28 October 2016
Personalities featured on the album cover of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, are displayed in the restaurant at the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool. Photo: EJ Insight
Personalities featured on the album cover of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, are displayed in the restaurant at the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool. Photo: EJ Insight

The Beatles: 4 Liverpool boys who became a global legend

Few musicians or bands can rival the Beatles, the best-selling band in entertainment history.

Even today, there is no mistaking how influential their music has been on a global scale and how much their songs are loved by fans all over the world.

In fact, it has been said that Beatles music triggered the rise of Cantopop and the setting up of local bands in Hong Kong, including the iconic Wynners, who made their name performing English-language songs in the 1970s.

In Liverpool, the Beatles’ hometown, one can trace and reflect on the rise of this unparalleled pop music legend, from its modest beginnings at 20 Forthlin Road, Paul McCartney’s childhood home, where the band composed and rehearsed its first songs, including the well-known hit I Saw Her Standing There.

In Woolton, St. Peter’s Church, where McCartney and John Lennon first met, has become a historic landmark. Then there are the places that inspired the Fab Four’s songs.

For example, the song Penny Lane recalls a bus terminus in Liverpool familiar to Lennon and McCartney (and where the street signs bearing the name Penny Lane have become frequent targets of tourist theft).

Another song, Strawberry Fields Forever, refers to the Salvation Army children’s home in Woolton that Lennon used to frequent with his childhood friends.

Back in 1957, who would have imagined that the young lad who stepped into Frank Hessy’s music shop in Stanley Street in Liverpool and bought a guitar for 17 pounds, would go on to change the world with his music?

Diehard fans must visit The Beatles Story at the UNESCO heritage site Albert Dock.

The museum tells the story of the band members and their musical careers and displays a variety of Beatles memorabilia, costumes and photographs.

In the museum, rare images of the band taken by British cinematographer Paul Berliff are also displayed.

Near the Cavern Club in Mathew Street, where the Beatles used to perform regularly in their early days (the band was paid three pounds for each of its earliest gigs), a hotel has been named after one of their greatest hits.

The Hard Days Night Hotel features Beatles-inspired artworks, including an impressive backdrop of Beatles images along the spiral staircase that tells the band’s story, from its humble beginnings gigging at the Cavern Club to ultimate rock stardom.

Inside the hotel’s restaurant, one can see a floor-to-ceiling display featuring the portraits of personalities that appeared on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

On a wall in the hotel is the music score of Yesterday autographed by McCartney and producer George Martin.

Yesterday is the most covered pop song in history, with several thousand versions recorded, and was performed more than seven million times in the 20th century.

This month, Julia Baird, Lennon’s sister, unveiled a new bronze statue of the Fab Four at Pier Head, Liverpool.

Donated by the Cavern Club, it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ last concert played in their hometown, at the Liverpool Empire theater.

Time flies, but the legend lives on.

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A replica of Frank Hessy’s music shop in The Beatles Story museum. Photo: EJ Insight

The Yellow Submarine display at The Beatles Story museum (left). The music score of Yesterday, signed by Paul McCartney and George Martin, hangs on a wall at the Hard Days Night Hotel. Photo: EJ Insight

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