Living in the Material World
There are so many places in Liverpool connected to The Beatles and to George Harrison. You can easily spend a day or more visiting them all. To support this there are some amazing Beatle Tour Guides – get in touch if you want some recommendations! Here I take a peek at some of the places and artworks that pay tribute to George. Maybe in the future I will do a post on childhood homes and schools etc.
Between the two Cathedrals on Hope Street, you will find the art installation A Case History. Commemorating people who had a connection with the area, Including John Lennon, who went to art college in the building on the left and George and Paul McCartney who went to the Liverpool Institute in the building next door. Both of these buildings are now part of LIPA – Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. In February 2021 LIPA and the George Harrison Estate announced that a Studio Theatre was to be named in honour of George.
George’s interest in Eastern music and specifically Indian music is well documented. On Strawberry Fields Forever he plays an Indian Harp known as a Swarmandal. If you are going to Strawberry Field exhibition you can have a go on one for yourself.
My Sweet Lord
Amongst the bars of Matthew Street, there is a Wall of Fame, showing all the number one songs by Liverpool artists. Of course The Beatles feature heavily on the list, however the honour of the first Beatle solo number one goes to George for My Sweet Lord. This was the biggest selling single of 1971. It reached number one in the UK again in 2002, two months after his death.
All Those Years Ago
The Beatles statue at The Pier Head has become a must for any Beatle fan visiting Liverpool. However, I wonder how many people have missed the secrets it holds. If you look at the back of George, you will notice his belt is inscribed with Sanskrit.
If you pass the Hard Days Night Hotel, don’t forget to look up to see statues of all The Beatles depicting them as solo artists. George is fashioned from around the time of The Concert for Bangladesh 1971.
As well as statues you will find plenty of other Beatle art. The exterior of The Liverpool Beatles Museum and Rubber Soul on Matthew Street has plenty to please the eye. This Pepperland style picture of George is a favourite of mine! If you are unlucky enough to catch Harrison’s Bar when it is closed, don’t despair too much, you’ll get to see this portrait of George on the shutter.
"If I wasn't a Beatle, I would have been a gardener"
A jewel in the crown of South Liverpool is Sefton Park and its largest jewel is The Palm House. After years of disrepair it was brought back to its former glory by lots of hard work and fundraising by volunteers. George made a donation towards the renovation in the name of his Natural World Charity. He died just before the work was completed but I have no doubt he would love how it looks and feels now. It is usually open to visitors, unless there is a private function going on.
In 2020 it was announced that there was to be a George Harrison Memorial Woodland. The area is in South Liverpool, opposite Allerton Towers. Not far from where George grew up, it comprises of woodland and meadow. Featuring gardens, walks and art installations, it was due to open in Spring 2021. However to date, nothing appears to have happened with the site. I assume this is due to the pandemic and once life begins to open up again, hopefully work will start. In the meantime it is a beautiful haven from city life, albeit a bit muddy!