This morning I walked to all of the famous Beatles sites in Liverpool. First stop: Penny Lane.
I'm constantly surprised at how little emphasis Liverpool places on the Beatles. I expected just about EVERYTHING on Penny Lane to advertise its Penny-Lane-ness, but very few shops did. And only one featured anything Beatles related: The Penny Lane Development Trust (www.pldt.org.uk), which featured a large outdoor Beatles-themed mural.
Next stop: Strawberry Field.
There was a sign just behind the crimson gates stating that these gates are replicas of the originals, and if anybody wants to purchase their own replicas, they should email this company. They didn't mention price. (Or shipping & handling!)
Right around the corner on Menlove Avenue is John Lennon's childhood home, known as Mendips.
It's pretty hard to see anything because of the gates and plants that block the view (stupid foliage!), but there is a blue sign right below the window stating, "John Lennon 1940-1980 musician and songwriter lived here 1945-1963". Apparently visitors can register for tours inside, but at £23.00 per person (about $37) I declined.
Mendips is not far from St. Peter's Church, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time on 6 July 1957, in between sets by Lennon's band, The Quarrymen. There was no way to photograph the front, so this view is from the back (looking East).
I have to wonder where exactly The Quarrymen played. Of course, it's possible (even probable) that the layout of the churchyard is quite different now than it was in 1957, but many of the gravestones date from pre-1957. It's not like there's a whole lot of extra room...
Just South of the church is another graveyard. Nestled in the third row is one head stone commemorating the grave site of on John Rigby, who, curiously, had a granddaughter named Eleanor.
Walking around the other graves, I was struck by how many Rigbys are buried there. I probably saw half a dozen more, in addition to this one.
Another oddity is that two rows in front of Eleanor Rigby's grave is one for John McKenzie - perhaps the inspiration for Father McKenzie in the same song? I've never heard anybody else speculate on this, but it seems to make sense.
Next: 20 Forthlin Rd, Paul McCartney's childhood home. Where Mendips was quite impressive to look at (and in a pretty nice neighborhood), 20 Forthlin was less of a spectacle (and in a not-as-nice area, despite being only a mile or so from Menlove ave.
Again, tours are available, but prohibitively expensive.
From Forthlin Rd I caught a bus downtown and walked to the Cavern Club, where the Beatles played some 222 gigs in the early Sixties. But I only stayed a few minutes (and didn't snap any pictures) before returning home due to the excessive stage volume and matching beer prices.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.