Tuesday, June 4, 2013

With a Little Help

Short post today. 

I'm not the world's authority on any specific band. Instead, I tend to gather general (some would deem it trivial) knowledge on a wide range of music and musicians. However, while living in the UK, I made the pilgrimage to Liverpool almost specifically for the Beatles-value of the place. (For full disclosure, Liverpool also had a Hard Rock Cafe at the time). In my memory, it was a dynamic weekend of incidental experiences. Aside from the grumpier hostel lifers (who SNORE), I met a group of extremely friendly Irish students who were determined to treat me to the craic (a good thing) and, although I did not get the chance to take the "Ferry Cross the Mersey", I did spend a lovely afternoon exploring the revitalized waterfront and its shops and historical interest points. There was no footie on that weekend but I took some pictures around the Liverpool FC stadium, Anfield, while humming "You'll Never Walk Alone" (It occurred to me then that hockey lacks a lot of the singalong interactiveness that soccer has.)

Of course, I had a meal at The New Cavern Club which isn't EXACTLY where the Beatles were discovered but very, very close (and built with many of the same bricks as the original club) and took the Magical Mystery Tour with the amazingly knowledgeable tour guide (I want to believe his name was also John) who was a born and bred Liverpudlian and not only attended school with a couple of the Beatles but has chatted with Sir Paul in the past about the fact the tour has stopped at McCartney's childhood home more times than McCartney himself ever did.

By strange coincidence, my visit to Liverpool happened just after a tragic accident claimed the life of Vancouver musician Paul "Lolly" Lawton. A friend of Lolly's knew where I was heading and asked me to pick up an Everton F.C. scarf from the team shop while I was in Liverpool as Lolly had been an avid Everton supporter. It was a trick to find the shop as it was the most unassuming little hole-in-the-wall but I was happy to do it as it gave a rather frivolous jaunt some meaning in the big picture.

All in all, it was an interesting weekend getaway but traveling alone always reminds me of how much more fun trips can be when made with friends. Of course, it depends on the friends in question - some travel better than others - but experiences like exploring an unfamiliar city are often made richer for being shared.