Maybe, just maybe, the one worthwhile thing at L.A. Live.
This town is every bit as much about music as much as the recorded image. Jim Morrison died here. Sam Cooke is buried here (at least in Glendale). The dream of every would-be rock start may start in a small town in Some such, USA, but it eventually means coming here when you start to take off. So yeah, L.A. is all about Emmy, all about Oscar…and all about Grammy.
Yeah, Grammy really doesn’t ring as a name, does it?
No matter, she has a long and glorious history, and it’s celebrated at the Grammy Museum in Downtown Los Angeles, just across the street from the Nokia Theater, where the Grammy Awards themselves are held.
The museum is structured…of all things…kinda like the National Aquarium in Baltimore, wherein you start at the tippy-tippy top and work your way downward. Pay your fee outside. Walk in, let the Guard point you to the right (and only) elevator and head on up. Simple.
It’s odd that so much of what would constitute a Rock N’ Roll has been sucked up by the Hard Rock Cafe, that or the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in…shudder…Cleveland. Still, you will get some of that action here at the Grammy Museum. You will see some original Guitars, Costumes and other assorted historical memorabilia. The Fourth floor has a history of Music, with every (general) brand and/or genre represented. They’re basically booths, with a video presentation going on inside, showing you some Grammy’s greatest moments for that genre.
Therein lies the key to this museum you really got to remember. It’s a Grammy Museum, not a Music Museum. This Museum is specifically geared around Grammy, and all the televised highlights therein. So if you ever get confused as to why you can’t find your favorite musician or singer, just ask yourself…have they won a Grammy? Were they nominated for a Grammy? Where they ever featured on the Grammy Telecast?
Still, you’re not really going to the Grammy Museum just to look at exhibits and displays of the Music Industry’s glorious past. You’re also here to listen to music…a lot of it. The Grammy Museum has a lot of interactive displays and video screens. You will be picking up and putting on a lot of headphones while you’re there, sampling bits of music from Grammy History. There’s even a interactive display right the front of the music which carries every single category of music that Grammy recognizes, and at last count that number is somewhere around a hundred.
On the third floor are a lot of interactive exhibits dealing with music production and performance. You (or your kid) can play on a drum set, or a guitar. You can mix some music, you can get a load of what it takes to be a professional in the music business. This part is way, way cooler than I first thought. Definitely worth the time.
Yeah, Grammy splices it a bit too narrowly for my tastes as well, but still it’s nice to open your visit with some tunes.
In short, the Grammy Museum is cooler than it first appears, but it’s really geared for the person who’s got a little time, who can sit down and go from station to station, and play with all their available electronic toys and whiz bangs. And you can bring the kids. Heck, they’ll probably have a better time than you will.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: This is going to be a bit weird, but when you get on the elevator, and they tell you to go the Fourth Floor…hit the 4R Button.
I know. I know. Why didn’t they just label it that way? I have no idea. But make sure (at least of this publication) to hit 4R, because hitting 4 will just leave you sitting there.
Also, despite the way things look, there are bathrooms on all levels, they’re just hidden, way hidden. Just ask one of Staff if you’re confused.
PARKING: It’s L.A. Live so be prepared to shell out anywhere from $5 to $15 bucks depending on where you wind up, and how far you’re willing to walk…at night…in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles.
Look, just pay the premium…all right? The more you pay the closer you’ll be to where you are, and the quicker walk you’ll have at night…in the middle of Downtown L.A.
Count on that being higher if there’s a Laker, Clipper or a King game gong on.
To make a plan in advance (which is recommended) consult our L.A. Live/Downtown Parking Guide for assistance.
The Grammy Museum
800 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Monday – Friday 11:30am – 7:30pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am – 7:30pm