In October 1977, the first Beatles Convention was held at Mr Pickwick's Club in Liverpool. Organised by early Beatles manager Allan Williams & legendary Cavern DJ Bob Wooler it provided live music, guests, video screenings and an opportunity for Beatles fans to come together in their hometown of Liverpool. In the mid 70's interest in the Beatles had somewhat diminished, in fact the feeling was, the closer you got to Mathew Street the less interest there was in the band. That's why I always regard 1977 as the first of the 'Beatles Years in Liverpool'.
Other 'Beatles Years' include;
1980 - It doesn't matter which way you look at it but the death of John Lennon put the spotlight firmly on his hometown of Liverpool' Liverpool Council had already taken 'baby steps' with the help of Ron Jones and others to kickstart the Beatles tourism industry by training and employing Blue Badge Beatles Tour Guides and organising Beatles coach tours. It became obvious, after John Lennon's tragic death that Liverpool's outlook of the Beatles had to change and it did for the better.
1981 - The founding of Cavern Mecca by Liz & Jim Hughes was an important cog in getting the wheels of tourism moving in Beatles Liverpool. The Cavern Mecca Museum was set above a pub on Matthew Street. You could become a member and receive newsletters covering local news and events.. It created a fan base for Beatles fans Worldwide and an attachment to the Beatles hometown. I totally credit Cavern Mecca with inspiring my first visit to Liverpool in 1984. 1984 - The first big Beatles Year without a doubt was 1984, the opening of the Cavern Club, the opening of Beatle City on Seel Street, the Liverpool Garden Festival and Paul McCartney, an actual Beatle receiving the 'Freedom of the City' at the Town Hall in Liverpool.
1985 - The emergence of Cavern City Tours (CCT) in 1985 was possibly the most important step in Beatles tourism. In 1986 Liverpool County Council were investing less money into Beatles tourism and asked CCT to take over the running of the Beatles Convention. As they say the rest is history...
1990 - And so, on to 1990. The Beatles Story opens it's doors on the 1st May - The John Lennon Tribute Concert took place on the 5th May. CCT's Liverpool John Lennon Celebrations 1990 was held in October. Merseycats founded in 1989 and featuring original Merseybeat bands from the 60's put together the Merseybeat, Imagine the Sixties show at the Philharmonic Hall & Allan Williams nearly contributed to the celebrations by staging The All Night Merseybeat Ball at the Grafton.