As if there weren't enough reasons to enjoy downtown LA's resurgence, here's another - the Grammy Museum at LA Live (Grammy Museum
)! For music lovers of any genre, this highly interactive museum is a cornucopia of fun exhibits, classic videos and interesting archives. Opened in 2008, the museum doesn't just feature Grammy winners, but also great musicians and performances of American musical history. Admission is very reasonable, and it's located in the increasingly hopping part of LA known as South Park/LA Live.
|Don't let this fairly nondescript entrance fool you. This museum has three floors of excellent, interactive exhibits.|
My tour of the "Grammy" - called "Rock n Roll Downtown" - included a two-hour visit which is just about the perfect amount of time. Here's how the museum works. After entering the lobby, grab a museum guide and take the elevator to the fourth floor and work your way down. Each floor has wonderful exhibits and here's my guide to the favorites:FLOOR 4: My favorite, with the most interactive exhibits
|My group enjoying the Crossroads exhibit. The touchscreen graphics and quality of music are first-rate, and you get a real|
music education here.
the first exhibit you come to when you enter Floor 4. It's a big white table with a large surface touchscreen. Just put on the headphones, touch one of the genres you want to explore, and groove to the music and background narration. Over 160 genres to explore!**Enduring Traditions/Music Epicenters – another great interactive touch screen and against the wall. Touch the city you’re interested in and explore the music that originated there.**Culture Shock – Put on the headphones and slide the bar on the decade you like: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s – 2000s.
Floor 4 also has rotating exhibits that highlight famous artists. We greatly enjoyed the Ella Fitzgerald and Kris Kristofferson exhibits. Each area has concert footage of great performances. As you take the stairs down to Floor 3, don't miss the Songwriters Hall of Fame Gallery with videos and speeches of all the Grammy winners.
|Two of my tour guests diggin' the Culture Shock Exhibit. Slide the bar and groove to the music!|
FLOOR 3 - Great Interactive Exhibits
As you enter this floor, you'll see the Roland Live Exhibit with instruments ready to play. where you put on headphones and play the drums, guitar or keyboards. Cool sound systems and lots of fun sound effects that you can manipulate. Here are the highlights:
**Great Grammy Performances – In a little alcove with a large video screen, sit down and enjoy snippets of the best Grammy performances ever. Kind of hypnotic! **In the Studio (Garth Brooks) – Hop in the sound studios as either the performer or the sound engineer and create your desired sound.
***From Mono to Surround – For many, this was the best exhibit. You enter an enclosed room, press one of four buttons corresponding to a different and famous song, and hear how sound technology has changed. The song you choose is first played with 1870s wax cylinder technology, then with gramophones, 78 RPMs, stereo vinyl, cassettes and finally surround sound. The evolution in sound quality is amazing as are the graphics. Don't miss this exhibit.
**The Grammy Archives – This room has all the Grammy winners in history - their songs, speeches and often great videos. This is an exhibit for the real Grammy nerd.
|Your humble tour guide and his friend Jan pretending to be great drummers at the Roland Live Exhibit.|
FLOOR 2 - Featured Exhibit and the wonderful Clive Davis Theatre
This floor houses the major traveling exhibit, in our case: Marty Stuart Country Music Odyssey – How California influenced country music. Although not a big country music fan, the Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash exhibits with original lyrics was great.
*** The Clive Davis Theatre – This small, comfortable theatre is a super place to relax and see the revolving film related to the premier exhibit. The sound and video quality were so good, and the concert clips so engaging, that I spend almost a half hour here. It was so good, in fact, that I became a country music fan. Many Grammy winners and other famous musicians have actually performed here. Don't miss the Clive Davis Theatre during your visit.
* Grammy Gift Shop – pretty cool stuff!
So next time you're planning a trip to downtown LA, consider the Grammy Museum at LA Live. I enjoyed working with Bryan Schiller, Account Executive pictured above to the left, who gave me a personal tour on my scouting mission. Before heading over to the Grammy, grab some pastries at the Bread Lounge in the Arts District and then enjoy lunch at Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway.
|The design of Grammy Award has changed numerous times since the event started|
in 1959. The 4th floor lobby, complete with huge video screens of famous Grammy
performances, showcases the changing trophy designs.
|The Grammy Museum is located in an exciting part of downtown LA called LA Live! Notice|
the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the background. The Nokia Theatre, where they hold the Grammy Ceremony,
is on the left. The Staples Center is just across the street.