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Posted July 1- Sir Paul McCartney was talking about his dear friend and fellow Beatle George Harrison recently, and he revealed that he shared an emotional final goodbye with George just before he died.

Paul said that the two of them were holding each other's hands during their visit, a short time before George lost his battle with cancer in 2001.

He says that his favorite memories include those last couple of hours he had spent with George.

"With George, I got to see him a short time before he died. And it was just the best because we sat stroking hands,talking and smiling."

"And this is a guy, you know, I had known since he was a little kid. You don't stroke hands with guys like that. You know, it was just beautiful. We just spent a couple of hours and it was really lovely. It is a favourite memory."

Paul has never really opened up about George that much, but everyone knew how close the two were. Same goes for John, although he has written a song for John that he sings in concert a lot. I was personally there when he sang "Happy Birthday" to John, leading the crowd in an emotional singalong on John's birthday.


A Beatles-themed hotel is a huge hit, in the heart of Liverpool’s Cavern Quarter snce it opened last year. The Hard Day’s Night Hotel, which is adjacent to the world famous Cavern club in Mathew Street, is doing amazing business with tourists and locals.

The four-star hotel opened in autumn 2007 and each room tells a different part of the Beatles story, through original artwork by high-profile American artist Shannon.

Featuring subtle references to the Beatles throughout, the 110 bedroom Hard Day’s Night Hotel offers conference and meeting facilities, function rooms, a bar and restaurant.

Terri Lynn, national sales director at Hospitality Management International and management consultant for the Hard Day’s Night Hotel, is determined to get the concept right. She said: “This is the first ever hotel to incorporate the Beatles’ story into its design and what better location than Liverpool’s Cavern Quarter?

“Guests can expect to find everything they would normally associate with a luxury boutique hotel. The understated Beatles references will provide a fun twist, without being intrusive.”

The Beatles were known for placing subliminal messages in their lyrics and artwork and this is echoed by the Hard Day’s Night Hotel. Even its logo has a few stories to tell, if you look close enough.

As well as being an illustration of the first chord of ‘Hard Day’s Night’, the logo also denotes the classic Beatles stage plan with Paul and George on the left, John on the right and Ringo at the back


The Beatles were known for placing subliminal messages in their lyrics and the hotel’s logo has a few hidden meanings of its own.

It depicts the opening chord of the 1964 track, Hard Day’s Night. As one of the most recognizable of all time, the chord’s notation has caused fierce debate among musicians for decades. The dots illustrated in the logo represent where a guitarist’s fingers should be placed to play the G7 suspended chord.

Looking at the logo from a different perspective, it could also denote the overhead Beatles stage plan with Paul and George on the left, John on the right and Ringo at the back.

Beatles fans who remember the Hard Day’s Night album cover will know that the classic design features 20 squares, in the same way as the logo for the Hard Day’s Night Hotel.

Jonathan Davies, Director of Bowdena, the developers behind the Hard Day’s Night Hotel, came up with the idea for the logo. He said: “I’ve just started playing the guitar and I suppose seeing the notation of the chord must have provided some inspiration. Shannon, the artist commissioned to produce artwork for the hotel, then developed the concept of the logo.”

“The logo is both classic and sharp and I think it will illustrate to people that the unique Beatles theming will provide a luxury boutique hotel with a twist.”

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Friday 29th December 2006


The Royal Mail, the national postal service of the UK, is issuing a specially produced set of stamps to celebrate the cultural contribution and impact of The Beatles' music.

The six stamps feature the cover artwork of With The Beatles, Help!, Revolver, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road and Let It Be stacked upon other Beatles' albums.

To be featured on a Royal Mail stamp is a unique and historical event, and the Royal Mail have produced a set of highly collectible items in conjunction with this special issue:

Mint Stamps
Presentation Pack
Miniature Sheet
Stamp Cards
First Day Cover

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Penny Lane untouched by fame

Chicago Trib


LIVERPOOL, England - It was John Lennon's street, but Paul McCartney's song.

Released as a single 40 years ago, "Penny Lane" heralded a new level of creativity for the Beatles, especially for the song-writing combination of Lennon and McCartney. A few months later the world would hear "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and popular music would never be the same.

The song's first two verses practically wrote themselves, McCartney once told an interviewer. "The lyrics were all based on real things."

The real Penny Lane remains unaffected by its pop culture immortality. It remains a scruffy working-class street of two-story Victorian row houses and an assortment of shops.

There's Penny Lane Cakes & Pies and the Penny Lane Fish and Chips, much as they were when a young John Lennon used to walk this street each day on his way to the Dovedale school. Beatle George Harrison attended the school, too, three years after John.

"In Penny Lane, the barber shaves another customer ..."

The barbershop is right where it's supposed to be, but Mr. Bioletti, the barber who used to show the photographs "of every head he's had the pleasure to know," died a few years ago. This I was told by Jimmy the Lollipop Man, the school crossing guard on Penny Lane.

Jimmy's real name is Jim Davidson. He is 59 and he remembers some early Beatles' gigs because his mother worked for Liverpool music promoter Allan Williams, the Beatles' first manager who is known for dismissing them as "a right load of layabouts."

"Right behind you, that used to be the St. Barnabas Church Hall. John Lennon played there with the Quarry Men, his first band," said Davidson, pointing to an ornate building that now houses a Spanish restaurant.

"And down at the bottom by the roundabout, that big church - that's St. Barnabas. That's where Paul McCartney's brother got married. Paul used to sing in the church choir," he said.

"Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout

The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray

And though she feels as if she's in a play

She is anyway."

Someone tried to convert the bus shelter in the middle of the roundabout into a bistro called Sgt. Pepper's, but things didn't work out from the looks of it. The house where John was born is up the street. The Woolworths where Cynthia Lennon, his first wife, worked is around the corner.

For a weary seaport, Liverpool has staged an impressive comeback in the past decade, fueled partly by the shrewd exploitation of its most famous native sons.

The local airport has been renamed after John Lennon. And the centerpiece of downtown renewal, the Albert Dock, features an excellent Beatles museum.

Visitors can listen to Beatles music at a restored version of the Cavern Club, the subterranean vault where the Beatles played 274 gigs. Or they can take the two-hour Magical Mystery bus tour of other Beatles sites scattered across the city.

Penny Lane, in south Liverpool, is on the tourist circuit, but it remains surprisingly untouched.

Perhaps untouched is not the word - city authorities long ago gave up trying to replace the metal Penny Lane street signs regularly swiped by souvenir hunters - but it's clear the merchandising of John, Paul, George and Ringo hasn't spread to the neighborhood where they grew up.

Suzy Miller was pessimistic as she fried up some bacon and egg sandwiches for the regulars at Penny Lane Cakes & Pies.

"The Tesco has taken all our business away," she complained.

Tesco is Britain's equivalent of Wal-Mart, and its outlet a few blocks away was built on the site of the Quarry Bank Grammar School, John Lennon's high school.

A record store on Penny Lane went out of business a few years ago; the tattered Beatles posters in the display window have faded to dingy pastel tones.

The Penny Lane Wine Bar, the only business on the street that makes an effort to cater to tourists, is empty in the middle of the afternoon.

"All these tourists turn up, and there's nothing here for them," said Steve Johnson, who runs a kitchen design business on Penny Lane.

"It's not a tourist attraction the way it should be. If this were America, it would be like Disneyland. You'd have gift shops and bed and breakfasts, and we'd all be millionaires like the Beatles," he said.

"All these tourists turn up, and there's nothing here for them."

Steve Johnson, who runs a kitchen design business on Penny Lane

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