The Revolutions: Records and Rebels exhibition at the Melbourne Museum is a must-visit for those with an interest in the music, politics and fashion of the mid-to-late ‘60s.
The reverberations of the 1960s can still be felt in the world we live in today. Through demonstrations against war, successes and recognition of the civil rights movement, the first steps into space exploration and the music and fashion, this was the decade that indelibly shaped the subsequent ones; there hasn’t been anything quite like it since.
Revolutions: Records and Rebels encompasses all of the above and more as it explores the mid-to-late ‘60s in impressive detail. Each section tells its own story: the advent of The Beatles – highlights being the lavish faux-military uniform that John Lennon adorned for the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the letter that McCartney penned to EMI announcing the dissolution of the band – leads through to upheaval on the political stage, where thousands of students protested against the Vietnam War; the first conflict to be covered on television and beamed nightly onto sets across the globe.
The audio headset accompaniment (which changes via sensors) and detailed placards assist visitors in negotiating the lengthy and comprehensive exhibition. It’s the original artefacts that make for fascinating viewing. Jagger’s stage wear, album covers from the era, Mary Quant’s iconic miniskirt, right through to anti-war protestation signage and the original Hilton Hotel notepad paper upon which John Lennon wrote the lyrics to Imagine.
From a personal perspective – and with a deep interest in the period – this is the most fascinating exhibition I can remember attending. Even if you don’t share the same zealous enthusiasm for the ‘60s, the depth of content on offer here virtually guarantees you’ll find something to pique your interest.
Revolutions: Records and Rebels runs until August 25.