Liverpool has many Beatles statues and here we will explore them all.
Filled with bars, restaurants, theatres, music venues, historical docks and architecture, Liverpool is a vibrant metropolitan city. Furthermore it is home to a couple of very well known football clubs and the most successful band of all time.
Below, you will find listed Liverpool statues created in memory of The Beatles. Look out for a future post on the street art honouring the fab four.
The first Beatles statue in Liverpool: Four Lads Who Shook the World
Unveiled in 1974, Liverpool’s first statue to commemorate The Beatles was on Matthew Street opposite The Cavern Club.
Created by Arthur Dooley who often sculpted religious pieces, including artwork in both Liverpool Cathedrals. The Madonna represents Liverpool as the Mother City, she holds three babies to symbolise John, George and Ringo. However, at first there was a fourth baby with wings, representing Paul. Originally situated to the left of The Madonna, it was stolen in 1975. Subsequently turning up 30 years later, you can read more about that here. Added later after John Lennon’s death in 1980, is a baby holding a guitar, inscribed with the words Lennon Lives.
Tommy Steele, an acclaimed singer, actor and entertainer sculpted his interpretation of Eleanor Rigby. Subsequently he sold the statue to the City of Liverpool for Half a Sixpence. Although in reality the cost of casting the sculpture was borne by The Liverpool Echo.
Unveiled on the 3rd December 1982 by Tommy who explained he had placed a number of objects inside the figure, “so she would be full of magical properties”. They were an adventure book (for excitement), a page from the bible (for spiritual guidance), a clover leaf (for good luck), a pair of football boots (for action) and a sonnet (for love).
You can find Eleanor Rigby on Stanley Street, by The Met Quarter just opposite Matthew Street.
From Us to You
Above the door of The Beatles Shop on Matthew Street are busts of The Beatles looking down on the passing crowds. Funded by Beatles fans worldwide and sculpted by David Hughes.
Mike McCartney unveiled the John Doubleday statue on 26 April 1984. Commissioned by Royal Life Insurance and situated in the newly developed Cavern Walks. Paul’s brother allegedly asked “which one’s our kid?” There are certainly statues with a greater likeness to the fab four than this one!
Sculpted by David Webster and unveiled in January 1997. Shortly afterwards the statue was moved a few metres from it’s original home. The hairstyle is also different, originally John had a quiff. Which would be in keeping with the clothes and stance from the Rock n Roll album cover photo. Subsequently changed to a mop top, assumably to make him more recognisable to the casual fan. As a result it’s hard to see the statue without a crowd of fans waiting to have their photo taken next to John.
If you would like to see a photo of the statue in its original location with the original head, click here.
A Case History
Situated outside of Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts are several piles of cases, guitar cases, and travel chests. Representing the history, people and institutions of the area. John King won an international competition with his proposal for A Case History. Commissioned by LIPA and funded by The National Lottery, the sculpture was completed in 1998.
There are guitar cases representing George Harrison and Paul McCartney, who both attended Liverpool institute. A guitar case symbolises Stuart Sutcliffe. A package of acorns for peace represents John Lennon. Both John and Stuart attended The Liverpool Arts College.
In total there are 27 people and institutions depicted by labels on the concrete cast items of luggage. You can see the board with all the marked cases on the perimeter fence of LIPA.
Unveiled by Yoko Ono and Cherie Blair QC in 2002, to complete the renaming and rebranding of the airport to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The statue makes an imposing addition to the Airport concourse.
Sculpted by Tom Murphy, who also sculpted Bessie Braddock and Ken Dodd in Lime Street Station. Yoko Ono said of the sculpture “It’s brilliant. I think it captures John and shows him moving, alive, rather than standing still like some statues.”
A Hard Days Night
The Hard Days Night Hotel opened in 2008, Liverpool’s Capital of Culture Year. It is also the first Beatles themed hotel in the World. Statues of the individual Beatles were commissioned during its refurbishment. David Webster who had previously sculpted the John Lennon statue on Matthew Street was chosen to create them.
All the statues appear to be representing The Beatles post break-up. Accordingly George is shown from around the time of the concert for Bangladesh, John in New York, Paul in his Wings period, and Ringo at around the same time.
The Hard Days Night Hotel is on North John Street, just around the corner from The Cavern Club and Matthew Street.
Peace and Harmony Monument
Creating monuments around the world, The Global Peace Initiative are an American arts organisation to promote global peace. On what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday they gave the Peace and Harmony Monument to the people of Europe. It is based on a painting by Lauren Voiers who also painted the finished sculpture, which was created by Lyle London.
John Lennon’s first wife Cynthia and their son Julian attended the gala ceremony on 9th October 2010. You can see the Peace and Harmony Monument outside Liverpool Arena at Monarchs Quay.
The Beatles Statue
The Pier Head with it’s iconic Three Graces is the setting for this final celebration of The Beatles. Chris Butler of Castle Fine Art Foundry had an idea. Inspired by an oversized poster in the HMV Liverpool One store window. The Beatles walking down the street, as featured on the cover of “On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2” would make a great statue!
Sculpted by Andrew Edwards whose previous work included “All Together Now – The Christmas Truce” in St Lukes Gardens. The Cavern Club funded it and gifted it to the city.
The finished statue although based on the above image, has a few more stories to tell. For example, you’ll notice that the order in which the individual members appear is different. Thus the statue depicts where the band would be on stage, with Paul and George next to each other, Ringo slightly behind and John on the right. Secondly they are wearing leather jackets, based on a different photograph to give a more ‘Liverpool’ feel.
The symbolism carries on with other subtle details.
Paul is carrying a cine camera, it has been said this is in tribute to his late wife Linda. It is more likely due to his love of filming and he can be seen in other photographs with cine camera in hand. In honour of George’s religious beliefs, the belt on his jacket has a Sanskrit inscription.
On the sole of Ringo’s boot is the inscription L8, which is the postcode of The Dingle where he grew up and the name of his 2008 album. But as yet I haven’t crouched down to get a photo of that! Meanwhile John is carrying two acorns which represents the acorns that he and Yoko sent to world leaders in 1969 asking them to plant them as a symbol of peace.
Hopefully you have enjoyed our guide to Beatle statues. Why not join us on a tour? We’d be more than happy to show you more Beatles sites or even organise a bespoke tour for you! Click here for details of our tours.