PST Review: Trouble in Paradise: Music and Los Angeles, 1945-1975


Location: Grammy Museum, through June 3

What to expect: Last week the Grammy Museum opened its Trouble in Paradise: Music and Los Angeles, 1945-1975 exhibit, which addresses the racial and social uprisings the city experienced after World War II while highlighting the music that grew out of this era, which left a lasting and profound impression on future generations. 

The exhibit features vintage concert posters, album cover art, photographs, magazine covers, and a modern touch screen juke box that allows visitors to select which nostalgic track fills the room next, like “Surfing USA” by the Hawthorne raised Beach Boys. The showcase also highlights different genres, like surf rock, jazz, R&B, Laurel Canyon folk rock, Sunset Strip rock, and East Los Angeles Chicano music.

An interactive timeline marks local music milestones year by year and includes bits of history, from the East Los Angeles high school walkouts to the Manson murders. Listening stations allow visitors to learn about the Watts riots and Sunset Strip protests while enjoying old California favorites.

Nearby, a simulated drive-in theatre is equipped with couches made to resemble a vintage car’s back seat and positioned in front of a projector screen. Sit, watch, and listen to the musical video clips as they take you back to the time when drive-in theatres were all the rage. The room celebrates the marriage between cars and music, and pays tribute to their shared culture.

And while you’re there: Check out Roland Live, on the museum’s third floor, to make like a rock star on a real-life electronic music set. The second floor spotlights Michael Jackson’s concert costumes and the down-to-there green Versace dress Jennifer Lopez wore on the red carpet.