Tuesday 10 December 2013


Boris Johnson and the Beatles
Mayor of London Boris Johnson today sparked anger after reportedly claiming it was London not Liverpool, that propelled The Beatles to worldwide fame.
The gaffe-prone Mayor is quoted as saying during a speech at the London School of Economics: “The greatest band in the world came from Liverpool, but in the end they recorded their stuff in London and it was London that helped propel them around the world."
The Mayor of London already has a torrid relationship with Liverpool.
He issued  a groveling apology and visited the city over comments made in a 2004 Spectator article about Liverpool FC fans involved in the Hillsborough disaster.
He caused outrage on Merseyside when the magazine he edited claimed “drunken fans” had played a part in the disaster.
The same article claimed locals “wallow” in their “victim status”, following the murder of contractor Ken Bigley in Iraq.
But he appeared to have settled his differences with Hillsborough campaigners after the publication last year of the independent report into the disaster, saying the eight million people of the city he runs “stood alongside” the people of Liverpool in their pursuit for justice for the 96 fans who died on April 15, 1989.
His latest comments have been condemned on social media.
Darren Hillier tweeted: “He is a fool. If any city has a claim to making The Beatles it's Hamburg.”
And Ian Mcnally wrote: “On your bike Boris."
While Tim Worthington tweeted: “No Boris, London wasn't the ‘making’ of The Beatles. George Martin was. There’s a massive difference.”

1 comment:

  1. Bill Harry, the founder of the UKs first local music paper, Merseybeat, in the early 1960s wrote letters to the over-centralised UK media based in London. He requested they to go to Liverpool and report on the music scene there. He told them that what was happening in New Orleans in the early 1900s with jazz was happening in Liverpool with rock and roll. Of course they ignored him.

    The London music scene at the time was appalling with Liverpudlians generally ignoring London looking to the inspirational USA. The massive USA generally ignored anything that came out of London. Being a massive port, and the port for America, thousands of Liverpool seamen would constantly stream back from the USA with the latest US records, clothes and styles. The small British music industry based in London had nothing to offer - only studio recording facilities, which were far from state of the art. The Abbey Rd studios only bought an 8 track tape recorder in the final few years of The Beatles, way after US studios were using 8 track recordings. Imagine what Sgt Peppers would have been like using an 8 track. George Harrison was no big fan of London recording facilities, rarely using the drab Abbey Rd studios after The Beatles split. George openly criticised EMI for being mean; EMI even put locks on refrigerator doors.

    If cheap and plentiful airline travel had arrived 5 years earlier than it did, you may have found The Beatles and the many Liverpool bands may have chosen New York to record in, not London. The mixed cosmopolitan background Liverpudlians would have felt more culturally at home amongst New Yorkers than anyone from London or the Home counties.

    London did nothing artistically to create the root of 1960s British music scene that took over the world, that was mainly down to the Liverpudlians. It is clear it would not have happened without the Liverpudlians. Even the biggest London based band that rolled along with the 1960s British music scene, a Kent band called The Rolling Stones had their first number one hit with a Lennon/McCartney song. Liverpudlians were directly responsible, artistically, for the subsequent expansion and dominance of the British music scene in the world - of which London greatly benefitted financially. London made a lot of money out of Liverpudlians for sure, a point not mentioned by mayor Johnson.

    Only Paul McCartney had a house in London. John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison lived outside not wanting to know the rigid class structured stuffy city too much, only using the city for business reasons. They looked to the vibrant USA, where Liverpudlians originally gazed, with the three of them spending a lot of time there.

    I live yards from the Abbey Rd studios and see 365 days a year a procession of Beatles fans from all over the world make the pilgrimage - yet it is pushing 45 years since The Beatles last recorded there, the pull of these Liverpudlians is so strong. More visit The Beatles sites in Liverpool than go to Abbey Road. They would go anywhere the studios are, being in London is just incidental. The words The Beatles and Liverpool are synonymous, not The Beatles and London.

    Liverpool has had a vibrant music and arts scene for decades attracting many from all over the UK and the world, complete with its own studios and no longer needs London. London was just a vehicle for the Liverpudlians at the time. No more than that.