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East L.A. sheet metal shop pays tribute to John, Paul, George & Ringo

Courtesy C.J. Salgado

Courtesy C.J. Salgado

By C.J. SALGADO

EAST LOS ANGELES —  Beatles fans around the world today are celebrating what would have been the 75th birthday of  John Lennon. But in East Los Angeles,  a newly re-painted mural on the side of a sheet metal shop serves as a year-around tribute to Lennon and the rest of the Fab Four.

The west wall of Square Sheet Metal, a business  that operated from the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Ferris Avenue since the early 1950s, features a black-and-white mural of the Beatles. It would be easy to speed right past it.  But, if the Beatles have bitten you, like yours truly, you would probably stop today and pay your respect with a moment of silence and reflection on how the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, was part of your life.

Square Sheet Metal owner Al Ruiz has been a longtime fan of the Beatles, collecting and trading in Beatles memorabilia. He proudly talks of his collection of original English Beatles albums and a plaque with John Lennon’s signature. His enthusiasm is such that since 1974, he’s had a mural of the Beatles painted on this side of his business. It was even featured on a Mitsubishi Motors commercial in the early 1990s, he stated.

However, the first mural had to be removed because it was too damaged to preserve when the exterior was redone earlier this year  as part of a beautification project on Olympic Boulevard. Ruiz knew that he’d get another mural put up to replace it. So, he commissioned noted East L.A. airbrush artist Rick Muñoz  to recreate the artwork.

As a boy growing up in East L.A., I memorized the lyrics to many a Beatles songs and, being of humble means, found comfort in knowing that you “can’t buy me love.” It seems I wasn’t the only one that felt that way.

C.J. Salgado is a resident of  East Los Angeles

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2 comments

  1. Thank You ! Wonderful story

  2. That is one funky looking Paul

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