Monday, 14 September 2009
Liverpool Convention finds
I'm finally coming around to something I promised you a week ago - a look at what I bought at the Liverpool Beatles Week this year. I'm not really someone who goes to Liverpool that particular week, I've only done it twice. I went there in 1996 as part of a Beatles trek with three friends, and I came back this year. I've been to Liverpool several times between those years, but I've tried to avoid the Beatles Week, which is the last week of August. Why? Because the city is crowded with Beatles fans, Beatles freaks, Beatles music, cover bands and it's total overkill. But I wanted to go to see the Pete Best Band playing live at the Casbah Club for the 50th anniversary of the venue, and that occurred in the midst of that week-end. So, since I was in town anyway, I did also attend the convention at the Adelphi for a couple of hours the following day, Sunday.
As we landed at the airport, we were met by a Norwegian friend who had been there since tuesday, and he greeted me with a copy of Liverpool's own music paper "Mersey Beat", which was included with the Liverpool's daily newspaper, the Liverpool Echo. As fans of the Beatles, I'm sure you know about this newspaper "Mersey Beat", which had a big impact on the Liverpool music scene in the early sixties. John Lennon used to have his own column there, Brian Epstein was reviewing records and selling the paper from his NEMS music stores, and I think the paper closed down some time around 1966. Some times the original editor Bill Harry gets to release a special issue of the magazine, and I think this was the second time in 2009 that the paper was a freebie with Liverpool Echo.
The first thing I did after entering the Adelphi that Sunday, was to have a look around at the various vendor's stalls, and this photo was the first thing that caught my eye:
The unedited Sgt Pepper cover photo, before they painted over Gandhi's face. It was a steal at only £2 and it's now hanging on the wall in my Beatles room (every Beatles fan has one, right?).
Secondly, I always pick up the current issue of The British Beatles Fan Club magazine, whenever I'm in England, so I got my latest copy of that one.
I'm a relatively poor guy, so I'm never spending a lot of money on anything - I guess that's one of the reasons I don't do these conventions - it's frustrating to see all the goodies I can't afford! And some of the nicer items I would just like to own are the original tour programmes. This time I lucked out and found a vendor who was selling replicas of the Australian tour programme for just a few pounds. The programme was reprinted in 2004 for the 40th anniversary of that particular tour.
The same vendor was also selling a £2 tear-out poster book with some nice photos, so I got that one, too.
One thing I didn't get around to see when I was in Liverpool, was an exhibition of some of Tom Murray's "mad day out" photos, but I was able to buy the exhibition catalogue.
At one stall which was selling photos, I was amazed to find my own colourised version of the Beatles at the Indra Club! I told the vendor that it was me who had done the colourisation, and he then proceeded to ask me for my autograph on the back!
Here's the story of that photo.
The day before the convention, I actually bought a copy of another photo taken on that same occasion, and with Pete Best's autograph.
Early sixties maverick promoter Sam Leach had a stall at the convention, where he sold his new DVD together with some copies of old photos, which he personally signed. I didn't bother him, because I had already paid him a visit at the Grapes pub the day before.
The Quarrymen at the Casbah Club, signed by Sam Leach
Sam is also coming to Norway later this month, for the Beatles week-end in Drammen, which I won't be able to attend.
Something else I did, was of course to see a couple of exhibitions that were going on while I was in Liverpool. One of these were put together by fans of George Harrison, and was appropriately held in St George's Hall. It was an amazing collection of memorabilia, and unfortunately it had to close, following a theft.
Another exhibition was Julian and Cynthia Lennon's "White Feather" event, where some of John Lennon's personal belongings were on display.
The "White Feather" exhibition was held at the new Mersey ferry terminal, and we were also treated to another little event there, an animated adventure in 4D featuring Beatles songs. It was a fun thing, and I recommend it especially for those travelling with kids. Unfortunately, the Beatles songs featured were cover versions, but it was still a bit of harmless fun.
The final thing I wanted to show you was something I had been looking for for a long time, a Beatles duvet for my bed! I finally found it, in the gift shop over at the A Hard Day's Night hotel.
After returning home, I looked it up at Amazon, and here's an advert for it - in case you're tempted!