This can be said about most sites of Beatles note in London. These locations are important for what they were. But, time, life, and London have gone on even though the Beatles story has not. 57 Green Street, near Hyde Park, is the only home all four Beatles ever lived in together, in the late summer of 1963. That alone, with fantasies of their musical heroes goofing and spoofing A-Hard-Day's-Night-style with no one to entertain but each other brimming in imaginations, is enough to make fans stop by to have a look.
This flat, though, like Abbey Road, is what it is - a flat near Hyde Park. There are no echoes of the boys' sarcasm, no melodies hanging loosely in the air. It is a bittersweet experience for a fan to see what is and imagine what was, especially younger fans who weren't lucky enough to have been around to experience the magic first hand. But that's part of the package, and it hardly makes such visits any less worthwhile.
It seems like an endless list of London locations have ties to the Beatles. Whether it's the Marylebone Station entrance (as seen in A Hard Day's Night), recently demolished EMI House in Manchester Square (where the Beatles posed for their famous "Red" and "Blue" album covers in 1963 and 1969), or 94 Baker Street (the site of the band's failed Apple Shop clothing outlet and short-lived psychedelic mural), it's not difficult to find the band's lingering footprint throughout the city they called home throughout the time they ruled the pop culture world.
Some smaller London Beatles spots, whether intended or not, can come across as more disheartening than celebratory. The "official" Beatles store on Baker Street, next door to an "official" Elvis Presley store, sells Beatles merchandise of varying levels of ridiculousness, which is fairly standard for music memorabilia in general. Key chains, posters, coffee mugs, Yellow Submarine action figures - it's all there, some would say collecting value, others, dust.
An English Heritage Blue Plaque to John Lennon is just a few blocks down Baker Street, mounted ceremoniously beside a movie theater. This, in a way, is a fitting microcosm of the Beatles continuing presence in London: perpetually available, often seen, too-rarely appreciated. Except, of course, by those fans that won't let the memory of the mystery tour fade quite yet.
- Patrick Allegri