‘There are places I remember’: (Re)constructions of the Beatles as a Liverpool heritage object


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This article explores the relationship between music, memory and place, with specific reference to the centrality of the music of the Beatles, collective and individual, to the heritage industry in their birthplace, Liverpool. Since its emergence during the early 1980s, the cultural heritage sector in Liverpool has arguably relied heavily on its claim as the cradle of the genius of the Beatles, and it is thought in some quarters that more could be done to exploit this lucrative link. However, it is suggested here that causal links between the city of Liverpool and the inception and development of the Beatles are limited and tenuous, and, therefore, the (over) reliance on the band by cultural regeneration professionals is based on a false claim. Further, it is argued that the Beatles story, as told and retold in this urban regeneration context, is a partial one which prioritizes some elements over others, mirroring the broader story of Liverpool as a heritage site.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-65
JournalJournal of Beatles Studies
Issue numberAutumn
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


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