. 8.
THE GRAMMY MUSEUM
Where: The corner of Olympic Boulevard at Figueroa Street, Los Angeles (in the L.A. Live complex).
When: Holiday hours are
Tickets: $14.95, adults; $11.95, seniors 65 and older; $10.95, youths 6-17. Free for children 5 and younger. Available at the box office or ticketmaster.com