Listen--doo, wah, doo--do you want to know a secret? Up on the second floor, in the music department of a building at Northwestern University in Evanston, there is a magical mystery tour of Beatles memorabilia.
Rare original lyric manuscripts by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, an unused ticket for the Beatles' 1964 American tour, and personal letters from Lennon and Yoko Ono and just a few of the treasures in The Beatles: A Musical History Tour.
Visitors can listen to the music that made the Fab Four famous. You can watch video clips of their concerts, films and media events, too. A multimedia display features audio and video clips that track the Beatles' career from Liverpool to Apple Records, including the group's American debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" that was viewed by 73 million people.
"These clips capture the excitement of the music and irresistible personalities of the performers," said Birdi Dawson, the exhibit's curator and a reference librarian at Northwestern. "They allow visitors to experience the songs and hear the Beatles talk about their music and the pleasures and challenges of working together for almost a decade."
The exhibit also includes original album covers (American and British), songbooks, sheet music, magazine covers, photos and facsimiles of manuscripts from the British Library.
Some items, such as the Lennon/McCartney manuscripts and the Lennon/Ono letters, are part of Northwestern University Library's John Cage Notations Collection, which includes approximately 400 samples of music notation gathered from composers during the 1960s.
Many other materials in the exhibit are on loan from Dawson's personal collection. "Like millions of fans, I have been passionate about the Beatles and their music since they came into our world back in 1964," he said.
The idea for a Beatles exhibit began taking shape when Dawson discovered that the university library owns several original Lennon and McCartney lyric manuscripts. The exhibit coincides with a popular class, "The Beatles, an Interdisciplinary Mystery Tour," taught by Gary Kendall, an associate professor of music.
"The Beatles were the most multifaceted phenomenon of popular culture of the last 50 years," said Kendall. "This course examines the Beatles from many different perspectives, sometimes complimentary and sometimes contradictory.
"If the Beatles had contributed only the advances they achieved in recording technology, we'd still remember them today," he said. "But the fact is they pushed the envelope of what was admissible as a rock 'n' roll song. They made tremendous changes in the style and structure of popular songs. They connected their music to social and political movements. They revolutionized the recording industry."
To get to the exhibit, enter through the Northwestern University Library, 1970 Campus Drive. Call (847) 491-3434.
Women's game faces: What do women and girls look like during athletic competition, without traditional feminine constraints? Nearly 100 photographs and personal stories consider this notion in Game Face, opening Saturday at the Chicago Historical Society.
The exhibit is divided into five sections: getting ready, start, action, finish and aftermath. The generations of women in athletic feats range from a sepia-toned portrait of a corseted woman with a bicycle in the 1890s to a full-color portrait of present-day soccer star Brandi Chastain.
Other sports include table tennis, bodybuilding, surfing and even football. There are shots of unknown amateurs as well as famous faces like Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mary Lou Retton and Billie Jean King.
Festivities for opening day on Saturday will include a White Sox Training Day baseball camp for kids and the Radio Disney caravan.
The exhibit will run through Oct. 13. The museum is at Clark and North. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, $1 for children 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under. Call (312) 642-4600.