Individual Beatle Days are becoming very popular in Liverpool these days and this one to celebrate John's birthday was no different. We had a good mixture of nationalities on this tour and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Thankfully the forecast rain didn't really happen and we travelled under blue suburban skies for the whole day.
The day began at 11.00 a.m. at The Albert Dock where everyone was to meet up to join the bus. Well almost everyone met up here!! They must tell the time differently in Brazil than we do in Liverpool because Marco and Francisco from Revolution Fan Club in Brazil didn't arrive until 12.00!!! Whilst waiting for them Jackie Spencer from Live@pool Tours entertained everyone with her usual Scouse sense of humour and had everyone laughing their heads off. As the minutes passed Marco and friend had no idea that their names were being taken in vain outside The Beatle Story. Eventually we had to give up and leave without them. The tour got as far as the Town Hall when we got a call to say that Marco and friend were outside the Tourist Office at the Albert Dock believing the tour left at 12.00!! Nice try Marco...:o). We had to turn back and collect them and we were very lucky that we had a bus load of really nice people who didn't mind.
Once on board we set off again to celebrate John's birthday in great style. We visited some inner city places, including showing everyone John's Oak Tree in the Peace Garden in St. John's Gardens. This was planted for John's 60th birthday in 2000 with Julia Baird taking command of the Spade! Seeing other relevant John interests we eventually ended up at the Art College in Hope Street where Jackie regaled us with some stories about John's early life with Stuart Sutcliffe and Rod Murray et al that she had received directly from Rod Murray. Rod had written about how he, John and Stuart met in the Art College enrollment class of 1956. John was a prankster then too and Rod's stories told of how they were all barred from various clubs and pubs because of John's antics.
We wound our way out of the city centre taking in Dovedale School, Newcastle Road and other places heading towards Woolton where John grew up. It was interesting to see Mendips in a "building site" state as work progresses to restore the house to 1940/50s style ready for opening probably in March 2003. The National Trust will be running a tour that will take you to both Forthlin Road and Menlove Avenue on one ticket.
We stopped for lunch at The Elephant in Woolton Village where we were also entertained by Brazilian Marco Antonio Malagolli and Tony Mitchell from Australia who had brought their guitars along. We had a great sing-a-long before it was time to leave and head for St. Peter's Church and the Hall were John met Paul on 6 July 1957.
From Woolton we
went out to Liverpool John Lennon Airport where we stopped to take pics of our Group at the John Lennon statue which was unveiled earlier this year by Queen Elizabeth II with Yoko Ono in attendance.
On our way back into the city we stopped at Strawberry Fields. Blomfield Road (Julia's home) and Quarry Bank School. On our way to Penny Lane Jackie pointed out The Woolworths Store where Cynthia had worked to earn extra money whilst at the Art College,
where John used to buy this combs that kept that famous mop top head in
place, and Garmoyle Road where Cynthia was living when she met John.
Back in town we
made our way to Mathew Street where there's lots to see and do in the way of music. We ended our journey at the Mathew Street Gallery where those who hadn't seen it before were lucky to see the George Harrison Tribute photographs before the exhibition is taken down to make way for a new one. Whilst there we also had a sneak previous of some photos from the Robert Whitaker exhibition expected to be in place by the end of the year.
Everyone then had some time to themselves before we
set off to The Beatle Story Exhibition in the evening where we had a party in the mock up Cavern Club and entertainment from The Prellies who played for us earlier in the year when we celebrated Paul's 60th birthday at The Casbah Coffee Club. What a great little rock 'n roll band who do very early Beatle songs from their Cavern days performance. Such songs as Shimmy, Shimmy and Red Sails In The Sunset that you don't hear anywhere else echoed from the stage. They were just great and were called back for more. I think people would have been happy to sit there all night listening to them. So full of energy and enthusiasm. Also some really young guys from local band Utopia took to the stage for a few songs, one playing guitar, the other Tabla, what an interesting combination of instruments.
If you were not at this day then you really do need to come and join us some time.....we have a fab time. Check out
www.Liveapool.com for the up and coming Christmas special and other Beatle tours.
It was really nice to see lots of old friends on this special day and also to meet some new people who we hope will come back again.
Thanks to Jackie and Jane for all their hard work in putting this together and to The Prellies
and to scaled down Utopia for the music.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.....