Coming To Take You Away

Marcus Cahill @ The Cavern

There are times when I need a break from reading racist filth and appalling journalism. The other day I booked myself on the Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool. I often see the bus trundling around town and many tourists have been on it but not me. It's that on-your-own-doorstep syndrome. We fly thousands of miles and take in the sights in the guide book and muse over local artifacts in the museums, but neglect our own cultural hotspots. For instance I once visited a Picasso exhibition in Weimar but didn't see some of his works when exhibited in Wirral.

So having visited the homes of Mozart (Salzburg), Beethoven (Bonn) and Nana Mouskouri (Ok I lied about that one but the first two weren't in when I turned up), I thought it right to see my lifetime heroes' patch. It's easy to get blase about The Beatles and Liverpool; even easier for some to sneer at nostalgia, but for me they are an integral part of this area. I was seven when I acquired a parental mono 45 copy of She Loves You/I'll Get You and played it to death. It still resonates now in super enhanced remastered stereo

The MMT begins at the Albert Dock and costs £13.95 (to rise to £14.95 in October 09). It seems to be more popular than ever and so booking in advance may be advisable. There are 2 tours per day at weekends. Further details can be found by clicking here.


The tour, on a replica of the coach in the film, visits the following places we remember:
  • Forthlin Road (McCartney's childhood home)
  • Menlove Avenue (Lennon's middle-class home)
  • The Empress Pub (On cover of Ringo's Sentimental Journey)
  • Strawberry Field
  • Penny Lane
  • Arnold Grove (Harrison's birthplace)
  • St. Peter's Church, Woolton
  • Sefton Park
  • Queens Drive (Epstein family home)
  • Liverpool City Centre
  • The Cavern, Mathew Street
Beatles fans will be aware of the historical significance of most of the places so there's no need for me to go over this.

The tour mentions a few other places of note and our guide, Neil (not Buster Bloodvessel) was so informative that even a Beatle anorak like me may have learned a thing or two. For one and three quarter hours our charabanc trundled around the outskirts of Liverpool, with almost every turning delivering a Beatle fact or link (if a little tenuous at times).

One particular anecdote involving matters of an intimate nature reminding me of the parochial adventures of the guide in Little Britain ('and it was behind that hedge that my charming wife Edna permitted me oral pleasure' type of thing).

The coach was mostly full but my pre-journey pint of Greene King IPA at the Pump House (the Baltic Fleet was closed) meant I joined the back of the queue. Being one of the few Britons on the bus - and almost certainly the only local - there is no excuse for taking a seat on the right-hand side. Blimey, man you do know we drive on the left so ipso Beatle facto, most of the sites of note will be on that side. Suffice to say this handicapped my happy snapping.

Now, this error of judgement would not be so severe if the coach stopped more. Unfortunately, there are only two scheduled leg-stretching opportunities - at George's Wavertree birthplace and at Paul's National Trust owned childhood home.

A separate tour can be booked for access to thoe homes of John and Paul and perhaps an alternative would be the taxi tour (£45 for 5 - see below).

We pulled up to Strawberry Field's freshly painted red gates but not for long; the road is long and winding, but also narrow. Similarly, we only glimpsed snatches of the Church Hall of St Peter's, where it all began, and didn't stop to imbibe at the isolated Empress.

Still, the tourists were able to peruse their newly purchased souvenir map (£3) and take in the break-neck patter of our guide, who, having starred in a Beatles film himself, only managed to plug this about six times.

One aspect of the tour was remarkable; to me at any rate. My cynical side might have thought that the children of Childwall to be bored stiff of seeing the coach passing as they left school. They still waved with enthusiasm (and not with the finger salutes the tabloids would make you expect) and perhaps this gives us an indication why we were recently voted 4th most friendliest in Europe. London, Manchester, Paris, who are yer?

The audio system crackled at times as Neil gave way to Fab classics. Was this a deliberate part of the 1967 experience, or have they not yet invested in the new remasters? No matter, the party of Beatlemaniacs - ranging in age from about 14 to about 60 - were busy singing or mouthing the words though. From Lonnie Donegan's skiffle through Dr Robert to I've Got A Feeling as we entered Lime Street. Anyone who hasn't mimed 'Everybody had a wet dream' in the company of strangers has never lived.

The brotherhood and sisterhood of man then embarked to take the compulsory snaps of John's Mathew Street statue and the new AHDN hotel, before earning a drink (Guinness £3) in The Cavern and a free postcard. Other recommendations would be The Grapes further down the road and (better for beer) The White Star round the corner. Both have good Beatles connections.

A Lennon tribute act then finished off the day with distinctive nasal style.

Speaking to one visitor (hello Gabriella from me to you) who had travelled solo from Spain, it was clear that a splendid time was guaranteed for all.


(As most were taken from the coach past people, please forgive. Promise to get better ones soon)

Let me take you down(stairs)

Wall of Fame (Gary Glitter and Jonathon King removed!)


"And the banker never wears a mac.."

20 Forthlin Road (Macca's abode)

20 Forthlin Road

"And that's an invitation..."

Menlove Avenue

Strawberry Field
12 Arnold Grove

"In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs"

"Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout
A pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray"


Anonymous said...

Realy sad get a life you clown.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

eric the fish said...

For those of you here who are new, the previous Anonymous moron is a Fascist, racist scum lad from Brighton. He calls me sad but he visits this site every day. He has obviously not done anything positive in his life ever. So who is the sad one?

Just crawl down the sewer with all the other worthless rats and floating turds.

Get a job! If your BNp Aryan super-race are so supreme, this should not be beyond you. Or maybe you'd have to wake up to the fact that immigrants are not taking your jobs because you're too thick/drunk/hateful to gain employment.

Anonymous said...

Eric you really must learn to take constructive criticism. People are sick of the phoney Beatles and the phoney Cavern Club and people like you making money by trying to create a culture that doesnt exist. You are worse than the Sun Newspaper promoting this usless crap. Now nearer to your home - get a real football team and get a life. Oh by the way I dont give two monkeys if 6,000,000 rainbow coloured immigrants set up a Swingers club in the Cow Shed you naughty old dogger. LMAO.

eric the fish said...

I see so your first comment consisting almost entirely of recurring Zs is constructive.

(Eric looks at his watch and sighs)

I do not make any money so there's another crap point lanced.

"get a real football team and get a life."

This is comedy gold.You've not been taking your medication boy!

We all look forward to your drunken rants next time.