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Wall of fame
Opposite the famous Cavern Club there is a wall of fame, where all stars who ever played here are mentioned. There as well is a disk monument which shows all number one Uk hits that came from Liverpool bands. As for example the Lightning Seeds.
THE BEATLES STORY
As you might have heard Liverpool is the home of the Beatles ;-) And of course the Beatles are the citiy's most popular tourist attraction!
There's a Beatles museum in Albert Dock. It looks like a bit of a tourist trap to me but from what it says on their website it might actually be quite nice. Unlike most museums in Liverpool this isn't free but rather pricey so I didn't have a closer look yet.
- Museum Visits
The Beatles Story
Relive the most sensational story the pop world has ever known, with a nostalgic journey through the world famous Beatles Story. Hear amazing accounts from the 60's through audio guides. Sights, sounds and even smells.
IN THE TOWN WHERE I WAS BORN
The hospital where John Lennon was born after an air raid on October 9th, 1940 is right across the road from the Catholic cathedral. Apparently it stood behind this building but it was closed in 1997.
- Historical Travel
All the loney people...where do they all come from
Another Beatles related statue, but this one is a bit special - I certainly found it moving.
Eleanor Rigby, from the name used in the Beatles song was actually sculptured by the pop singer Tommy Steele.
The plaque next to the monument dedicates it 'To All The Lonely People'
Interestingly, some years ago a grave was found near St Peter's Church in Woolton (where Paul met John) with the name Eleanor Rigby on it.
- Arts and Culture
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
First stop on the Magical Mystery Tour of Liverpool is none other than Penny Lane, an unassuming street in suburban Allerton, not far from John and Paul's homes. The actual places mentioned in the song are at the far end of Penny Lane on the adjoining street, but this is immaterial when you're standing next to the road sign that served as the inspiration for one of your favorite songs. Here are my parents doing just that!
The Beatles Story Museum
This is a museum I would recommend for the casual Beatles fan, not the die-hard (like me) who knows all the basics already. I didn't bother going into this museum after reading up on its attractions (a recreated Abbey Road crosswalk, a walk-through Yellow Submarine, etc.), since we had limited time in Liverpool anyway. Others may find it worthwhile and interesting, though.
However, the museum also is the starting point for the Magical Mystery Tour, and you can get into the museum shop without paying admission. They have a great collection of souvenirs, including tees, mugs, music, posters, cards, keychains, mousepads, etc.
Sky of blue, sea of green...
I love this...the people of Liverpool are proud enough of their lovable lads to plunk a giant, metal, completely non-functional yellow submarine right down next to major historic sights. It's a great photo-op, and certainly brightens up the landscape on a cloudy Liverpool day!
The Cavern Club
A view of the outside of the re-created Cavern Club. Paul McCartney returned to this location a couple of years ago to play a fantastic live gig for a few hundred very lucky audience members! (No, I wasn't one of them.) :(
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
Well, Eleanor Rigby now has a home here on Stanely Street in Liverpool. Here she is, sitting solitary on a bench on an inconspicous street, her faceless head turned aside from the crowd. I just had to sit down and try to cheer her up.
You will usually find flowers laid here to keep her company, gifts from the endless stream of Beatles fans stopping here, I imagine.
Far have I traveled, and much have I seen...
...but this is one of my all-time favourite travel experiences right here. Walking into Paul McCartney's boyhood home at 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton, Liverpool. I know every Beatles song inside out, and just to be in this house knowing how many of those songs were written right there was enough to make me hyperventilate.
The house is much smaller than Mendips, John Lennon's boyhood home, owing to the McCartney familiy's more working class upbringing. Mike McCartney (Paul's brother and an excellent pop photographer) has contributed the many family photos that hang on the walls here, and many of the original fixtures remain here. I walked right into Paul's tiny little bedroom (not even a closet in there!), sat in the same spot where he and John wrote countless songs, and walked into the outdoor toilets in back. Only another Beatles fanatic could understand how extremely cool that is. :)
The custodian here is named Eric, and he is a fantastic guy--a native, soft-spoken and funny, and he looks uncannily like Macca himself, which makes me like him even more. He was nice enough to pose with us here.
Mendips on Menlove Avenue
First stop on the National Trust tour is Mendips, the boyhood home of John Lennon with his Aunt Mimi and her husband. John lived here until the Beatles were famous, so its full of history, and extremely well-preserved. The curator, who is coincidentally also named John, is a lovely guy with a great background in music. He lives in the house and guides this portion of the tour. You are free to wander around the house (only a few rooms are roped off) and walk into John's bedroom, the sunny kitchen and the porch where John and Paul practiced guitar and wrote songs, and the very pleasant sitting room.
Mimi ran a pristine house, and even by today's standards, Mendips is a very pleasant upper middle-class home.
Let me take you down....
Another landmark that any Beatles fan already knows inside out...the place where John Lennon would come as a teenager, hop over the gate to this children's home, and wander the gardens. Another stop on the Magical Mystery Tour--an invaluable must-do for a Beatles fan in Liverpool. Since many of these sites are not in downtown Liverpool, if you come without a car, this is by far the best way to see the major Fab Four landmarks. And the guide we had, a young DJ named Eric, was funny and entertaining. He even gave a quiz on Beatles trivia--I know a lot of Beatles trivia, but there was an older guy on board who apparently has done nothing but memorize concert dates and set lists, so I didn't win. :)
"The shelter in the middle of the roundabout..."
Unfortunately, it rained for most of our bus trip on the Magical Mystery Tour, and you don't actually get off the bus for this drive by the shelter in the middle of the roundabout, so this isn't the greatest shot. But you can see that the shelter is now "St. Pepper's Bistro," a pizza place that looks pretty cute, actually. The fire brigade that is home to the fireman who "rushes in" is on one section of this roundabout.
Lots to see for all you Beatles fans. Make sure you do the following.
1. Magical Mystery Tour
2. Menlove Ave (John's childhood home)
3. The Cavern
4. The Beatles Museum
5. The Jac pub (In the basement paintings by The Beatles
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