Beatles Landmarks: Dan Longman interview

This year marks the 60th anniversary of when Paul first met John. Their meeting led to the creation of the world’s most famous boy band and sowed the seeds for some of the most recognisable tunes in musical history. Local author Dan Longman with his new book, The Beatles’ Landmarks in Liverpool has delved into the archives to reveal some of the city’s most momentous links with the Fab Four and looks at how these historic places have changed through time.

“I’ve always wanted to write a book on The Beatles” says Dan. “Despite performing most of their greatest work half a century ago, the band’s legacy continues draw in the crowds. There have been countless books about the boys over the years, but I wanted to shed a new light on Liverpool’s geographical connections and discover more about the local history behind the international hits.”

The book features a mixture of fascinating images showcasing over twenty significant sites across the city region. Photographs include the world famous Mathew Street and the Cavern, to lesser known sights such as Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight (below) where Ringo first played as an official member of the band way back in 1962, and New Brighton Tower Ballroom where the boys played live on 27 separate occasions; more than anywhere else except the Cavern. Modern day pictures are contrasted against their Mersey Beat era counterparts thanks to photographer Bod Edwards who created a series of full colour ‘Then and Now’ style shots to illustrate the scenes. 

Hulme Hall

Hulme Hall

 Dan’s fascination with heritage shines through and the book is packed full of interested historical trivia from times gone by. Did you know that the famous round about on Penny Lane was originally named after 18th century slave owner James Penny, or that the celebrated shelter in the middle of the round-about was originally near the site of an old quarry known as the Allerton Delph? What’s  more, the city’s historic Blue Coat School dating from 1717 is not only renowned for being the oldest surviving building in the city centre, but was also the setting for Yoko Ono’s first ever paid artistic performance in 1967.

The Beatles’ Landmarks in Liverpool also features a foreword from the legendary Bill Harry, the man who helped promote the then fledgling band in his Mersey Beat Magazine, and who famously arranged for Brian Epstein to see the band perform at the Cavern that momentous day in 1961.

“Penning a book about the Beatles has been a whole new experience for me. Taking on a subject so close to so many people’s hearts, and being careful to get the facts right, has been a real challenge. I hope given my background in local history that this book will offer something that little bit different and celebrate the local landmarks of the city where it all began.”

The Beatles’ Landmarks in Liverpool is published by Amberley Books and is now available from all good retailers.