28 Jun 2010

I wanna hold your ha-a-a-and….

Me outside the Beatles Museum

Me outside the Beatles Museum

Not a big Beatles fan, but how can anyone go to Liverpool and not be interested in finding out more about four of the most talented artists in history? I’m a little too young (or something) to be a huge fan, I missed out on all the fantastic changes that were going on at the same time that Beatlemania was hitting the UK and the US because I was not even ten years old yet, but I would under no circumstances want to have lived in the world of the 1950s, when women had to vacuum in tight dresses with pointy bras. Ok, maybe not “have to” but it was the image that was portrayed as desirable in the media. Thank you so much Beatles, hippies, and other noncoformists of the 1960s. And isn’t this sign just an ironic nod toward the fact that so many of you sold out and turned into yuppies in the 80s? The Beatles’ Story! Sponsored by Starbucks!

Beatles Museum Sign

Fab 4 Store, Sponsored by Starbucks!

So, why bother finding out about the Beatles? Because I’m interested in the stories of how artists get started, how they find and deal with success (and failure)…. I’m nosey, frankly. And I am willing to learn from even the most unlikely teachers. I wrote this in my journal the day after visiting the museum:

I was surprised to feel so inspired by the Beatles Story museum. I suppose I’ve always thought of the Beatles as an icon, rather than as a group of four individual artists. There was a quote with the same thought near the exit to the museum.

“We remembered that we were four separate individuals.” — George Harrison

Liverpool, UK Part 1 1

It was a response to another quote — on the opposite wall — about how the band had taken on a life of its own and eclipsed the individuals it comprised. It made me feel sad for several reasons:

1) I wasn’t in Liverpool then. As I said, I missed the 60s because I was a baby. I will never forgive the universe for that.

2) I felt the angst of the artists at the end of their careers.

3) I felt their struggles and excitement at the beginning of their careers and in the midst of their popularity.

I suppose for me the museum exposed the humanity of the four musicians who are usually viewed as contemporary legends. I still am not particularly in love with their music, but I am properly in love with their city and much more curious about their story. No, their stories. Stories that show how a few people can, under the right circumstances and with a lot of talent and luck, change the world.

In a way the Beatles’ museum was much more inspiring to me than the Bankfield museum, although I am personally more interested in Edith Durham and her travels in Albania. And that’s a good thing. I’m happy to be interested in little known people and esoteric subjects. What, after all, can be written, or even thought, about the Beatles that hasn’t been expressed hundreds of thousands of times already?

Hot flashes and noise kept me from wanting to spend more time in the museum, but I will definitely listen to the Beatles’ music in a different way, and on the way back to our hotel from the visit to Liverpool, I downloaded a book about the band.

Oh, we visited a couple of yarn shops and I bought some cotton/corn yarn from Rowan to make a pair of lace gloves. There is plenty of sheepy stuff in Liverpool too!

Liverpool, UK Part 1 2

Sheep Banana


Read part two of this article here.

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