That’s right, I bet you didn’t even know that there was a Grammy Museum. Good thing too, because I had no idea either. The Museum has been open for a little less than four years but only in the past 18 months has it joined joins with storage center Iron Mountain. Why is this part important? Well, with all the very delicate items, like records from Thomas Edison’s label, finding the right climate to store this history in was presenting a problem. “People offer to donate things, but until we had someplace to properly store and preserve them, we’ve had to turn a lot of those offers down,” executive director Robert Santelli said. “We have to be able to safely store the items, insure them — and be sure we can make them accessible to the public at some point, because we are an educational museum. We’re working without an acquisition budget, so we have to rely on donations.”
Items that live in this storage space of 900 air-conditioned square feet include, Edison’s phonograph, thousands of 5-by-7-inch white notecards collected from one of Yoko Ono’s wishing trees, major record companies master recordings, an archive of more than 200 performances and live interviews recorded at the museum since it opened December 2008, a pair of Johnny Cash’s boots and his lyrics for the song “Cry, Cry, Cry”, Bob Dylan letters and lyrics, a jacket and trumpet that belonged to Miles Davis, jewelry worn by Billie Holiday, a tie and letter from Louis Armstrong, one of Barbra Streisand’s dresses, a Willie Nelson bandanna, stage sketches and lyrics from Public Enemy’s Chuck D., one of Pete Seeger’s banjos, and a trombone played by New Orleans jazz pioneer Kid Ory.
The audio-visual archive containing all the some 200 performances and interviews, was opened to the public this past Wednesday. I think that means you need to take a trip to the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, CA music lovers. “Our goal is to make sure we can find all these items a good home in the museum somewhere — and to make them available for the common good.”