The up-market area of St John’s Wood in north-west London has been a magnet for many tourists because of its association with The Beatles.
The band recorded many of their songs at the Abbey Road studios there and the cover of the 1969 album Abbey Road features them walking across a zebra crossing close to the studios (although many tourists have photographs of themselves at the wrong one!)
There’s been speculation over the past week that the studios – a former 19 century townhouse – might be put up for sale by their struggling owners, EMI.
One of the two surviving Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney, said he had so many memories of the place and he’d heard of plans to try to rescue the building. “There are a few people who have been associated with the studio for a long time who were talking about mounting some bid to save it,” said Sir Paul. “I sympathise with them. I hope they can do something, it would be great.”
EMI clarified its position this week by saying that it wasn’t intending to sell the loss-making studios, but was looking for investors to help it finance what it called a ‘revitalisation’.
One of those who might put his hand in his pocket is the composer and theatrical impresario Lord (Andrew) Lloyd Webber, who has used the studios on a regular basis.
by Andy Moreton
If you’re visiting the UK in 2010, be sure to take a look at Luxique’s selection of 52 luxury hotels in London and our Top Destination guide to getting around.
The German city of Hamburg is claiming its place in the history of the world’s most successful band by opening a museum called Beatlemania.
Five Beatles (they included Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best but not Ringo Starr) arrived unheralded in Hamburg in 1960 and often played several clubs on the same night – most notably the Star Club.
Through these early concerts, the Beatles began to develop the sound that would come to be their trademark. It was also in Hamburg that Ringo made his first appearance as the band’s new drummer.
The Beatlemania museum takes visitors back to a time when the Beatles were all the rage. The walls duplicate the style of those Hamburg clubs and there’s Beatles memorabilia of all kinds. One room is decorated to look like the bedroom of a young fan, filled from top to bottom with Beatles collectables.
Set out over five floors, it tells the story of the band from Hamburg to their break-up, with interactive exhibits like a mock-up of the legendary Abbey Road studios where visitors can record themselves singing.
The northern Germany city has always been proud of its association with the Beatles – there’s even a Beatles-Platz, paved in black to make it look like a vinyl record.
by Andy Moreton
If you’re hoping to make a Beatles pilgrimage to Hamburg, Luxique can offer accommodation that the Fab Four/Five could only have dreamed of back in 1960. Check out our luxury hotel selection – from the classic Raffles Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten to the fun and funky 25 Hours.