I might have mentioned it in one of my Bio entries, but I come from Liverpool, the same city as the Beatles. I don’t make a big thing of it – I left at 18, I’m 51 now, so most of my life has been spent away from there. Keen listeners can detect a faint Liverpool accent, but that’s about it. In truth, as a teenager in the Eighties, Liverpool was a very depressed place, lots of unemployment, and I couldn’t wait to start living life elsewhere.
As well as coming from Liverpool, I also like the Beatles. Again, nothing special in that, who didn’t? Many Liverpudlians feel that particular music is directed at them, personally. If anything, my main love of music is Bob Marley and reggae, which I still love to this day.
But getting back to the Beatles, there is a vague family connection. When she was a child, my mum lived at 18 Arnold Grove, a small cobbled street of terrace houses in the suburb of Wavertree.
At the same time time, George Harrison lived at 12 Arnold Grove. This would have been during the Fifties, I guess, before the Harrisons moved to the new estate in Speke. My mum’s main memory was that Harrison’s mum hardly ever let him out to play! I later read that Harrison often used the pseudonym Arnold Grove in order to travel the world anonymously.
In later life, when I was around, my parents moved to the south-Liverpool suburb of Hunt’s Cross (so, if anything, this is more of my mum’s connection than mine) . This was near to Harrison’s “new” home in the new estate at Speke (though this was now the Eighties, Harrison was long gone), and also not far from another of his later homes in Mackets Lane, Halewood. It was also not far from Menlove Avenue (Lennon) or from Forthlin Road (McCartney). In fact, Forthlin Road was somewhere I had to walk past, in the days when students were able to claim unemployment benefit during the summer vacation. It was walkable to Strawberry Field and to St Peter’s Church in Woolton, where they all met. These places are all within a couple of miles of each other in south Liverpool. I walked past them all when I went back to Liverpool as a student – I walked everywhere when I went back to Liverpool as a student, I couldn’t afford any other transport.
I don’t pretend that these connections are in any way significant, they’re no stronger than anybody else from Liverpool. But certainly anybody growing up in Liverpool was taught that the Beatles were gods, so it is not surprising that I like their music. And George, especially.