|Creepy Beatles: dolls on display as part of “The Beatles in Montreal”|
Are you a day tripper? You might want to roll up to Montreal in the next two weeks to catch “The Beatles in Montreal,” an exhibit on display at the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History down by the St. Lawrence at the foot of Old Montreal’s tourist region.
I stumbled on this a few weeks ago while visiting my daughter in Montreal and it is way fab. The museum is open every day and the exhibit runs until March 30th.
The display is themed around the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ one and only concert in Montreal. The Fab Four’s 1964 visit to Quebec was marred by a death threat. Someone called Montreal police threatening to kill Ringo for being an English Jew.
“I am English, but I’m not Jewish,” said Ringo.
Paul McCartney had already wondered aloud to reporters if this British pop band would be welcome in a city where the separatist movement was gaining momentum and attention. Extra police were called in for The Beatles’ two concerts at the Montreal Forum held on the afternoon and evening of Sept. 8, 1964. Ringo’s drum kit was even hiked a little higher than usual.
Tickets for each show were the usual for this first North American tour: $4.00 and $5.50. Even at those cheap prices, the venue did not sell out for the second show, the only non sell out on the 19-city tour.
The Beatles were booked into the Queen Elizabeth Hotel but never stayed the night in Montreal, high-tailing it for the airport immediately following their concert.
All of this is detailed at the exhibit, which is loaded with Beatles gear from the era, including replica guitars, actual tour jackets, tons of photographs and audio of those shockingly short, 28-minute long Montreal sets.
|John’s Mod Rolls-Royce, on loan from the Royal B.C. Museum|
The museum’s big coup was scoring John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce Phantom V for the exhibit. The 1965 Rolls was bought by B.C. businessman Jim Pattison in 1985 at auction for US$2.3M and is now the property of the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria. It was trucked to Montreal for the exhibit. Read more about John’s Rolls here.
|All four of Richard Avedon’s 1967 portraits are on display|
Does the exhibit have a karaoke component allowing visitors to sing along with The Beatles? That would be yeah, yeah, yeah. There are even displays remembering some local french and english bands who tried to cash in on the Beatles’ popularity, including Les Baronettes and Les Hou-Lops. Formidable.
For prices and other information, follow this link.