You don’t have to go to Liverpool to know that the Beatles rock – but it sure is cool to do if you’re any kind of Beatles fan, as I am. Today I first visited “The Beatles Story” museum at Liverpool’s historic Albert Dock. It was frankly a little tacky but still essential, if only for the final display of John Lennon’s “White Room” – a re-creation of the room of his London home in which the “Imagine” video was recorded. There was a pair of Lennon’s trademark wire-rim glasses on a white piano like the one he played, and of course “Imagine” was playing. I found it pretty moving. The other displays and audio narration depicted scenes from the well-known stages of the Beatles’ career. I was struck by the fact that their first guitars (several on display) were just as crappy as my first few guitars. I didn’t learn anything new but I always enjoy walking down that particular memory lane so I didn't mind.
The Magical Mystery Tour was much better, with a very knowledgeable guide to point out all sorts of odd facts and unusual coincidences. Our distinctively painted bus stopped at the childhood homes of all four Beatles (a bit creepy standing with a group and taking pictures of the homes that are now occupied by people who have nothing to do with the Beatles, but we did it). We saw many other notable Beatles sites and stopped at a few, including Penny Lane and the Strawberry Field gate, where I posed for the obligatory photo shown here.
The Beatles were probably my biggest influences as a songwriter, and aside from that, I grew up with and still really love their music. Unfortunately time and weather didn’t allow for a trip on the Mersey Ferry as I had hoped. It was pouring and I missed the ferry I had intended to take to visit the Spaceport museum. Oh well – space is everywhere, and you can’t say the same for the Beatles’ home town.