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The reptiles that rocked REM

12 April 2012 by Lucy

As World Museum’sAge of the Dinosaur exhibition draws to a close on 15 April music fan Dickie Felton looks at one rock group’s prehistoric obsession.


Photograph of Dickie Felton and Michael Stipe

Dickie Felton pictured with REM’s Michael Stipe in Dublin September 2001

REM, one of the world’s first big alternative rock bands, had a craze for plastic dinosaurs. The figures began to appear mysteriously in the 1980s; invading amplifiers and stages around the globe.

When REM first formed honorary band members included a tiny T-Rex and a Triceratops. They even sat in on recording sessions for three decades until 2011 when the band decided to call it a day.
Plastic dinos would go on world tours and pop up on speakers and instruments. In the 1996 song “Wake-Up Bomb” singer Michael Stipe sang about practising his “T-Rex moves and make the scene.”  It wasn’t that Stipe was a secret palaeontologist. It was more to do with creature comforts than a deep rooted fascination. Read more…

The Irish Connection

16 March 2012 by Lucy

Tomorrow is one of my favourite days of the year (except for Christmas and Derby Day). It’s St Patrick’s Day, and if you’re not in Ireland, Liverpool really is one of the best places to celebrate.

The early 19th Century saw half a million Irish people settle in the city, and the country’s music and culture has thrived here ever since. So much so, that we have our own Irish Festival, which takes place in October each year. Read more…

Win tickets for Michael Parkinson’s Billy Fury show

2 March 2012 by Lucy

Michael Parkinson’s Billy Fury show is at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton for one night only on Sunday 1 April 2012.

We have five pairs of tickets up for grabs so all you need to do is answer this question: Whose favourite hat is next to Billy Fury’s first guitar in the Liverpool Sound music exhibition in the Wondrous Place gallery of the Museum of Liverpool?

Photo of Billy Fury Statue

The Billy Fury statue close to the Museum of Liverpool on the city’s waterfront

Email your answer, using this contact form.

Competition closes Sunday 25 March 2012. Read more…

The haunting music of the Titanic

30 January 2012 by Sam

three musicians playing string instruments

Catherine Johnson from the exhibition team has news of a special and very haunting piece of music that is bound to send shivers down the spines of visitors to this year’s Titanic exhibition:


A very special and extremely poignant arrangement of the hym ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ has been recorded for the upcoming exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, opening at the Merseyside Maritime Museum on 30 March 2012.

The Titanic’s band were said to have played the hymn as the ship was sinking. Working with local composer Tom Moss, who prepared the arrangement, and three world class musicians, we aimed to recapture this emotional aspect of the sinking. All the members of Titanic’s band played until the last moments before going down with the ship. Read more…

Reflection on the Waterfront

19 July 2011 by Lynn

Liverpool’s waterfront is going to be a hive of activity this weekend, with Reflection on the Waterfront packed full of free cultural events.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Liver Building and the opening of the Museum of Liverpool, events will take place from 22 – 24 July at Pier Head.

There is tons going on. For one, the new Museum of Liverpool will be open late until 10pm all weekend. There will be lantern displays and cool lighting displays, as well as the intriguing visual treat of The Macula Spectacular. In concert, there’s the mighty Connie Lush, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra and 6ix Toys. Wow! We can’t wait! Read more…

Norman Killon’s top ten tracks for Light Night!

9 May 2011 by Lisa

DJ with decks and records

Norman and his wheels of steel!

As any discerning Liverpool music fan will know, Norman Killon used to be the resident DJ at the legendary Liverpool club, Eric’s. We’ve asked him to share his top ten records with us, which will all no doubt be getting a spin at the Walker Art Gallery this Friday as part of Liverpool Light Night. Norman will provide the soundtrack to the evening, which will also be the opening of our new photography exhibition ‘Like you’ve never been away’. You can see full details of what’s on offer at the Walker here… Read more…

Music Matters

13 April 2011 by Lucy

Our press office volunteer Jack is back again, with his musings about collecting popular music…beyond the museum.


A Beatles-inspired lunchbox

One of the many collectables people may have associated with popular music

Collecting tickets from music concerts is an age old custom amongst many people including myself, in order to preserve the memory of the occasion or simply to say ‘I was there’. This in itself is nothing extraordinary. The question, however, is how significant these physical remnants are in relation to the music itself and why we, as music lovers, conserve them. How do we treat these objects, both personally and through our museums? Is it all about the music or are the relative keepsakes just as important? Read more…

New books available to buy and win

31 August 2010 by Karen

Book cover showing The Beatles and The Zutons

The Beat Goes On: Liverpool, Popular Music and the Changing City

It’s all go on the publications front at NML with new titles arriving and due shortly.

You may already know that we recently launched a book to accompany the Hitched exhibition at Sudley House. Also called Hitched it features 13 beautiful wedding outfits in full colour, together with close-up details and many original wedding photographs. It’s a snip at £4.95 and is available through our venue shops and our online bookshop.

If you enjoyed The Beat Goes On exhibition at World Museum last year then the new book of the same name is for you. It is a critical historical account of popular music in Liverpool, looking at why the city is so important musically and how has it sustained its importance, from the Beatles to the Zutons and beyond. It’s also available to buy online and through our venues. Read more…

Win Liverpool Summer Pops tickets

16 July 2010 by davidl

Here at National Museums Liverpool we love music as much as the visual arts (and from the popularity of The Beat Goes On in 2008-09 we know you do too!) so you’ll all be excited to know that we’ve got our hands on a pair of tickets to Zappa plays Zappa at Echo Arena Liverpool on Sunday 25 July and you could win them! 

The concert is a tribute to the legendary rock guitarist and composer Frank Zappa and features his eldest son Dweezil Zappa on lead guitar, accompanied by a host of young musical talents. Read more…

The sound of Fury roars on

9 April 2010 by Sam

photo of sculpture with its hand held out over the sun, as if it's playing yo yo with it

Billy Fury yoyo by Paul Gallagher

 True legends never fade away but achieve an iconic status and a special place in our hearts. This certainly seems to be true of one of Liverpool’s first rock stars – Billy Fury, who would have been 70 next week.

Billy is commemorated with a striking sculpture in the Albert Dock – a fitting location as he worked as a deck hand on the Mersey tug boat The Formby before he found fame.

The sculpture is popular with fans, tourists and photographers – as you can see in our Billy Fury sculpture group on Flickr. The number of photos in the group is growing all the time, a testament to Billy’s lasting appeal. There’s also an incredible variety with people continually finding new and imaginative ways of depicting the sculpture – such as Paul Gallagher’s photo of Billy playing yo yo with the sun above. Read more…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.