Review by Donna Jackson
Last week, Mathew Street welcomed a new addition when the Magical History Museum opened its doors.
From the very first moment that I stepped through the door, it was clear that the new museum would live up to its name, evoking magical memories of the history of the Beatles at every step with the unique collection of historic memorabilia on display.
The museum which was “ten years in the planning, and over 60 years in the making,” contains over three hundred items from Roag Aspinall-Best’s personal collection, spread over three floors. Roag (son of Neil Aspinall, the former CEO of Apple Records, and brother to Pete Best, former Beatles drummer) said, ““My family connections to The Beatles have inspired me to collect, store and cherish the items that will be on display. The time is now right for me to share them with the public, so that they too can hear the stories and share the memories we’ve all held so dear since the Beatles began.”
Each floor represents a different chronological period in the history of the Beatles – the early years up to 1962, 1963-66, and 1967 onwards.,
Every single item is genuine — there are no replicas or reproductions to be found — and so many of them took my breath away. There really are treasures everywhere you look! My personal favourites were mostly on the first floor and included Pete’s leather trousers and cowboy boots from Hamburg. Other favourites were the mic from the Casbah and Pete Best’s drum kit!
Every floor offers a “Fab 4 experience” though, with iconic items including John Lennon’s Sergeant Pepper medals, the cello from ‘Blue Jay Way’, George Harrison’s Futurama Grazio guitar, the Apple boardroom table, and John Lennon’s helmet from How I Won the War (another of my personal favourites).
By the time I reached the top floor, I was reeling with everything I had seen. This is probably the largest singularly owned authentic Beatles collections in the world that traces the history of the Beatles from their very earliest days in the Casbah, through Beatlemania in the early 1960s, to the studio classics of Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road. It is absolutely phenomenal, and I felt privileged to be able to see it all. Roag deserves the thanks of every single Beatles fan for deciding to share it all with us.
What is even more mind-blowing is that the items on display represent only a fraction of Roag’s collection, and there are many more items that are being reserved for future display. I really can’t wait!!
What I also loved was the way that these treasures are displayed. While the Beatles Story is more of a tourist experience, this is a true museum with beautiful display cases, and elegant decor and lighting that evokes an atmosphere that is classy and dignified. All in all, in my personal opinion, a lovely and fitting reflection of the Best family.
Add all this to the museum’s location on Mathew Street, and you have the perfect addition to the Beatles’ industry in Liverpool. As Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band/The Sopranos) said, “Liverpool deserves this. It’s been far too long coming.” Bryan Burk (Producer of Lost, Star Trek, Mission Impossible and Star Wars movies), agreed, saying “The Magical History Museum is a genius idea and a must see for Beatles fans.”
I’ll leave the final words to Pete Best himself: “This museum opening is a landmark occasion in Beatles history and an incredible new showcase – not to be missed by any serious Beatles fan.”
I couldn’t agree more! The Magical History Museum is an absolute MUST SEE. I already can’t wait to go again!