My big, long hiatus is over. My family has come and gone, and we went on about a million adventures along the way. So now I will tell you about them.
This is the gateway to Strawberry Fields.
Let’s go through it together, into the wonderful world of the Beatles.
My personal opinion is that whether you like their music or not, if you like rock or pop music in any degree, you should respect the Beatles. Without them, everything we know about popular music wouldn’t exist. Sure, someone else could’ve come along and changed the world, and someone else probably would’ve eventually. These four lads just happened to be the luckily and insanely talented ones who pulled it off.
On the Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool, they drive you around to the houses where the Beatles lived,
(George’s childhood home, 12 Arnold Grove)
the site where John and Paul met and the world changed forever,
(this church, at a barbecue)
where they went to school,
Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane.
(where there is a barber shop, and a bank where the banker never wore is rain coat. Also a Sgt. Pepper’s bandstand).
We ended at The Cavern Club, where the Beatles had played 292 times by 1963. It’s here that Brian Epstein discovered them.
But what I loved best about the tour was hearing how the Beatles started out…
They were teenagers. And John had this drive, this need to create music. He formed a skiffle band. Skiffle was a popular kind of music in Britain at the time, kind of a jug-band bluegrass music, washboard and all. John could hardly play the guitar – he’d first played banjo and switched to guitar without really knowing what he was doing. Along came Paul, a musical genius with real training, who had a good friend George who was a guitar wizard. Their first drummer was Pete Best, who didn’t want to get the mop-top haircut with them. In 1962 they replaced him with Ringo, who was the most easy-going one of them all, who’d been playing drums almost his whole life and just wanted to make music.
I found it interesting that it was Germany that changed everything for them. They went to Hamburg to play, and the Germans became obsessed with them (and gave them the mop-top haircuts). They played as a back-up band, and that track became highly sought after in Britain. That’s when Brian Epstein decided he needed to check them out.
Brian was just the manager of a record store. John, Paul, George, and Ringo were just teenagers wanting to make music.
I sincerely believe that when things need to happen in the world, forces start in motion to make those things happen. Inspiration will strike the right people. The perfect people will cross each others’ paths. That’s exactly what happened in Liverpool.
In only a decade of working together, the Beatles wrote over 200 songs, made films, toured, and changed the face of music forever.
This is Paul McCartney’s childhood home, where over 100 songs were written by John and Paul. The window above the door was Paul’s bedroom.
They wrote about things they loved – home, music, their mothers – Eleanor Rigby was a real person. Strawberry Fields was a beloved play place for John as a child. Penny Lane was a street near all of their homes. Julia was John’s mother, Mother Mary of “Let It Be” was Paul’s.
What they wrote about was real for them. They may have disguised it with veiled lyrics and clever turn-of-phrase, but it was true, and deep in their hearts. And as such, it has sunk deep into millions of other hearts and touched lives for fifty years and counting.
In the Beatles Story museum, there is an exhibit about Elvis Presley’s influence on the Beatles. What I gathered from that is this: Elvis was the Christopher Columbus of popular music. He discovered new territory. The Beatles were the pilgrims. They came to the new territory, not to make money and leave, like many others did, but to stay and make the new territory strong and powerful.
What they did can never be done again. Today we are saturated by media. You can get any group’s music from anywhere in the world as often as you want. The Beatles came at exactly the right turning point, and they made the point turn. If you love music at all, I highly recommend making a pilgrimage to Liverpool. Take the Magical Mystery Tour. Go see The Beatles Story. Revel in awe of these visionary musicians. Witness for yourself how the world changes.