Strange Kozmic Experience

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  • Closed Jan 17, 2011
  • Regular Hours:
    M-F 10:30am - 6:30pm,
    Sat-Sun 10:00am - 6:30pm

On April 5, 2010, The GRAMMY Museum debuted its third major special exhibit, Strange Kozmic Experience. Housed on the Museum's second floor, the exhibit explores the innovations, legacies, and continual impact of the artists who defined a generation: The Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix.

Photo by Paul Ferrara, © 2010 Doors Music Co.

Forty years later, the music of The Doors, Joplin, and Hendrix still resonate in rock circles and popular culture, an enduring testimony to the power and freedom of 1960s rock. Provocative, counter-cultural, and experimental, these artists stirred senses and celebrated personal freedom like never before, so we're pleased to offer fans the rare opportunity to engage with them again in such a personal way.

- Museum Executive Director and music historian Robert Santelli

Rising from distinctly different backgrounds yet united by a common love of the blues and rock and roll, Hendrix, Joplin, and The Doors made music that revolutionized and energized rock's most fertile and provocative period: the 1960s. The untimely deaths of Jimi Hendrix (Sept. 18, 1970), Janis Joplin (Oct. 4, 1970), and Jim Morrison (July 3, 1971), all at the age of 27 and within one year of each other, marked the end of a decade unmatched in free-spirited and experimental creativity. To this day, the losses are still being felt: Hendrix stands unsurpassed as the greatest electric guitarist of all-time; Joplin's heightened dimension of blues singing has yet to be matched; and never has a band brought poetry and artistic sophistication to blues and rock the way The Doors did. Strange Kozmic Experience will explore how these artists became icons, where they took music, and why their art still resonates.

Bringing together more than 60 diverse artifacts and 30 rare photographs never before displayed together in Los Angeles, the exhibit features holdings from the Doors Music Co, the Morrison and Courson Families, the Janis Joplin Estate, Experience Hendrix L.L.C., Experience Music Project, Jampol Artist Management, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Hard Rock International, and other private collections. On display, visitors will see a wide-ranging array of items, including:

  • Joplin's custom-painted 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet
  • Morrison's poetry books
  • Handwritten lyrics and letters
  • Iconic wardrobe pieces
  • Original paintings by Joplin
  • Instruments used during some of the 1960s most important performances and recordings
  • 1960s ephemera, including ticket stubs, concert posters, fan memorabilia
  • Instruments and lyrics from blues influencers Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Odetta, Albert King, Howlin' Wolf, and B.B. King
  • Photographs from iconic 1960s photographers, Joel Brodsky, Jim Marshall, Elliott Landy, Lisa Law, Eddie Kramer, and more
  • Seminal 1960s poster art
  • And much more...

Artifacts will be accompanied by an exciting selection of biographical films and archive footage. Archived talk show interviews with The Doors, Joplin, and Hendrix will also be on display, made available with the assistance of the Paley Center for Media.

Public and educational programs related to Strange Kozmic Experience (including a master class on the music of the 1960s) will be announced shortly and will take place throughout the run of the exhibit.

Strange Kozmic Experience will be on display in The GRAMMY Museum's Special Exhibits Gallery — where temporary exhibits will be showcased on a rotating basis — through January 17, 2011, before touring internationally.


On Wednesday, April 7, to celebrate the exhibit's opening, the Museum, in association with Rhino Entertainment, screened the critically-acclaimed documentary narrated by Johnny Depp from Wolf Films/Strange Pictures, When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors, just days before its theatrical release. View pictures from the event.