New book from Liverpool
Mike and Bernadette “Bernie” Byrne, the original founders of The Beatles Story, Liverpool’s oldest, still operative Beatles’ Museum, are launching a new book recounting the journey of the birth of the museum and their personal relationship with The Beatles. It’s a hard-back, coffee table book titled “The Birth of the Beatles Story” and is full of rare and magnificent images, according to the press release.
“The Beatles Story” opened 32 years ago on 1st May 1990, and the book will be launched at the museum on that date in 2022. The event will be free to attend and visitors are invited to find out more about Mike and Bernie’s personal journey and to get involved in a Q&A session with copies of the book signed by the authors available to purchase.
Taking place in The Beatles Story’s Fab4 Café at the Royal Albert Dock between 1pm to 3pm, the event will give visitors a rare insight into the history of the world’s largest permanent exhibition devoted to the lives and times of The Beatles. The session will be hosted by BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt followed by a Q&A and book signing with Mike and Bernie. Places at the event are limited – to join this session, book online at beatlesstory.com.
The authors of “The Birth of the Beatles Story” are Bernadette Farrell, a Cavern regular who went on to date both George and Paul, and Mike Byrne, a fellow Merseybeat musician and acquaintance of The Beatles. This book tells the story of their amazing and uniquely personal journey. They not only witnessed music history being made but they went on to build The Beatles Story museum.
Back then, tourism in Liverpool was very different to what it is today. The city was in decline and the local attitude to The Beatles was that they had abandoned their birthplace. It was only after the tragic murder of John Lennon that the city started to accept that The Beatles were good for Liverpool. Several attempts to establish a Beatles museum in Liverpool started with “Cavern Mecca” in 1981, by Beatles fans Jim and Liz Hughes in the house where the Irish pub Flanagan’s Apple is located today. In 1984 a museum called “Beatle City” opened, but it was a project which lost money and closed the very next year.
So, only a small minority of people believed in the potential of The Beatles as a tourist attraction. With little experience, no money of their own, and hardly any support from the city, Mike and Bernie succeeded in where the earlier attempts had failed.
Mike: “It was great to be in a group in Liverpool at the same time as the Beatles and witness their phenomenal rise to fame, while playing the same clubs as them. It was a time of hope and excitement! An unusual set of events in the 80s resulted in me managing Beatle City and taking it to America where my eyes were opened to the real potential of Beatles tourism. Coming back to a city without its own permanent Beatles’ attraction made no sense. In the face of so much local apathy, we decided we would have to build it ourselves.”
The book, which will be launched to celebrate The Beatles Story’s 32nd anniversary on 1st May 2022, is littered with never-before-told stories giving a personal insight into the world of The Beatles before they became famous. Mike and Bernie tell the tale of their ambitious business dream that was inextricably linked to The Beatles, resulting in the opening of a unique attraction offering an alternative experience into the story of the world’s greatest band.
Featuring personal memories such as Bernie being caught with her hair in rollers by George Harrison, and Mike being backed by a 21-year-old Ringo while playing at Butlins Holiday Camp to escaping screaming fans in George Harrison’s car and secret meetings with senior Beatles’ bosses in a London crypt, the book is packed with unseen pictures and untold stories and how a local couple helped Liverpool fall in love with the Beatles again.
Bernie: “Having been a regular on the Merseybeat scene in my teenage years, and getting to know the Beatles quite well, I went on to become one of the first official Beatles guides in the 80s. This opened my eyes to the enduring popularity of The Beatles and eventually, in the early 90s, we felt compelled to fill the gap in Liverpool’s tourism offering by creating a permanent tribute for fans.”
Publisher: New Haven Publishing Ltd
Dimensions: 280 x 216 mm full colour interior
Retail GBP 24.99 USD 32.99
In stock with Gardners in UK and directly from the publisher.