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Janis Joplin's 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet

We know, you’ve always wanted to cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway alongside Janis Joplin in her 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet, the convertible with the psychedelic paint job. Well, you can’t.

You’ve probably also longed to don Snoop Dogg’s black leather “Death Row Records” jacket, chicken-pick Garth Brooks’ Telecaster, blow Lester Young’s tenor sax or slip on one of Michael Jackson’s sequined gloves. Well, you can’t do those things, either, unless you have an inside connection at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
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Grammy Museum in Los Angeles
Photo by Roy McMahon/Corbis

Located in the L.A. Live complex, across the street from Staples Center, the museum consists of four floors and 30,000 square feet full of music treasures. Joplin’s Porsche hogs a hefty VIP parking space in the main lobby, and a replica of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s red-hot Stratocaster chills nearby.

You take the elevator to the fourth floor and work your way down. There are scads of listening stations, including one long, flat “Crossroads” table that lets you sample genres from across the music spectrum via touch screen. Another display offers the “Album of the Year” award the Beatles received in 1967 for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was the first time a Grammy was handed out to a group rather than to a solo artist or duo.

Although the walls are festooned with exquisite photos and there are several interactive features, the grooviest items in the museum are undoubtedly the artists’ memorabilia: a bevy of
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Michael Jackson's glove and other costumes are on display
Michael Jackson’s costumes, Elvis Presley’s Army jacket, Pete Seeger’s banjo, handwritten lyrics by Jimi Hendrix, and on and on. It’s the coolest pawnshop ever.

And inside the 200-seat Clive Davis Theater, artists stop by for a friendly grilling about their work and their lives; in August, John Mellencamp opined that the Internet “is the most dangerous thing invented since the atomic bomb.”

Either he’s correct or somebody sorely needs a relaxing ride in Janis’ Porsche. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 765-6800, www.grammymuseum.org