Beatles Memorabilia

By Roy Heale

It may not be the traditional Liverpool surroundings for the Fab Four, but the recently opened Beatles Museum in Buenos Aires boasts an amazing collection of memorabilia. Created by 53-year-old Rodolfo Vazquez the museum features thousands of items related to the famous foursome from England. The Beatlemania collecting obsession began for the Argentine accountant when he was just 10 years old.

 

Rodolfo Vazquez

 

“With the song ‘In My Life,’ on the Rubber Soul album I fell in love with the Beatles,” Vazquez told The Associated Press. He holds the 2001 Guinness World Record for owning the world’s largest collection of the legendary rock band’s memorabilia. At that point, Guinness noted that he had 5,612 items in the attic of his home in Buenos Aires. His hoard has grown to more than 8,500 records, gadgets, puppets and games since then, more than 2,200 of which are on display in the Beatle Museum that just opened this year at Paseo La Plaza, 1660 Corrientes Avenue 1660, in an area of the capital city where tourists throng. Museum visitors will be able to view items like a check signed by drummer Ringo Starr, a large collection of album covers, toys, figurines, and a brick from The Cavern Club, where the band was discovered in the 1960s.

 

Museum and Cavern Club Entrances

There are Beatles museums in Liverpool, England, and Hamburg, Germany, that display memorabilia along with objects from the band members’ lives, and other private collections as well. But this storefront museum stands out for the sheer quantity of pieces, carefully arranged in display cases and on the walls. There are objects for all tastes: a box of condoms with the name of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, a wig that says it adjusts to any head size, and signed pictures of the four musicians. Vazquez also keeps accumulating objects, either buying or trading for them with other collectors around the world.

 

The Fab Four

 

The Beatles broke up in 1970, but there’s no letup in interest about the band: When their song list was added to iTunes last year, more than 2 million individual songs and 450,000 copies of Beatles albums were sold in the first week.

 

Although the Beatles never performed in Argentina, people here seem to have a soft spot for them, ensuring that cover bands have regular gigs. Many such bands play in Vazquez’s “The Cavern Club,” a bar next to the museum named after the Liverpool nightclub.

 

Vazquez claims he doesn’t know the total value of his private collection, which also includes record covers, autographs, toys, original pictures, concert programs, and cups and plates with Beatle images. Other rarities are four music boxes with figures of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Vazquez even has certified copies of their birth certificates. Rarities include¬† a hunk of the stage of Hamburg’s Star Club, a strip club where the musicians worked as the house band, at that point with Pete Best as drummer. A pair of drumsticks signed by Best, who was replaced by Ringo Star in 1962, is
in the Buenos Aires museum.

 

There’s also a piece of the floor of Strawberry Fields, a Salvation Army orphanage near
Lennon’s boyhood home whose name inspired the 1967 psychedelic rock tune “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

 

Getting the chance to show his treasures to fellow fans is immensely satisfying to Vazquez
and thousands have already rushed to the museum to relive Beatlemania at its best!

http://www.thecavern.com.ar

Paseo La Plaza, 1660 Corrientes Avenue,
Buenos Aires, Argentina