So we spent a day in Liverpool for the primary purpose of letting Chopper pursue the trail of the Beatles! He's been a fan since he was a teenager. So I'm going to make him write this post because it will be better coming from his head than mine!
Our day started out wet and a little chilly but I had the Beatles song Rain in my head and like the song, I wasn't "going to run and hide my head."
This little white and pink home is where Richard Starky was born. It's not very large, only two bedrooms and no bathroom. It was located in the backyard.
Our tour took us to the Penny Lane Community Center that is frequented by the remaining members of the Quarrymen, the first band John and Paul were in.
The Penny Lane center was a little goofy as they were monopolizing on all things Beatles.
The car on the right is the cab that took us everywhere. We decided to do a FabCab tour instead of the Magical Mystery bus tours because it was cheaper and easier with the kids. We had a great guide who said that he saw the Beatles at the Cavern Club when he was 14. Kristy learned a lot and he was great to listen to. And it was fun to ride in a Taxi! You can fit 5 in there with everyone facing each other. The kids like riding backwards too.
We didn't get a chance to get over to Abby Road Studios in London and walk the most famous crosswalk in the world. The center had this one you could recreate the album cover on. Abby was a great sport!
The real Penny Lane. We found out that John and Paul kept journals most of their lives. They would sit and write about what they saw and later they would use it when writing their songs.
This was the church John where was a choirboy for five years. He didn't start out as the rebel we knew him as.
This is the barbershop were the barber shows the photographs of his customers.
Now the photos are mainly of the Beatles.
When they became famous they still would pop back in for a trim. This was the chair John would get his mop top trimmed in.
William wanted to have his picture...
And of course Abby did too!
This was the shelter in the round about. It was turned into a Beatle themed restaurant but it has since closed down.
Paul's childhood home. Our guide told us Paul was a rascal as a kid. He picked the bedroom over the front door, even though it was a smaller room, so he could climb out at night and use the step over the door to get down. The home is now a protected site because he and John wrote over 25 hit songs in this house.
John's aunt's home. This is rather a sad story. John's father was out of the picture when he was three or four and his mother fell in love with another man who refused to raise John. So his mother chose to give John up. His aunt stepped in and raised him at this house.
This is our tour guide at the church graveyard John was a choirboy at. He was showing us the tombstones that inspired the song Elinor Rigby. John use to come out and sit in front of these graves and smoke. He noticed that Elinor was married and had a child but she was buried with her maiden name which, as the song goes, was "very strange".
Our guide told us that Paul wrote most of the song but John told him about the graveyard and the tombstones that inspired the lyrics. Later Paul sued John over the rights of the lyrics. John told the judge about finding the graves as a kid and telling Paul about them. Paul made up a story and John tried to strangle Paul in the court room. The judge ruled in Paul's favor. Later the Judge listened to the song and got his revenge when Paul petitioned to have the "Lennon and McCartney" label reversed to have his name in front of Johns. He was denied by the same judge, who remembered Paul lied to him.
This is the front gate to Strawberry Field. This is an old orphanage that butts up to John's aunts home. John would hear the children playing and would wander over to play too. He said later that this was the happiest time of his life. He later gave to the orphanage and after his death, Yoko continued to gift them until it was closed down. Rumor has it that Yoko traveled to Strawberry Field a few weeks after John's death and told them she would continue to give them money and then walked the grounds. The children who followed her reported seeing her spreading ashes over the grounds.
After the tour, our guide dropped us off at the Beatle Story. Its a tribute from Liverpool to the Fab Four.
Most of the displays were replicas but Abby wanted to know what records were. She was shocked that you had to keep your music on shelves. Her look like this when Kristy explained all those records and much, much more could be uploaded on her phone and save all that room.
A replica of the Cavern Club. I was very tempted to buy a Rickenbacker like John Lennon's while I was in Liverpool but all the shops I found were closed. I guess it wasn't meant to be.
This was really cool. Its the only blue colored record of the White Album. It was created on the sly by one of the midnight workers. At the time the White Album was being printed, another album was being printed in a blue color. So this enterprising young worker switched the master copy of the White Album so it would print in blue, but just one copy, for himself. He later got Paul to sign the cover. I wonder what this would be worth to a rich Beatles fan?
This was a pair of John's iconic glasses. These were recovered by a studio technician after John threw them in a trashcan after a fight with Yoko.
At the end of the tour, there was a tribute to John. He owned a property which he had a solid white room with a grand piano in it. I guess this was a nod to that room. What struck me was the guitar. My best friend back home, who introduced me to the Beatles, played the same one. It brought back so many memories of him and our garage band.
The kids liked the coloring station they could make Beatle related pictures. After we left we found this great pirate themed restaurant called the Smugglers Cove. To top it all off, the food was great!
Liverpool, above all, is a port city. They built ships and was the one of England's main ports for shipping. So the kids were blown away at the size of the anchors. When you tell them the ships that had those anchors were much bigger, their eyes would get really wide as they said whooooooa!
We stumbled on this statue called "The Crossing" which was given by the Mormon church to mark where so many from Europe crossed to America to travel to Utah.
We thought this was a museum ship but it was a working ship that still sails the seas. It still really cool to see it, even if it was from the wharf.
Here is where it all took off. The Cavern Club! Since I first heard about this place I wanted to visit. Not only did the Beatles play here, but the likes of Queen, Hendrix and the Who also graced its smoky bricked halls. However, the Beatles were the first rock band to play here and to make it famous. Now only Beatle cover bands play here but it is still magical.
After my day of Beatles, I sort of now understand pilgrimages that religious people go one to come closer to God or to grow their faith. Do not think I am saying the Beatles are gods and I am in no way comparing their legacy to anything as important as religion but I felt I was closing a chapter of my life with this visit. It was very rewarding. So I must thank Kristy for bringing me here and the kids for sharing it with me.