silb on 06/19/2017 at 03:37PM
If you started playing music in a band after the 60’s, or even if you started before, the chances are that some part of what you do has been either directly or indirectly influenced by The Beatles. The Fab Four’s eternal appeal has been attributed to a number of different things including their talent, showmanship, character, humour and raw talent. Between 1958 and 1970 John, Paul, George and Ringo crafted 13 studio albums that changed the way we look at music.
If you’re wanting to try and work out what made them tick, then a trip to the hallowed land of Liverpool might just be the way to find out. The city is still to this day very proud of their most famous residents, and even this year celebrations have been taking place to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
If you want to make a pilgrimage similar to one I wrote about in my previous post about Manchester, here’s a couple of highlights to be on the lookout for.
1) St Peter’s Church
This is ground zero for Beatles fanatics; the place were 15 year old Paul McCartney was introduced to 16 year old John Lennon in 1957 shortly before Lennon’s skiffle group The Quarrymen took to the stage to play the church’s garden fete. The Church can be found in the Woolton area of the city where the stage was set up in the grounds.
2) The Cavern Club
Throughout the late 50’s and into the early 60’s before the break of Beatlemania, the Beatles frequently honed their sound in the Mathew Street jazz club. Though the Cavern Club has moved location, the current location still proudly celebrates its history and connection to the band. It’s often a stop on city tours and is a great spot to pick up some live music from up and coming bands too.
3) Ranelagh Street
Though the street has clearly undergone big changes since the 60’s, the Ranelagh Street building once hosted a dance party for the Lewis department store employees headlined by the Dee Valley Jazz Band. While this might not seem that relevant, also on the bill at the night in November 1962 was the Beatles, and Paul worked as a temp in the same store in his younger years. They were popular in Liverpool at this time, as the band’s first single Love Me Do had just been released a month before. Bigger things were yet to come!
4) Strawberry Fields
Not to be confused with the area of Central Park dedicated to John Lennon’s memory, the original Strawberry Fields, and inspiration for the 1967 number one, can be found on Beaconsfield Road. Just round the corner from Lennon’s childhood home on Menlove Avenue was a Salvation Army children’s home where he would play in his younger years. The original gates still exist, and is a frequent stop for touring Beatle fans.
5) 12 Arnold Grove
Fans of the ‘Quiet Beatle’, George Harrison will definitely want to stop at the house he was born in in the suburb of Wavertree. It’s clear to see that the tiny “two up, two down” had big plans for the enigmatic guitar player. Paul’s, John’s, and Ringo’s homes are also similarly humble, and can be easily found on fan tours.