From me to you
My recent trip to New York started off rather badly, when my wallet was lost / stolen at JFK. Before I even had time to alert the authorities, £300 was spent on my cards. Thankfully all of the money has been refunded by the card companies, but sadly, in the wallet was also my Official Liverpool Beatles Guide Badge. This badge is proudly worn by a small number of us who went through rigorous assessment and training to be appointed as Beatles Guides by the City of Liverpool. In other countries it would be deemed illegal to set up tours without a professional qualification, but not in the UK, so this, plus the blue badge is the accolade to check when making your enquiries for a Beatle Tour. I have always worn mine with pride, and really do miss it! The badge is very distinctive, featuring a black Rickenbacker on a gold background, and of course my name. I'd be really grateful if sharp eyed Beatle People would keep their eyes and ears to the ground to see if it surfaces. I arrived at JFK Exactly 50 years to the minute as The Beatles did, and so the badge would have been lost as I checked through customs at approx 1.30pm, Friday 7th February 2014. What a fantastic story it would make if we found it with Beatle People Power! Let me just add, that this bad start in no way spoiled my trip. If anything, the outpouring of concern from everyone made it even better. I can replace the badge, but I really want my original back, so HELP! There is a reward....a FREE tour to anyone who finds it, although you do have to make your own way to Liverpool!
From me to you
At the Fest for Beatles fans I was invited to do a slot on Ken Dashow's 'Breakfast with the Beatles' on Q104.3fm. Just before my interview, Ken heard me chatting to Billy J Kramer. He grew up just a couple of miles from me in Bootle so we had a good old chin-wag about Liverpool. Ken was gobsmacked by our REAL accents so he asked us to do some 'Scouse' on the radio show. This is the result. Sorry mum!!
A strange thing happened during my visit to New York celebrating 50 years of The Beatles. Mark Lapidos, Fest organisor invited myself and London Tour Guide Richard Porter to accompany New York Guide Suan Ryan on her tours. We had started our tour by taking the subway to the Dakota. Have been there a few times now, and it is always a strange feeling. Susan told the story of the terrible day when John passed away, and then I stepped in and told of how I spend all my time in Liverpool going to his birthplace, where he grew up, his schools, homes etc. It was bizarre to be stood at such a sad spot. Richard then told of how the date is now a happy one for him, as 9th December (UK date) was the day Lilia, his daughter was born. Such a coincidence, as this is the same for me. My son Alex was born 9 years to the day John left us, 9th December 1989. Not only that, Susan's son was born in the hospital where John lost his life. We crossed to Strawberry Field, we saw the bench dedicated from the people of Liverpool after 9/11, we saw where John had celebrated his 40th birthday. I dont know if it was the jetlag, but the walk through the park was just magical in the snow. I had to pinch myself. We walked the length of the park and then stopped at the Plaza. As Susan was talking, I looked up and saw what I thought was a snowflake, it fluttered past Susan, toward Richard, and I held out my hand and it settled on my glove. It was a beautiful pure white feather. Everyone saw it, and understood. Was such a happy moment as you can see by my face in the picture. I still have the feather, here in Liverpool. Magical start to a wonderful weekend celebrating 50 years of The Beatles in the USA.
The story made the press!