Last week, I was able to visit the mecca of all Beatles’ history: Liverpool. It’s no secret that while my love of classic rock runs deep for many bands, The Beatles have always been my favorite. So when I boarded the Magical Mystery Tour Bus (which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself in Liverpool), I was ecstatic to finally be seeing the places that John, Paul, George and Ringo called home.
One of our first stops was Penny Lane. Surprisingly, the small tiny lane isn’t what the song is actually centered around. A few blocks away is Smithdown Road, a busy plaza where Paul and George would wait for the bus to school. Here, they would see ‘the barber showing photographs’ and ‘the banker with a motorcar’. Sadly, it was a cloudy day, so no blue suburban skies for me.
Next, we made a quick stop at the birthplace and childhood home of George Harrison (pictured bottom right). My favorite stop, Strawberry Fields, followed. The replica of the famous red gate is pictured on the left. Lyrics and messages to the band were scribbled all over, as seen on the top right with the lyrics from ‘The End’. Young John Lennon used to attend small concerts and events for the Salvation Army at Strawberry Fields with his Aunt Mimi, a place that stuck with him for quite some time afterwards.
Mendips, pictured on the left, is John’s childhood home. Sent to live with his Aunt Mimi at a young age, John looked to her as his constant maternal figure (although he interacted regularly with his mother, Julia, until her untimely death). Mimi’s now famous words to John reside on a plaque in this house and in her current home: “The guitar’s all very well as a hobby, John, but you’ll never make a living out of it.” The next two pictures are photos from the McCartney residence, where Paul and his brothers grew up. This house is famous for its history; countless of the Beatles’ early hits were brought to life by John and Paul inside.
A Beatles tour in Liverpool would not be complete without stopping at the band’s breakthrough stage: The Cavern Club. Outside, the brick wall features hundreds of famous musicians who have performed at the club (such as the Arctic Monkeys, Jimi Hendrix, and Gerry and the Pacemakers). The Beatles, along with each individual member, are front and center.
Inside, the dark and loud atmosphere made me feel like I stepped into the club in the early ’60s. Beatle relics and posters of other performers surrounded the walls as a local guitarist played a few Beatles and Elvis covers. It wasn’t hard to imagine the Fab Four taking the stage to bursts of applause and screams just over fifty years ago.
My last, personal stop was The Beatles Story, a walk through journey covering the band’s early days in Hamburg to their rocky ending. Another great experience. The picture below was the last room of the attraction, a tribute to John Lennon’s Imagine. My trip to Liverpool was long sought after and well worth it! A must do for any fellow Beatlemaniac.