By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 18, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Despite a single gig here in at the Arena in1964 and much-recounted stories of fans besieging the Fab Four's Wisconsin Avenue hotel -- now Marquette's Mashuda Hall dormitory -- Milwaukee and the Beatles don't really have much shared history. Or do they?

An exhibition of original John Lennon art and Beatles memorabilia, "Coming Together through the art of John Lennon," opens at the Waukesha County Museum Aug. 16 at 10 a.m.

What has been called the third largest collection of original John Lennon drawings and paintings forms part of the show. Of course, Lennon artworks have been on view at Milwaukee-area a number of times over the years, but this grouping, lent by an anonymous collector is likely more expansive. Some of the material is unsuited to young viewers and will be shown only to visitors 18 and over.

Only marginally related -- the only connection is that Lennon was a Beatle -- is the collection of Fab Four memorabilia on display. Many items are lent by former DJ Bob Barry, who spent time with the band on its Milwaukee visit on Sept. 4, 1964.

Among the items on display are Beatles 45s and LPs, original U.S. concert tour programs, newsreels and photographs documenting the group's visit to Milwaukee in 1964 and the studio microphone used by Lennon to record the song "Imagine."

"The Beatles span generations of fans, and we are excited to bring these collections to the public," said Kirsten Lee Villegas, executive director of Waukesha County Museum. "When the doors open, we will have created an interesting, eclectic presentation. This exhibit will be one of the many new and exciting displays and opportunities we plan to deliver over the coming months and years."

Tickets for "Coming Together through the art of John Lennon" are available now via the museum's Web site and at the gift shop during regular business hours. They are $12 for adults -- with discounts for seniors and students -- and $6 for children.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.