Posts Tagged ‘Strawberry fields’

short and sweet

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A Beatles tour not to be missed. Is there anything better than seeing Liverpool, learning about the Beatles early history, visiting homes while listening to the tunes? I think not.

Penny Lane is in my ears and now in my eyes.

Website:  http://www.cavernclub.org/

(trip report on Liverpool & Chester) Guest writer :  Les

Scoused, soused and Yanked by Liver Birds.

Life goes on day after day

Hearts torn in every way” – ‘Ferry cross the Mersey‘ – ‘Gerry and the Pacemakers.’

“Liverpool ONE”.

The destination board on the front of the bus flashed just a little too brightly for my liking in the growing gathering murky Merseyside skies that threatened ‘a hard rains gonna fall.’ (The rain came down later that afternoon too for the Scouse football fans. The sign could have read Liverpool ONE, Man. Utd. 2)

And fall it would, as if Niagara herself had been towed Eastwards from three and a half thousand miles away behind my American friends London bound plane and she would then dump herself over this North-West area of the British Isles, which she duly did with the worst rainstorm to hit this land in thirty years.

But for now it was just the odd spot of rain that was trying to force its way through the still gently glowing skies and so for the moment it was just a mild midday threat this Sunday 23rdSeptember 2012 as I strolled through the heart of Liverpool ONE to meet a ‘Baltimore ‘bird’ (*) Jeannette, who was on a flying visit with three of her ‘sisters’, Kelly, Pat and Ellen, from the US of A, the three of them here for a few days to see the city that gave birth to ‘four lads who shook the world’.

‘The Beatles’. (‘De’ Fabs’ as scousers call them.)

(*) ‘bird’ in Scouse is a girl.

I had never been to Liverpool, never come close in fact and though I was aware that the city had changed so much this last ten years or so, I still had an unwarranted prejudicial view of the place, to me it was still an old Dockers city, rough and ready, a watch your step, watch your back kind of place. When I said to some workmates that I was meeting the sisters in Liverpool they said, ‘Liverpool? Why Liverpool?’ The Beatles I said, what more reason do you need?

“Az if”, they may have said (“Az if” – scouse for ‘I don’t believe that’.)

So I was just a little wary as I set off, as it turned out, way too early on Sunday morning on the road to Merseyside. Early because I had noticed the previous night that Liverpool were playing their arch enemies Manchester United on Sunday. Just my luck! The roads will be chock-a-block. So in my wisdom I set off from home at 9. 15 am, hoping to hit the Royal Nelson Hotel by 12 30, giving me time to check in, park the car and stroll to the Albert Docks where the Magical Mystery Tour would begin.

Well the drive was fine, the roads were fine and the extra traffic I anticipated was non-existent and so I arrived at 11 30 am, with time to kill. The hotel seemed good and I got my first real taste of a‘scouse’ accent from the female hotel receptionist. I was too early to check in to the room and she said there was no sign of four American birds, sorry ladies, yet, so I parked up at the nearby Liner Hotel (£6 for 24 hours for non-residents) put a few things in a flight bag, checked out the rolling skies and decided to ‘bundle up’ not really knowing whether the ‘plan’ would come together and I would be out in the howling gales and heavy rain that was promised later. In fact, what I was wearing were two ‘vests’, a‘Baltimore Ravens’ T-shirt, a thick (and I mean thick!) woollen jacket, topped off with a hooded sleeveless jacket. I was 20 pounds heavier than my body weight and looked like a man in serious need of a diet.

I paid the Liner Hotel receptionist my £6, signed the book with name, address and car registration number, asked how long I had to park before getting out (24 hours) and strolled off, anticipating returning later that afternoon to check in properly at the Lord Nelson and unpack the rest of my clothes from the trunk of the car.

Little did I know.

Liverpool was blood red by then. Everywhere I went I saw red, T-shirts were red, scarves were red, bags were red, hats were red, faces were red, everything was doused in red. Maybe some of the redness in their faces was due to the freshening breeze that was blowing off the Mersey. Liverpool fans were everywhere, like the red diamond and hearts sections of a pack of playing cards scattered after a game of poker, men, women and children were littered all around the Royal Nelson Hotel, queuing for taxi’s, hopping on to buses or walking to where they would worship their Gods of choice at their own sacred Temple, Anfield Football Stadium. There was an atmosphere about the place, excitement, anticipation. I felt it too.

The road drifted downwards from the Royal Nelson past the Railway Station, Lime Street, which features in the song that John Lennon’s mum Julia, introduced to John and which is about a Liverpool whore,“Maggie May” and which mentions Lime Street in the chorus. The song is a traditional Liverpool seaman’s song and makes up part of the soundtrack to the film “Nowhere Boy”, about, at least mainly about John Lennon’s teenage years, pre-Beatles.

The road opened up in front of me and a big Beatles guitar chord hit me.

“CHAAAAANG!!”

16 Corinthian columns stared me in the face, flanking the side of a huge Greek neoclassical building. I had never been here, but somehow I knew this place. Of course, I know what this is, this is where the opening scene from ‘Nowhere Boy’ was shot, mimicking the opening scene from the Beatles film, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and that opening chord is from the song of the same name. In ‘Nowhere Boy’ a young Lennon is seen running through the colonnades accompanied by the scream of invisible adoring girl fans, but then he wakes up, he’s in a dream, only its more like a premonition.

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