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Meanwhile Back

The Beatles song about Penny Lane in Liverpool makes it sound quite urban but at the end where the famous street sign is it’s leafy. (That’s our tour bus parked at the side of the road):-

Penny Lane

Street name sign. (Not original. They keep getting nicked):-

Penny Lane sign

More leafiness but beginnng to get built-up:-

Penny Lane, Liverpool

Still more buildings:-

More of Penny Lane, Liverpool

Mostly residential but a few workplaces. Some of the workers wave at the tour bus:-

Penny Lane

There’s a barber shop in this one (but I didn’t see a banker waiting for a trim):-

Barber Shop, Penny Lane, Liverpool

End of Penny Lane. The white-painted building is the Penny Lane Hotel:-

Penny Lane Continuation, Liverpool

Not Penny Lane but instead the road where Paul McCartney was brought up. (The bus isn’t allowed to go along it as there’s no suitable turning place):-

McCartney's Road

The Beatles: Penny Lane

Let Me Take You Down ….

…. because I’ve been to Strawberry Fields. (Or more correctly it seems Strawberry Field.):-

Strawberry Fields, Liverpool

Behind these gates was apparently a children’s home and though Wikipedia has John Lennon climbing into the place to play with them the guide on the bus tour our friends had booked said he would play truant from his own school hoping to catch a glimpse of girls beyond the trees behind the gates.

The present gates are replicas:-

Strawberry Fields

When Lennon’s parents’ marriage fell apart he was taken in by his Aunt Mimi.

This is her house. They had a reasonably comfortable existence here you’d think:-

John Lennon's Aunt Mimi's House Liverpool

Note the notice on the gate post and the blue plaque on the house:-

Aunt Mimi's house

In Liverpool reminders of the Beatles are never far away. Sgt Pepper flower bed:-

Sergeant Pepper Flower Bed, Liverpool

Memorial plaque:-

Beatles Memorial Plaque

The Beatles: Strawberry Fields Forever

The Cavern Club, Liverpool

Opposite the Cavern Club, Liverpool, is a Wall of Fame:-

The Cavern Wall of Fame

The statue of a Beatle (John Lennon from the looks) lounges by the Wall of Fame, here accompanied by two tourists:-

Beatle Statue and Fans, Liverpool

Each brick has inscribed on it the name of an act which has performed at the Cavern Club. Wall of Fame plaque:-

Cavern Club Wall of Fame Plaque

Some of the commemorative bricks:-

Commemorative Bricks Oppsite Cavern Club, Liverpool

The internal walls of the club are covered by memorabilia. Not only of the Beatles:-

The Cavern

Beatles Memorabilia

Beatles Memorabilia

but also other rock and rollers:-

Chuck Berry Memorabilia

Not Friday on my Mind 51: Ride My Seesaw

Previously all my Moody Blues posts have been of Justin Hayward songs. Neither he nor the writer of this, John Lodge, were original members of the band when it had its number one hit Go Now but replaced Denny Laine and Clint Warwick after a subsequent lack of chart success led to that pair leaving the band.

It was the arrival of Lodge and Hayward though which coincided with a change of direction – to which they made a significant contribution.

This video is a clip from the BBC2 late night programme Colour Me Pop partly introduced to showcase the then new colour TV broadcasts. Note the psychedelic effects. The Moody Blues’ appearance on the show was on 14th September 1968. I either watched it at the time of its first broadcast or on a reasonably quick repeat. Despite doing nothing but singing (or miming) on the clip Ray Thomas still manages to give an extravagant performance.

Though this track was written by Lodge it is Hayward’s guitar solo and the group’s signature vocal sound which stand out. The song quickly became a staple of the group’s live shows, more or less the band’s signature tune.

The Moody Blues: Ride My Seesaw

Four Liverpool Lads

In my last “Art Deco in Liverpool” post I mentioned John Lennon.

He was of course one of the four Liverpool lads who were probably the town’s most famous export. (Export in the sense that their music went all over the world.)

I refer to The Beatles. A (larger than life size) statue of the four stands near the Liverpool waterfront:-

Four Liverpool Lads

It is difficult to move in Liverpool without stumbling over something to do with the four. This is the entrance to Matthew Street wherein lies the Cavern Club where they had a residency back in the day. (Note the establishment known as Sgt Pepper’s to the right):-

Matthew Street, Liverpool

The club is not the same as the one The Beatles used to play in. Part of the original no longer exists and the entrance has been moved. Below is the old Entrance to Cavern Club. The Cilla Black statue to the front commemorates her stint as a cloakroom attendant at the establishment:-

Old Entrance to Cavern Club, Liverpool

New entrance:-

The Cavern new entrance

Entering the venue proper requires going down a fairly steep set of stairs:-

The Cavern stairs

The arched interior is a little claustrophobic:-

Interior Arches, Cavern Club, Liverpool

I have more photos of the Cavern Club but this is enough to be going on with.

Live It Up 49: Steamy Windows – RIP Tony Joe White

I was sad to read of the passing of singer-songwriter Tony Joe White, who died last week. His was an idiosyncratic voice.

I have already noted his sole UK hit Groupy Girl. His greatest success was perhaps as a writer of songs made famous by others. Elvis Presley recorded Polk Salad Annie (I featured White’s version here.) Tina Turner had a big hit with Steamy Windows in 1989. White’s version is a bit less strident.

Tony Joe White: Steamy Windows

White’s breakthrough as a songwriter came with Rainy Night in Georgia which has been covered multiple times. His original is still quite soulful, though.

Tony Joe White: Rainy Night in Georgia

Tony Joe White: 23/7/1943 –24/10/2018. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 174: Born To Be Wild

One of those sixties songs that speak of their time, mainly due to the fact it was used in the film Easy Rider, from which the video here is an extract.

Steppenwolf: Born To Be Wild

Friday on my Mind 173: You Only Live Twice

After From Russia with Love we were treated to the big bashing of both Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones in Goldfinger and Thunderball respectively in subsequent Bond theme songs. By the time of You Only Live Twice things had been dialled down a bit. I must say I like the guitar counterpoint under the verses (mirroring the strings in the intro but extending the melody by a few notes.) Robbie Williams, of course, paid homage to this theme in his hit Millennium.

By the way. Is it heretical to be of the opinion that Nancy Sinatra was a better singer than her dad?

Nancy Sinatra: You Only Live Twice

Friday on my Mind 172: From Russia With Love

Reading the book (see my review, four or five posts ago) reminded me of this Bond theme song from the time when Bond theme songs weren’t a thing. It does, though, give me an opportunity once more to feature the vocal talents of Matt Monro.

The song itself is a perfect example of the songwriter’s craft. The slight change in the melody from line one to line two, the way the first verse’s lyrics circle back to the first phrase, the sequential rhyming of places and faces, then tongue-tied and young pride and the rise to the final note.

Matt Monro: From Russia With Love

Friday on my Mind 171: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – RIP Aretha Franklin

Another giant of 60s (and later) music has gone.

Aretha Franklin was undoubtedly the best purveyor of the branch of music she excelled in. Not for nothing was she known as the Queen of Soul.

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman wasn’t a hit in Britain. I’m not sure if it was ever released as one in the UK but her expression in this recording is the epitome of soul.

Aretha Franklin: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Her biggest solo hit in the UK in terms of chart placing was actually I Say a Little Prayer, in 1968:-

Aretha Franklin: I Say a Little Prayer

But only one word suffices to describe her achievements.

Respect.

Aretha Louise Franklin: 25/3/1942 – 16/8/2018. So it goes.

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