This week it’s the anniversary of one of the last visits that The Beatles made to their home town – an exciting moment at the height of ‘Beatlemania’ that you can relive in our gallery, as Paul Gallagher, Acting Senior Curator of Urban History at the Museum of Liverpool, explains:
“It was 50 years ago, on 10 July 1964, that the Beatles swept into Liverpool for the northern premiere of their groundbreaking film A Hard Day’s Night.
What a homecoming it was too. John, Paul, George and Ringo flew into Speke Airport and were met by more than 3000 screaming local fans. They were then whisked off in a police motorcade to a civic reception at Liverpool Town Hall, with an estimated 200,000 people – roughly a quarter of the city’s population – lining the route.
Later that night they attended the premiere at the Odeon cinema on London Road. For many, it would be the last time they saw the Fab Four in their hometown. Their final show in the city was at the Liverpool Empire on 5 December 1965.
We tell lots of Beatles stories in the Museum of Liverpool’s Wondrous Place gallery and display some fab material about A Hard Day’s Night too, including the programme and ticket for the original premiere in London four days earlier.
The film was written by Liverpudlian Alun Owen who really captured the character of the boys – their irreverence, warmth and surreal sense of humour – not to mention the madness that surrounded their every move. He received an Oscar nomination for his work and we hope to put a certificate of that on display very soon. In the meantime you can see the letter manager Brian Epstein sent to Alun inviting him to write the script.
Fashion and the Beatles went hand-in-hand. Remember their Pierre Cardin style collarless suits? They were made by tailor Douglas Millings with orders from the group to ‘not make us look like The Shadows!’ The suits became known as ‘Beatle’ suits and the Chelsea boots they wore became known as ‘Beatle’ boots. We display John and Ringo’s ‘Beatle’ suits and also Paul and George’s Chesterfield style velvet collar suits, made by Millings for the film A Hard Day’s Night. They also wore them when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and melted the hearts of the 73 million Americans who tuned in.
Our film, In The Town Where I Was Born, is a must-see for Beatle fanatics. My favourite section is the rapturous homecoming in 1964 and seeing the sheer joy and excitement on the faces of both fans and Beatles. The film highlights the huge part Liverpool played in their story. As Paul McCartney says, ‘You can take the boy out of Liverpool, but you can’t take Liverpool out of the boy’.”
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