The Beatles began a triumphal procession in Liverpool

For Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday
Beatlemania on the Mersey

Liverpool is famous for being different from other big British cities. From here, Paul, John, George and Ringo started their triumphant procession and changed music and youth culture.

Every morning at 10 am a brightly painted bus starts off. The same trip five times a day, always full of guests aged 16-76. You are guests on the “Magical Mystery Tour”, a journey back in time following the trail of the city’s most famous sons. Even buses are on the agenda: rainbow colors, bright paint, snappy sayings from the Beatles’ inexhaustible textual repertoire.

Liverpool is considered the most fashionable metropolis in England. The Beatles are a big part of that. Those who visit the city on the River Mersey always come for this reason. It beats everywhere. The Magical Mystery Tour begins at Albert Dock, Liverpool’s restored historic harbor. Those who like more privacy can take a similar tour in their own Fab Four taxi. Driver Ross Grant is a tomboy expert on everything Beatles related. For example, when it comes to the four bronze Fab Four statues at Pier Head. Everyone has a little personal secret; Ross knows and explains all of them. Not the Beatles tourist who doesn’t take a selfie here.

2022 is the year of Beatlemania’s anniversaries: the legendary Liverpool Cavern Club turns 65, a springboard to the Fab Four’s world career. And on June 18, Paul McCartney, the last remaining Beatles founder, celebrates his 80th birthday.

The Magical Mystery Tour continues. A colorful bus travels to one of the highlights of each tour: Penny Lane. Ross driver smirks. “Since the Beatles issued the title in 1967, hundreds of road signs have been removed and taken as souvenirs.” Today they are anchored to the wall to prevent them from being stolen. Penny Lane, then Strawberry Field – McCartney and Lennon grew up in all the streets and places, rode the bus to school every day, spent their free time strumming the guitar and hanging out with girls. Many of the Beatles’ songs are about childhood memories in Liverpool, describing their feelings and stories.

Next stop: Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. This is where Paul McCartney went to school. John Lennon and his first wife Cynthia studied art here. McCartney bought the dilapidated building in 1996 and turned it into a prestigious art academy. Ross Grant, the insider, conjures up a ‘special story’ out of his hat: ‘One day I was standing here with an elderly couple of Germans. Suddenly one of the windows opens and you can see Paul McCartney. A woman runs to the window and screams: Paul, Paul, Paul! He leans out and asks her in German where she is from. The woman starts crying. “

    On the Magical Mystery Tour, a colorfully painted coach will also take you through Strawberry Fields.

On the Magical Mystery Tour, a colorfully painted coach will also take you through Strawberry Fields.
Photo Michał Marek

20 Forthlin Road – 1950s terraced house: red brick, sixty square meters, bathroom, tiny garden. Most fans on the Magical Mystery Bus Tour only glance at where Paul McCartney spent seven years of his youth on the street. Like John Lennon’s childhood home, it is owned by the National Trust, a donation-funded heritage conservation organization. It is a celebration of McCartney’s 80th anniversary with numerous musical events.

Hundreds of thousands made the annual pilgrimage here prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. They will soon ruin the structure and equipment if allowed to enter it. Visits should therefore be booked well in advance. Only then does the garden gate open and the manager, Sylvia Hall, greets a small group of exclusive guests.

Various wallpapers catch your eye in the living room. McCartney’s parents bought cheap scraps which they then glued together. On the right, a false chimney, between the worn couches. There is a piano on the left. Father Jim was considered a good pianist in swing and ragtime songs, he didn’t like rock’n’roll. Paweł initially accompanied him on the trumpet. Only later did he get his first guitar. Paul’s voice is heard on the tape as he talks about his time on the Forthlin Road.

Visitors are strictly forbidden to take pictures at McCartney’s home. Visitors’ smartphones are collected from time to time. A mystery that encourages the mystery of the Beatles. It’s hard to understand. Because everyday life of the McCartney was rather banal. Nevertheless, many Beatles hits were made in this house. The first was “Love Me Do” in 1957. Then “One after 909” and 1963 “She Loves You” – maybe 100 songs or so, Ross suspects.

The final stop on the Magical Mystery Tour is the Cavern Club on Mathew Street. From 1961 to 1963, the Beatles performed almost 300 times at the basement club, then manager Brian Epstein arranged for them to tour the US. It became her great breakthrough. A brown Lennon leans against the opposite wall. And you think you can see a mocking smile in the corners of his mouth as people from all over the world disappear into the catacombs every Saturday night for Saturday with Cavern Club Beatles. Then a perfectly styled cover band plays their repertoire up and down.

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