I think I might mention it in one of my Bio entries, but I come from Liverpool, the same place 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 Scouse accent, but that’s about it. In truth, as a teenager, 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, and many of us feel that particular music is directed at us, personally. If anything, my main love of music was Bob Marley, who sparked my love of reggae and of UK reggae bands such as Aswad. I still love that 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 10 or 12 Arnold Grove. This would have been during the Forties and Fifties, 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 Hunts Cross (so, if anything, this is more of my mum’s connection than mine) . This was near to Harrison’s “new” home is Speke (though this was now the Eighties, when he’d long-since gone), and also not far from one of his later homes in Halewood. It was also not far from Menlove Avenue (Lennon’s aunt’s home) from Forthlin Road (Paul McCartney’s childhood home and a street I had to walk past in order to sign on during the summer!), walkable to Strawberry Field and to St Peter’s Church in Woolton. These places are all quite close to each other in south Liverpool. I walked past them all when I went back to Liverpool as a student – I had the time to walk places and besides, couldn’t afford much 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.