Our first stop after a solid week of sea days landed us in Beatleland, or Liverpool if you prefer. It’s not difficult to realize that the Beatles experience is the primary attraction here. Stepping off the cruise boat, a walk to the right along the Mersey River and my wife and I arrived at the tourist friendly, “Beatles Story Museum.” Deciding to skip this show of tour bus madness, we alternatively headed downtown to Matthew Street, where it all began for the Fab. Four.
Descending down steep stairs to the basement of the dark and dingy Cavern Club, we became immersed in authentic, Beatle history. Picture the blue shaded glasses of John Lennon and old guitars interspersed with famous concert photos taken of the Fab Four in these early, rock and roll times. Feel the cool vibe of memorable performances in this renowned venue like the Who, the Yardbirds, and Paul McCartney’s brother, who played regular “gigs” into the late night there.
Further along Matthew Street, we gazed with interest at the famous Music Wall where early British rock figures are memorialized in red brick partitions. Beatles memory shops lined the street to allow us ample time to purchase our obligatory souvenirs of the late 1960s era. Paying our respects to the John Lennon and Eleanor Rigby statue, we ended our return down Beatles memory lane in Liverpool. Returning to the cruise terminal, we admired surrounding yachts and tugboats painted in full psychedelic display. I regret that we lacked the time to venture out into the Liverpool suburbs to view the real Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. Interestingly, cruising on our vessel today would be Pete Best, the original drummer of the Beatles. This mystery celebrity would talk live on board about his memories of crazed, 1960s Beatlemania.
Returning to Liverpool today was nostalgically memorable. Twenty five years ago, my wife and I attended a live concert in Liverpool with Paul McCartney and Wings. We stood for the entire concert screaming among throngs of Beatle lovers that day. Liverpool remains a very hip place to appreciate that time when five, unknown musicians- Paul, John, George, Ringo, and Pete began a legacy to become the greatest rock and roll band of all time.