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Beatles for sale

Love is all you need? Maybe, but Larry Neild would rather we got a Beatles tsar as city plans for £70k tourism chief

Published on July 24th 2009.

Beatles for sale

I KNOW I shouldn’t mention the effing ‘B’ word, but I can’t help it. The city council and The Mersey Partnership are virtually daggers drawn over a plan by the council to appoint a £70K-a-year tourism director. The new tourism czar will sell Liverpool to the world, a job also done by TMP, to which the council pay subs.

Ten years ago, strolling along a street close to the famous Bund in Shanghai, I suggested to then council leader Mike Storey that Liverpool should appoint a “Beatles manager” – to promote Liverpool Beatles tourism around the world.

Yes, I do know there’s more to our city than the Beatles. Far more, but we should milk Beatles tourism for all its worth – and give fans a memorable visit

The very title, I argued, would virtually guarantee walk-on interviews on television and radio stations around the world. I even had somebody in mind for the job, The Echo’s Peter Grant. He’s so into the Fab Four you might as well call Peter the Sixth Beatle. He’s also a great storyteller and raconteur.

Cllr Storey agreed. We had, after all, visited Chinese schools and the two things mentioned by most kids about Liverpool were the Beatles and football.

It took a few years for the idea, conceived in China, to filter through the system before an appointment was made.

But have you heard of the city Beatles Manager? No, me neither. The council in its infinite wisdom considered there’s more to Liverpool than the Beatles. Just like there’s more to Stratford than Shakespeare, more to London than the Changing of the Guards, more to Memphis than Elvis.

Instead they appointed somebody with the title Music Development Officer, apparently somebody who had worked at LIPA.

They missed the whole point of the exercise. The job title was what would have been a key to studio doors all over the world.

Yes, I do know there’s more to our city than the Beatles. Far more, but we should milk Beatles tourism for all its worth – and give fans a memorable visit. Thankfully the Beatles industry will take a quantum leap forward, thanks to

Merseytravel realising the potential – they now own The Beatles Story.

The throng of overseas tourists to Mathew Street, every day, is incredible. I know because we hear the racket from our office window in a one-time banana warehouse. The statue of Lennon near the Cavern must be the most photographed sculpture work in Liverpool, so much so we should add the other three in casual poses in the Cavern Quarter.

A lady in the street only the other day told me how her 11-year-old son adored the Beatles and their music.

Meanwhile the bickering will continue between the council and TMP over who does what, why and when.

We need to get our act together for the sake of our growing tourism industry. Just look at the massive worldwide coverage given in the past few weeks to the Manchester International Festival. Those Mancs do know how to ensure maximum exposure for their city.

Meanwhile let’s hear it for John, George, Paul and Ringo ... we love yer (yeh, yeh, yeh....).

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38 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Ted RayJuly 19th 2009.

Dig - your name is the first three letters of the word 'dignity'.Apply for this a dignity flies out of the window!

Big felt tipJuly 19th 2009.

Thanks Prof! Brilliant.

pashminaJuly 19th 2009.

Why wont mccartney help the city by creating some jobs?He is a disgrace to liverpool

Angry of AigburthJuly 19th 2009.

It's an absolute disgrace that the ordinary people of Liverpool can no longer have paragraphs.

Worried from WaltonJuly 19th 2009.

Asterisk you take. I took a risk and now my period is late. if only I'd listened to my parenthesis and kept my brackets closed.

GuardianJuly 19th 2009.

No he's not! He's made several pertinent points about how the money for a Beatles Onanist could be better spend on someone attending to any of several more important and realistic needs.

The Maharishi Mahesh YogiJuly 19th 2009.

You called? Will there be free parking for my 72 Rolls Royces?

Fairee CrassthumurrrzeeJuly 19th 2009.

Can I be Gerry Marsden Manager? £70,000 sounds reasonable.

sammyJuly 19th 2009.

Tedious in the extreme and indicative of the backward looking, insular city - exactly what is wrong with Lpool.For starters, Henshaw blocked the appointment of a Beatles Czar, Tsar, Bzar (we've already got one of them - its called Mathew St), because he didn't want the city having another public figure to rival his and Storey's giant egos.So while a 'fifth Beatle' may well please Larry Neild and give him someone to talk to about other 10-year-old ideas which never quite got off the ground, it still aint gonna happen with Bradley and Hilton in charge. They all piss in the same pot. All is ego.Can LC not find something slightly more topical than something which emanated from an ex-hack's meanderings ten years ago?And for God's sake can we just not move on a smidgeon from the Beatles?Its incredibly tiring and tedious and makes us a laughing stock amongst thinking people. Let the tourists buy their tat, but Liverpool is surely more than these four. Especially when two of them are dead and Ringo isn't anything but a caricature of himself (not difficult).What about a Jobs Tsar, Larry? Or an Obesity Tsar? (Several candidates spring to mind) or an Open Government Tsar? Or an Old People's Champion? Or a Young People's Hero? (not Paul or Ringo obviously), or a Campaigner for Democracy (a fragile flower), or a Tsar for Liverpool Workers Rights?While we are on about it, what about a proper Council Leader?Now there's a radical idea....

Exasperated of Edge HillJuly 19th 2009.

They'll be tampering with our colons next!

ObserverJuly 19th 2009.

Sammy's a bit bitter and twisted, isn't he?

Tsar Nicholas IIJuly 19th 2009.

Hear hear, Sammy! This sort of nonsense makes me wonder what kind of rarefied fantasy land our politicians, journalists and other pontificators inhabit!

Disgusted of DingleJuly 19th 2009.

Any more of that and i'll report you to the Liverpool Chamber of Commas

Dr Lemuel SipJuly 19th 2009.

You are a natural comedian yourself Kar, although i think you may benefit from a course of anti-depressants as well. Keep taking them though, just because you start feeling better, many people stop and you get a cycle of psychotic episodes. Take care and keep to the appointments.

ObserverJuly 19th 2009.

Yes, but it is just a few semi detached houses in the suburbs. Rita Meter is completely right. Have you ever taken a visiting Beatles fan on the Magical Mystery Tour bus. I have. It's bloody painful. They are completely baffled and disappointed by the end of it

EleanorRigsbyJuly 19th 2009.

Nobody is saying Liverpool is just the Beatles for God's sake. Can't you guys realise whether you like it or not, they are, remain and will continue to remain, a world-wide thing. You might as well say lets close our museums and conservation centre - they celebrate our past glories. So let's make the most of it and milk the Beatles industry. I'm with Laz on this one. So please lets have some realism here. Thank You.

DigJuly 19th 2009.

That wasn't a balaclava Professor. That's what I look like when I let my hair grow. I see you almost every day and you never noticed. Did you just think you had a new hairy faced employee?

Eleanor RigsbyJuly 19th 2009.

Excellent response Rita Meter. However the whole purpose of a Beatles Manager is to draw all of what is on offer - and it is fragmented - under one umbrella, actually to stop it becoming trashy or a Mickey Mouse theme park. I agree with Larry it would give Liverpool an 'excuse' to promote some of what the city has to offer on the tourism trail.

Big-Hearted ArthurJuly 19th 2009.

£70,000 is an insult to workers doing real, full-time jobs in the public sector for a tiny fraction of this money. The City Council's consistent record of cocking things up suggests that it should keep its butter fingers off any such enterprise.

ANDYJuly 19th 2009.

Give Sam Leach the job for Christ's sake...

Professor ChucklebuttyJuly 19th 2009.

Dig, don't you see? This could be your time. You know the old saying; Cometh the five minutes, cometh the man. I think you would make a very good beetles manager. You really should apply. You can put me down as your referee. By the way did you know that there is a variety of beetle called the Cockchafer? I read that it's dying out due to overuse of pesticides. I'm all for preserving wildlife, but a Cockchafer? I wouldn't fancy that crawing up me khakis. Perhaps it could re-train as a Knee Grazer,which wouldn't be so bad.So in the meantime, as Larry said, lets' hear it for the beetles. Scarab,Colorado,Dung and er....Volkswagen.

DigJuly 19th 2009.

Can I count on you for a good reference Prof? I might just be requesting one from you soon.

Big-Hearted ArthurJuly 19th 2009.

D'yer think the City Council would appoint me as Arthur Askey Manager? I can do the songs and I wear the glasses playmates! Aye thangyow!

The paragraph fairyJuly 19th 2009.


DigJuly 19th 2009.

The reference for the job in question isn't Beetles or Beatles Manager. At least I don't think it is. I'll find out more in due course.

Professor ChucklebuttyJuly 19th 2009.

Take my advice Dig, don't wear the balaclava for the interview. take it off before you go in and put it in your dufflecoat pocket. Good Luck.

Willing of WavertreeJuly 19th 2009.

Ooh tamper with our colons? I have a semi they could tamper with

AllShookUpJuly 19th 2009.

I went to Gracelands last year, expecting it to be tacky. I like Elvis but I'm not a massive fan as such. Anyway while I was down there I thought I'd pop in. And guess what, it was so good, so well organised and a huge income generator for the Memphis economy, and therefore a big job generator.So I agree with Laz and say bring it on. After football the Beatles is a big draw for Liverpool. Imagine how big it would be if we really put effort and brains into a proper Beatles industry.

Rita MeterJuly 19th 2009.

Eleanor, I understand what you are saying about drawing the attractions, such as they are, together under one umbrella. But really the tourist board could do that with one leaflet and some posters rather than a £75k council fat-cat. Don't you think we have enough of them? Bringing things under one umbrella could also be seen as taking over and forcing out the individuals who thought of the tours or exisitng enterprises. What would the umbrella be? Another version of The Culture Company? No thanks.Pashmina, why should McCartney give a penny to anyone? As an individual he annoys the hell out of me most of the time but he has been more than generous with donations and supporting certain causes as far as I can see. How many jobs has Anne Robinson created for the city? Philanthropy is not compulsory on achieving wealth, ask the Bankers.That should not need paragraphs, paragraph fairy - I am sorry- thank you for your assistance.

Professor Ciabatta, Chucklebutty's Italian CousinJuly 19th 2009.

Aigburth is right. These people who deny us paragraphs should be locked up and given a long sentence.

Kar theif from KerbyJuly 19th 2009.

It is not fair. Liverpool is the best city in the world. exam resutls and making mony dont mean you are educated or culturred.Liverpool is funny and everyone always smiles they are all natural comedians and that is the best thing because lauhgter is the best medicine.

ObserverJuly 19th 2009.

No, Sammy is one of those glass-half empty naysayers. Bring on the Beatles guru

Leggy MountbattenJuly 19th 2009.

I think I'm gonna be sick, I think it's today................and why the photo of Tarby and Boardman?

ANDYJuly 19th 2009.

And as for a job title, 'Beatles Manager' is so Zzzzzz...No, it's 'Mean Mr Mustard' for me.

Dew BiousJuly 19th 2009.

You're in cloud cuckoo land Larry if you think this city is capable of organising a proper Beatles industry. They couldn't organise a stick-up in their own treasury office. Don't you realise we are meant to be a se cond-rate, dying, couldn't care less, incapable and inept small, and getting smaller provincial city. We should be called Hickpool-on-Sea

DigJuly 19th 2009.

As funny as it was I want those 5 minutes back again please Prof. This time a watch 5 minutes slow will not suffice. All along I thought that was a true account of actual events. As it wasn't I want my time reimbursing. Also how did you post your rant without paragraphs then change it afterwards? Magical editing elves? It doesn't happen when I post any rants that need paragraphs. Maybe this time it will happen. Tar darrr!! Nope.

Furious of FairfieldJuly 19th 2009.

You're asking for a kick up the brackets!

terrieJuly 19th 2009.

Kar?Cant you even spell properly?No wonder you need to smile if you cant even spell properly.

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