It’s hard to believe that there has never been a traditional permanent statue of The Beatles erected – until now! The new statue of The Fab Four was unveiled on Friday, December 4, 2015 at Liverpool’s Pier Head.
The bronze statue depicting all four Beatles in suits, topcoats and Beatle boots, circa 1963 reminiscent of their Live at the BBC album cover photo, was unveiled by John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird, and Liverpool Deputy Mayor Ann O’Byrne. According to The Liverpool Echo, the statue weighs approximately 1.3 tons and was sculpted by artist Andrew Edwards.
The faces look extremely lifelike and the statues are a few feet taller than the real thing, causing most people to reach only the shoulder height of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr for photo purposes. John and Paul are placed slightly ahead of George and Ringo as they appear to be walking down the street together. The statue was presented to the city by the Merseybeat venue the Beatles helped to make famous, The Cavern Club.
The statue unveiling marks 50 years since The Beatles final show in Liverpool at the Empire Theatre on December 5, 1965. Sculptor Andy Edwards told the BBC that he hopes his statue will become “a place of ritual” for people to come together.
“The statue stands in loving memory of the best band in the world – the band that leapt from The Cavern stage to worldwide recognition,” Julia Baird said.
See a slideshow of the new Beatles statue from every angle
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Everything you ever wanted to know about John Lennon’s historic visit to the island of Bermuda during the Summer of 1980 is documented in the new book, “Lennon Bermuda” by Scott Neil. The striking illustration of Lennon on the cover is an example of the quality material you will find inside the book. The 120-page paperback is beautifully illustrated by Graham Foster, the artist and sculptor who designed the “Double Fantasy” sculpture unveiled in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens in June 2012 as a tribute to John Lennon.
[See photos of the “Double Fantasy” sculpture in Bermuda]
What “Lennon Bermuda” lacks in photographs, it makes up for in vividly-detailed descriptions and interviews with people who met and interacted with John Lennon during his visit. Author Scott Neil takes the reader on the journey with Lennon so that you feel that you are there with him from start to finish. Neil interviewed people who encountered Lennon every step of the way on his trip: from his small crew on the 43-foot Megan Jaye sailboat, to the realtor who found John a place to stay on the island, to local journalists who met Lennon while hanging out one night at the disco.
Bermuda represents such a significant time in John Lennon’s life since many songs on his last album, Double Fantasy, were written or completed during his two-month stay there. The name of the album was even influenced by Lennon’s trip when he saw the Double Fantasy freesia flower in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens.
With Yoko Ono’s cooperation, a most touching photo of John and Sean Lennon in Bermuda is featured in the book. John had the photo taken for a painting he commissioned in Bermuda so that he could present the painting to Yoko. The painting now hangs in the Dakota.
If you are interested in delving into these fascinating two months of John Lennon’s life, “Lennon Bermuda” is a treasure. The book is available separately or as part of a box set that comes with a 2-disc CD featuring musicians from Bermuda and around the world singing Lennon’s songs. The “Lennon Bermuda” book and limited edition box set are available at www.doublefantasybermuda.com
Marketing research data shows that the Olympics can increase tourism for up to 10 years for the host city following the event, as it did in Sydney, Australia following the 2000 games. This “legacy” effect is projected to be felt in the UK for the post-Olympic games period, especially from 2013-2017.
In addition to the Olympics, The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool is anticipating increased attendance beginning in 2012 due to 50th anniversary celebrations of The Beatles. On April 4, 2012, Camilla, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, visited The Beatles Story in Liverpool to unveil a special plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Beatles.
Have you made your pilgrimage to the Beatles’ Liverpool yet? Take your own virtual magical mystery tour by clicking here to see a great slideshow of famous Beatles sites in Liverpool featuring Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, The Beatles’ childhood homes and more!
August 8, 1969 – an important day to Beatles fans around the world. It was the day that the photo shoot for the famous Abbey Road cover took place. The photographer was Iain MacMillan, the setting was in front of Abbey Road Studios in London, and the subjects were John, Paul, George and Ringo.
As simple a cover as it was, the visual image has left an indelible mark on Beatles fans from generation to generation, with thousands visiting the site every year. Fans gather in front of Abbey Road Studios waiting to make their way across the Abbey Road crosswalk made famous by The Fab Four.
“The Beatles, we always sat around the studio with these big ideas… we’re going to do the cover and we’re going to go to Egypt, or we’re going into some volcano. We’re going to do this big thing, and then, ‘Oh, sod it, let’s just walk across the road.’ And that’s what we did!*“We always came up with these big ideas — get in a plane, pack a bag… oh, God, let’s just walk over there. And it’s like, ‘Oh, look at what they thought of.'”
German photographer, Astrid Kirchherr, was the first photographer to take professional quality photos of the Beatles. Her famous black and white portraits taken in Hamburg in the early 1960s show The Beatles dressed in leather jackets and pants–quite different from the Edwardian suits they wore when they became famous. Over 70 images covering Astrid’s career from 1960 until she ultimately abandoned photography in 1967 are on display at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Liverpool in an exhibit which opened today.
“Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective” contains a wide range of images from the early days when Astrid first met the Beatles in Hamburg to her involvement photographing The Beatles on the set of “A Hard Day’s Night” in 1964 for STERN magazine which brought her back to Liverpool.
Astrid first became aware of The Beatles through her friend, artist Klaus Voormann. Voormann discovered the Beatles when they were playing at the Kaiserkeller club in Hamburg, Germany in 1960. He immediately brought Astrid to hear the Beatles play. Astrid, Klaus, and another photographer, Jurgen Vollmer formed a tight-knit friendship with the Beatles during the time they spent in Hamburg.
In 1960, Astrid convinced The Beatles to pose for photographs at an old fairground in Hamburg which shows The Beatles dressed like “Teddy boys” sporting leather jackets, leather pants, and slicked-back Elvis-style haircuts. Later on, she did studio-style portraits of them.
“They trusted me, and that is the most important thing for a photographer if you take portraits of people,” Astrid told Daytrippin’ Magazine in an exclusive interview. “If they don’t trust you, then you can forget it.”
In 1964, Astrid, accompanied by another photographer, Max Scheler, was granted special access to photograph The Beatles on the set of “A Hard Day’s Night” in London. She also visited Liverpool and took many photos of The Beatles’ hometown. These photos appeared in the book “Yesterday: The Beatles Once Upon A time.”
For the avid Beatle fan, this new exhibit offers some previously unpublished images of the Beatles, some well-known images of the Beatles in their original format and some rare images of the Beatles holidaying in Tenerife. It also includes portraits of key individuals from the period, including Rory Storm, Gibson Kemp and Klaus Voorman, according to a museum press release.
This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated exhibition catalog called “Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective” published by Liverpool University Press. This book, available for purchase on Amazon, also contains a series of in-depth interviews with Astrid, Gibson Kemp, Ulf Krüger and Klaus Voorman by Colin Fallows.
“Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective” runs through January 29, 2011. Admission is free. The Victoria Gallery & Museum is located at the University of Liverpool, Ashton Street, Liverpool L69 3DR. For more information, visit http://www.liv.ac.uk/vgm/
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(from Press Release)
Opening on June 17, 2009 in Liverpool, the world famous Beatles Story gives visitors the opportunity to experience a unique personal narration of life with John Lennon – by his son Julian, and Julian’s mother, Cynthia, with the opening of “White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon.”
(Photo © Mark McNulty)
Beginning in Merseyside with the meeting at art college of John and Cynthia, it follows the journey from their clandestine marriage and the birth of Julian, both of which coincide with the sharply increasing trajectory of the band’s fame and fortune. The exhibition culminates in the story of Cynthia and John’s separation and divorce, giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the personal journey of a normal family’s struggle to cope with the effects of fame thrown upon them; particularly relevant in today’s celebrity conscious society.
John Lennon’s Help! cape
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)
Nothing demonstrates this more acutely than the title of the exhibition, ”White Feather”. During a tender moment when Julian was a child, John first spoke to him about the white feather.
As Julian explains: ”The white feather is so prevalent in my life. One thing for sure is that it’s always represented peace to me. And one of the things my father said to me was that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be ok, or that we were all going to be ok, it was by in some way, shape or form presenting me with a white feather.”
Then, around ten years ago while Julian was on tour in Australia, a group of Aborigines presented him with a white feather, asking him to be the voice for their plight. It was a breathtaking and inspirational moment for Julian. This episode motivated Julian to set up The White Feather Foundation, a charity that embraces environmental and humanitarian issues and helps to raise funds to improve the life of others.
Julian Lennon says: ”John Lennon is an idol to millions of people who grew up loving his music and ideals, but to me he is the father I loved and lost. I hope this exhibition lets people see another aspect of his life and our time together as a family. This collection represents something of great importance to us as it is part of our history.”
Postcard from Julian to John
(Courtesy of Cynthia Lennon Collection)
“Rather than have everything locked up in storage in a safe packed away for no one to see I felt it would be better to be outside, especially in this city, the city of Liverpool for the fans to see,” Julian said.
He also spoke emotionally about how the personal possessions have been brought back into family ownership: “Slowly but surely I have been gathering things. Nothing was passed down to me after Dad passed. The only way I could actually regain any of my dad’s belongings, or the Beatles work, was to go out and buy them myself. I felt that not only for my sake but also if I have a family of my own, whether it’s in their personal possession or at an exhibition like this, they have a chance to see their family history”.
“White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon”, takes place at the recently expanded world famous Beatles Story within the new Mersey Ferries terminal building on Liverpool’s renowned waterfront before touring worldwide.
John Lennon’s Afghan coat
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)
Electric guitar with inscribed plaque reading
‘To Julian from Daddy Christmas 1973’
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)
• John Lennon’s Afghan coat
• John Lennon’s Help! cape
• *Paul McCartney’s recording notes for Hey Jude
• John Lennon’s Honda ‘monkey bike’ motorbike
• Electric guitar with inscribed plaque reading ‘To Julian from Daddy Christmas 1973’
Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, which owns the Beatles Story, says: “This is a story about a family; but it is also a story of global significance and one that opens up the lives of John, Cynthia and Julian in a way never seen before. We are in the business of creating the world’s number one Beatles experience at the Beatles Story and to have this exclusive on our doorstep – John’s home town – is a privilege.”
White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon is presented by The White Feather Foundation charity. The White Feather Foundation is currently being set up by Julian Lennon.
The White Feather exhibit runs from June 17 to December 31, 2009