Elvis's Liverpool, Feb. 2005

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Elvis's Liverpool, Feb. 2005

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Feb 13, 2005 1:59 pm

I hope to be in Liverpool by lunchtime on the day of his show there.

Using information in Graeme Thomson's recent bio. I'm going to spend the afternoon looking around Birkenhead - where Elvis' Dad grew up and , of course , his Granny lived - and West Derby , where Elvis spent his late teenage years.

If anyone wants to join me I'll be checking into my hotel first -

Campanile Hotel Liverpool
Wapping & Challoner Street, Queens Dock, Liverpool L3 4AJ
Tel: 0151 709 8104

- before setting off on this journey of discovery.

Of course , if it's raining I might just find a coffee shop and read a book!
Last edited by johnfoyle on Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:23 pm

Damn, I want to join you! The EC heritage trail - heavenly. Praying for sun. looking forward to a full report and some photos!
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

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Postby laughingcrow » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:48 pm

You should go to the Grapes...it's not only the place he met Nick Lowe for the first time, it also has information on the wall about the legend of a man who live in a pipe!

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John
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Postby John » Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:15 pm

Looking forward to meeting up with johnfoyle on Wednesday.
Don't forget your notebook, pen and something for the setlist which you will no doubt acquire!
Are you standing or seating, John? We're standing.
Anyone else for Liverpool?

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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:30 pm

Sounds like a lot of fun. More than a bit trainspotter-ish, but fun.

Speaking of trainspotting, has anyone seen "The Station Agent"? Watched it with the wife this weekend. Good stuff, even if they leave a lot unresolved at the end.

Off to walk the right of way...
Mother, Moose-Hunter, Maverick

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Postby BlueChair » Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:06 pm

Good film. I enjoyed seeing a portrayal of a dwarf that wasn't akin to a cartoon character.
This morning you've got time for a hot, home-cooked breakfast! Delicious and piping hot in only 3 microwave minutes.

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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:13 pm

Great movie. I liked the 'unresolved' element ; you could imagine all kinds of scenarios etc. By the way , the deleted scenes on the DVD do rather resolve the story a bit - I'm glad they were cut 'cos then the movie would have been very 'Hollywood' , if you know what I mean .

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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:02 pm

Image

I walked around the two areas in Liverpool that Elvis reportedly spent time in as he grew up. Birkenhead is where he spent childhood holidays , visiting with his Granny . The other area is West Derby where he lived with his mother during his later teenage years , after the end of his parents marriage in London. They are two very contrasting areas, the basic difference being that one is poor and rundown and the other prosperous and well maintained.

Mrs Molly Macmanus lived , according to G. Thomson , at 282 Conway Street. Getting of at the newish Conway Park railway station - opened 1998 - you'd realise that this end of Conway Street has been subject to a lot of regeneration , with a cinema multiplex and a shopping centre. Walking down the very long road towards 282 it's clear that the refurbishment is taking its time making it's way down the street -

Image

Image

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However , 282 is clean and tidy -
Image

Image



- with a green area to the back -

Image

A pub is across the road -
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- with peeling paint -

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Birkenhead Park is after the pub -

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- it looks pretty bleak this time of year -

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- with this view back to 282 -

Image

There are some shops near 282 , a newsagents , a bookies , a real estate office , a bike shop and an 'adult' shop . As a retailer I noticed that the newsagents has everything under glass , with a sophisticated video surveillance system. The Asian staff couldn't offer me any postcards of Birkenhead and were busy dealing with people submitting entries for the Lottery.

It was time to move on to West Derby and , since I was in a hurry , I waved down a taxi. The driver was puzzled by my destination - then realised that I wanted West 'Darby' , the 'e' being, apparently , ordinarily pronounced 'a' in the area. Well he had a rough idea where to go. Y'see , he explained , he was from 'over here' - east of the Mersey river - wheras 'Darby' was 'over there' - to the west. However he knew how to find out for definite - he'd ask the wife. Pausing by the roadside he 'phoned her and had a almost unintelligible conversation. In the end she , apparently , named a pub in 'Darby' - The Millers ? - that he knew and off we went , taking the Queensway Toll-tunnel under the waterway.

Thomson tells me he never learnt for definite Elvis' mothers address in W.Derby so I got out near the shops in the village which , like most modern cities ,is no longer out on its own and is merely part of the cities suburbs.

After this charming sign -
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I walked on by -

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and on to the shops -

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( see loads more better photographed images of West Derby here - http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/westderbyvillage/ )

I got some postcards in a newsagents - confectionary on open display , Lottery machine broken since lunchtime - and had some coffee and carrot cake in a nearby cafe. Dean Martin was on the sound-system and most of the patrons - women with children cooing over a photo album , an elderly couple reading tabloids etc - quietly sang along with parts of the songs.

I wandered around some nearby houses -
Image

In the still and quiet I could hear childrens voices. As I passed near the tree on the right in the photo I realised that the children were gathered in the upper branches. Quite what they made of a stranger loitering in their streets I do not know....and didn't wait around to find out !

There was horseshit on the road outside the church , another indicator of the areas prosperity compared with Birkenhead. Indeed the more I saw of the differences the more I thought about how the realisation of same must have had a big effect on developing Elvis' social conscience.

Perhaps he had further food for thought as he travelled each day in to Campion School , journeying as he would through the suburbs back into the establishments city centre location. Large parts of the city are rather bleak , showing all the signs of the plain awful archiectural standards that prevailed as the city was re-built after the extensive bomb damage of WW2. Dull , grey buildings , would be my general impression.

Doubtlessly the bus routes have changed over the years but maybe he might have taken the route covered by the bus that I got back into town -

Image It progressed nearly all the way to the school on Salisbury St . , Image

see - http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/campionhs/

- coming closest when it turned left from Brunswick Road to Moss St . Time didn't allow me to go see the place ; it's ' net site seems to show a pretty typical school ie. somewhere I wouldn't like.

Elvis spoke about the school in 2002 , discussing learning how to write musical notation -

http://www.astheygo.com/cruelarticlesth ... azine.html


No less so when he explains what happened to him as a boy. It was simple really, although perplexing at the time. He couldn't understand the link between the treble and bass staves. No one explained to him that they were part of a continuum, joined by the alto stave, but that the alto stave was left out as it was generally only used by viola players. ''It was the separation that threw me',' he says. ''I gave up music for 30 years. I could sing, so I sang in the school choir, but then my voice got too loud and they threw me out. I became an altar boy because of the solemn face, but I got thrown out at 14 for laughing. Because the priest used to mumble everything except the church plate takings.

''The music teaching was laughable. They did Gilbert and Sullivan, but that too I had to give up because it was so far from what I was interested in. And I wasn't getting anything out of Barbara Allen and The British Grenadiers.'' This picaresque account of his youth goes on and on, jumping to the inevitable postscript in 1998 when the school wrote to him asking him for help with a charity drive, and noting that he and the former Liverpool footballer Steve McManaman were the two most famous old boys. ''Not the best recommendation for the place, I'd have thought.''



And that was my afternoon seeing Elvis' Liverpool. No great moments of earth shattering insight to be sure but I still feel it was an interesting way to pass an afternoon.

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Postby John » Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:20 pm

John, I'm not sure your number 282 would have been there 40+ years ago. Methinks the original 282 is no more.

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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:10 pm

John, I'm not sure your number 282 would have been there 40+ years ago. Methinks the original 282


Accepted. However , I daresay the original structure of that number was probably near the same location so you can still see the particular area that Elvis spent time in.

Over to anyone here familiar with Liverpol re-building schemes of the last few decades!

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Postby PlaythingOrPet » Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:25 am

I went to sixth form in West Derby Village! Did he actually live in the village, because West Derby covers a pretty big area, with some really crap bits as well as posh bits - i.e. the village.

And, I thought he went to St Francis Xavier Catholic High School? :?

http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/maypics/sfxL3.jpg

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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:09 am

And, I thought he went to St Francis Xavier Catholic High School?


Thomson says that school has since been renamed Campion School ; however he notes that it's still generally known in Liverpool as 'SFX' after it's old name.

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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:42 am

bump!

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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:09 pm

Why?
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:40 am

'Cos I was posting a link to it in another thread and the link that the search function threw up was way too long and might not have reproduced properly.

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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Fri Sep 01, 2006 2:00 am

Me and my premature questions!
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:00 am

Bump....in anticipation of a updated entry next month.

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Top balcony
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Re: See Elvis's Liverpool, Wednes. Feb. 16th

Postby Top balcony » Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:09 pm

John

I appreciate you’ve only just been in Liverpool for the show with the Philharmonic Orchestra , but…

If you’re here anytime soon you maybe interested in these Costello tinged aspects of our City of Culture celebrations.

Firstly “Erics the Musical” at the Everyman Theatre :

http://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats- ... asp?id=217

You’ll know that Erics was the scene of EC+As early shows in the city, and a bit of archive footage from the stage makes it onto the Right Spectacle DVD.

No idea whether Elvis will even get a mention in this show, or even if it will be any good, but those of us who still treasure our membership cards wouldn’t miss it for the world.

For younger readers, Erics was housed in the New Cavern – over the road in Mathew Street from the demolished original Cavern club which launched the Fab 4. It was essentially a basement running from the very start of punk in 1977 to approx 1981 when the local police wrecked the place irreparably following a gig by the Psychedelic Furs. The venue was key to the birth of the Teardrop Explodes / Echo and Bunnymen / Frankie Goes to Hollywood / Deaf School/ Big in Japan etc etc clutch of successful Liverpool based recording artists. Geographically it was also about 20 yards from The Grapes pub – scene of Elvis’ first meeting with Nick Lowe.

Secondly The Beat Goes On – an exhibition currently running at World Museum Liverpool :

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml/ ... beatgoeson


If anything this is even more tenuously linked to EC, but there is some relevance…

The hyperlinks on the right of the webpage give you a flavour of the show and features a handbill from Erics (see above) and a feature on Probe Records. I remember reading Elvis extolling the virtues of Probe as one of his favourite ever record shops, indeed it got a mention recently from the stage of the Phil . Currently situated in Slater Street, but when he was growing up he would have visited the original shops which were located in firstly Whitechapel then Button St, at the bottom of Mathew St. At one point Pete Burns – later to front Dead or Alive – sold records there. Around the corner was Hessey’s a musical instrument shop – predominantly guitars – run by Frank Hessey. This long gone establishment was name checked by Elvis when he played the Delivery Man show at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre in Feb 2005.

Ah notstalgia : it ain’t what it was!

Keep up the good work.

Colin

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Re: Elvis's Liverpool, Feb. 2005

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:24 pm

Thanks Colin - I look forward to getting back to Liverpool - sometime.

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Re: Elvis's Liverpool, Feb. 2005

Postby Top balcony » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:34 pm

John

Obviously too late for the two cultural delights i mentioned, but Elvis will be playing here again next June / July to co-incide with his Ma's 82nd birthday on his single city tour of England.

Take care

Colin

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Re: Elvis's Liverpool, Feb. 2005

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:56 pm

Image

From Richard Groothuizen's So Far (1982)

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Re: See Elvis's Liverpool, Wednes. Feb. 16th

Postby Man out of Time » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:37 am

Top balcony wrote:I remember reading Elvis extolling the virtues of Probe as one of his favourite ever record shops, indeed it got a mention recently from the stage of the Phil .
Colin


He talked about Probe in this 1996 Interview for Q Magazine. He says:

"my favourite record shops are the ones that are run by really opinionated people, where if you’re going to buy a record they don’t approve of, they let you know. Like Probe in Liverpool… if you went in in the ‘70s and tried to buy practically anything they would sneer at you and say, “What do you want this for?”"

I went into Probe a couple of times in the mid-1980s, and it was all black paint on the walls and Goth sales staff. I didn't buy anything.

MOOT

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Re: Elvis's Liverpool, Feb. 2005

Postby krm » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:23 am

This might be something for next leg of the heritage trail?

http://goo.gl/maps/a3tai
Attachments
ec2.jpg
ec2.jpg (115.38 KiB) Viewed 9183 times

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Re: Elvis's Liverpool, Feb. 2005

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:32 pm

I'm going to be in Liverpool for the day on Sunday, before traveling on to Blackpool on Monday morning for Elvis's show that night.

I'm hoping to revisit some of the locations I last saw all of fifteen years ago and will , of course , report back here.

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Top balcony
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Re: Elvis's Liverpool, Feb. 2005

Postby Top balcony » Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:42 pm

Hi John
Enjoy your day on Sunday, sorry I can't join you on your pilgrimage as I'll be travelling back from the Sheffield show! May see you in Blackpool tho.
At the recent Olympia show, EC said he used to get the bus past the venue on West Derby Road, on his way to/from school - it was the Locarno in those days, so to get authentic I think you need to catch a no.12A bus from Queens Square.
PS Probe Records have moved again and are now in School Lane, next to the Bluecoat.
Best wishes
Colin


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