From Sunday 12th August to Tuesday 14th August, I stayed in Liverpool and visited Mathew Street, home of the world famous Cavern Club. You can read about the street and see photos below.
Hard Days Night Hotel and Shop
As you walk towards Mathew Street, you will see the Hard Days Night Hotel with statues of the fab four on the building and pictures of the group over the years in the windows. The only Beatles hotel in the world, it was opened in 2004 and claims to combine high quality facilities with an interesting Beatles twist.
On the corner of Mathew Street itself is the Hard Days Night shop which plays the music of the Beatles non stop and sells t-shirts, bags, albums, posters and much more Beatle related merchandise.
John Lennon Statue and Wall of Fame
One of the first things you will see as you arrive on to Mathew Street will be the statue of John Lennon. The statue was sculptured by local artist Arthur Dooley and it is based on a photograph that was later used as the cover of Lennon’s solo album “Rock N Roll”. Ironically, while the leather clothing that Lennon is wearing is from the early rock and roll days of the group, on the statue he has the more famous “Beatle haircut” that did not happen until later. The wall of fame is on the wall behind the statue and it has the names of the 1,801 bands and artists who played at the original Cavern Club, including the Rolling Stones, Queen and of course, the Beatles.
Liverpool Wall of Fame
Further down Mathew Street is a wall of fame featuring a disc for every number 1 hit from a Liverpool group. The wall is dominated by the Beatles, who have 17 discs on the wall but it was in fact unveiled by jazz singer Lita Roza on 14th March 2001 whose song “How Much is that Doggy in the Window?” was the first to reach number 1. The wall currently has 54 Liverpool number 1 hits starting back in 1952.
Entrance to the original Cavern Club
This is the space where the entrance to the original Cavern Club was. The club was opened on 16th January 1957 and the Beatles first played there on 9th February 1961. The group played a total of around 292 times with their last performance on 3rd August 1963. The club became world famous after the Beatles found fame but despite this, the club closed in March 1973 and it was filled in during work on the Merseyside Underground Rail. There is a photo of a man standing in the entrance and if you look closely at the wall opposite you can see a damaged brick. We had a look at the wall during our visit and the brick is still the same today!
The New Cavern Club
In April 1984, the club was re-built on 50% of the former site using many of the same bricks from the original Cavern Club. It was built to resemble the original as closely as possible. However, in 1989 the club came under financial difficulty and closed for 18 months until in 1991 Bill Heckle and Dave Jones re-opened the club and they have run it ever since. Many acts have played at the club over the years with the club having around 40 live acts performing each week and in 1999 Paul McCartney returned to do his last gig of the 20th century at the place where it all began.
The Grapes Pub
This is the pub where the Beatles would go for a drink in between their gigs at the nearby Cavern Club. Being the only traditional pub on Mathew Street at the time, it was often crowded with visitors and when the Beatles used to play at the Cavern, the queues would stretch down to the Grapes and beyond. There is a photograph of John, Paul, George and Pete Best having a drink in the corner of the pub and that photo is now proudly on the wall of the pub. The corner where the photograph was taken is exactly the same as it was when the Beatles drank there. However, the photo on the wall is actually a mirrored version of the original image, which can be seen below, lthough the actual photo does appear in the pub on another wall.
The Beatles Shop
Probably the most famous Beatles shop in the world, the shop opened it’s doors on Mathew Street in 1984. The shop sells nothing but Beatles merchandise, including t-shirts, photographs, albums and much more. Famous visitors to the Beatles shop over the years include Ringo Starr, Sean Lennon, George Martin, Neil Aspinall and as well as Liam and Noel Gallagher from Oasis.
Eleanor Rigby Statue
Just a couple of blocks away from Mathew Street, on Stanley Street, is the statue of Eleanor Rigby. It was carved in 1982 by Tommy Steele as a tribute to the fab four and it is inspired by Paul McCartney’s song “Eleanor Rigby”. The statue is dedicated to “All the lonely people”.