Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ exhibit opens at Rock & Roll Hall in Cleveland

CLEVELAND − Released late last year to resounding success, Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles: Get Back” docuseries challenged myths and channeled a renewed interest in one of the Beatles’ most iconic works.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland now invites fans to delve deeper into the making of the famed “Let It Be” album, with an exhibit of sights and sounds showing what happened at The Beatles’ January 1969 rehearsals, studio sessions and legendary Apple Corps rooftop concert  — the Fab Four’s final live performance.

“The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be” exhibit opened March 18, aimed as an immersive complement to Jackson’s film, which debuted on Disney+.

Upon entering the first-floor exhibit, the clock immediately turns back to 1969, as visitors first will hear three minutes of studio chatter among the four Beatles, album producer George Martin and audio engineer Glyn Johns.

One of the vibrant images seen at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's new exhibit "The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be".

“It feels like you’re in the room,” Craig Inciardi, curator and director of acquisitions for the Rock Hall, said

Display cases present instruments, clothing and handwritten lyrics used by The Beatles and seen in the film, including items loaned directly by Paul McCartney, Ringo Star and the estates of George Harrison and John Lennon.

Highlights include::

  • Paul McCartney’s black and gray shirt that was worn in the studio, and handwritten lyrics for “I’ve Got A Feeling.”
  • John Lennon’s iconic eyeglasses, Wrangler jacket, a hand-sanded Epiphone electric guitar, and handwritten lyrics for “Dig A Pony.”
  • George Harrison’s pink pinstripe suit and handwritten lyrics for “I Me Mine.”
  • Ringo Starr’s maple Ludwig drum kit and his borrowed red raincoat from the rooftop performance.

“That’s got to be the most famous raincoat that I can think of,” Inciardi said.

An image from the new Beatles' "Let It Be" exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall in Cleveland.

Attendees can venture into three sound-insulated screening rooms to absorb high-definition film clips and custom projections with audio focused separately on each
location in the docuseries: Twickenham Film Studios on the outskirts of London, the Beatles’ own Apple Corp Studios, and the studios’ rooftop where the Beatles’ swan song performance yielded three album tracks.

The exhibit’s seated theater, dedicated to the rooftop performance, has a blown-up photo depicting the street and city view the Beatles saw while playing.