Saturday, 15 October 2011

Mersey paradise

Far have I travelled and much have I seen.

Those aren't my words. Those are the words of Sir Paul McCartney who, as regular readers will know, is something of a second father figure to me.

Two questions.

1. Where have I travelled?
To Liverpool, the birthplace of Sir Paul. (I don't just throw these things together. Well, I do, but it's more of a half-arsed underarm lob.) Not recently, of course. You should know how this works by now. Two weeks ago.

(Generally, 'going forward' – as people I instantly dislike are wont to say – assume that anything I talk about here happened at least two weeks ago.)

2. What have I seen?

a) I have seen the Beatles-themed hotel – although only from the outside, which, honestly, was enough. The exterior features some of the most unfortunate rock 'n' roll effigies I have seen since the days of the 'Rock Circus' waxworks at Piccadilly Circus, where a figure who may or may not have been conceived as David Bowie would wave a mute coo-ee from a flaking plaster balcony at a figure lurching out of a neighbouring window, who probably looked a little bit like Jimi Hendrix in a dim light.

Considering that the Beatles are about the best known band ever, it's amazing how many artists and craftsmen seem to have absolutely no idea what they look like. Ringo, in particular, seems badly served. Of course, when performing, his head must often have been obscured by a cymbal, but I think there are enough photos of him leaping high-spiritedly off walls and larking around with Cilla Black to ensure there's no need for him to be depicted on plates, ashtrays and keyrings as a cross between some kind of melted Gary Lineker and an Afghan hound.

We didn't stay at the Beatles-themed hotel. We stayed elsewhere, in a room which seemed be channelling another strand of Liverpool's cultural iconography. With its wave-motif headboard and the aquatic colour scheme, it took me back to the watery opening titles of
This Morning in the mid 90s. (This Morning, you will recall, being filmed at Liverpool's Albert Dock.)

Perhaps this was a room where Richard and Judy would retire once they were off-air, in an attempt to keep some magic in their live-together-work-together relationship, despite the grind of five live shows a week. Then, later, it was redecorated in their honour.

The headboard lights up, which may or may not be a tribute to the bedroom prowess of Richard Madeley.

Ta-da! (As I'm sure he was fond of saying to Judy at key moments.)

In other themed hotel-room news, here is a
Sound Of Music-styled room I once stayed in when I went to Salzburg to do the Sound Of Music tour. Really, they just got some poster paints and put a castle and some edelweiss on the walls. Still, I appreciated the effort.

b) I have seen written testimony that I share a birthday with The Cavern.

I'd like to point out that despite my tea-scones-and-a-sit-down mindset, I am SIGNIFICANTLY younger than the Cavern.

c) I have seen many, many Beatles souvenirs. Here's one of my favourites…

…although I would only want to buy the apron if they threw in Sir Paul too.

I like to imagine this is how you might find Macca if you were ever invited to a barbecue at his house (a scenario I fantasise about frequently). Macca would be holding court on the patio, wielding the barbecue tongs, asking if anyone wanted to try one of his spicy Let It Bean burgers or a Mean Mr Mustard-Marinated Pork-Substitute Kebab.

I'm a bit disappointed I didn't score a wedding invitation, if I'm honest.


The Damaged Cuckoo said...

I totally understand the instant resentment of individuals using the phrase 'moving forward'. In my experience it is often substituted for anything worth saying. I am also disappointed at not getting an invite to the wedding as I am particularly partial to bubbly.

Anonymous said...

Fab, gear etc.
Much love,
Sir Paul