Following in the footsteps of the Beatles with the movie Yesterday

Movie Music
A true homage to the Beatles, Yesterday follows in the footsteps of the four boys in the wind through this film directed by Danny Boyle.

Abbey Road, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, through Yesterday, find the Beatles’ cult places.

Strawberry Field

Strawberry Field - Yesterday
Strawberry Field – Yesterday

Lacking inspiration, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) follows in the footsteps of the Beatles. To do so, from Los Angeles, he left for Liverpool and went first to Strawberry Field. Used by the Salvation Army as a children’s home from 1936 to 2005, the property was made famous by the song Strawberry Fields Forever.

The author, John Lennon, lived nearby as a child and regularly visited the residence grounds to play. The John Lennon Memorial in Central Park, New York, also refers to this place, which is very important in the story of the Boy in the Wind. Coldplay’s Chris Martin was originally supposed to be the artist taking Jack under his wing. Faced with the latter’s refusal, Richard Curtis, one of the film’s producers, turned to Ed Sheeran, whom he considers the son he never had but who is also from Suffolk and engaged to a girl he went to school with.

Address: Strawberry Field, Beaconsfield Road, Liverpool L25 6EJ, UK

Penny Lane

Penny Lane in Liverpool
Penny Lane by Lander777. Wikimedia.

The second stop on Jack’s pilgrimage to Liverpool is Penny Lane. Made famous in 1967 thanks to the Beatles’ eponymous song, this artery has nothing special about it. But the mention of the fire station, the bus terminal and the barbershop where Jack stops have made it one of the busiest streets in Liverpool.

“Penny Lane was the depot where I had to change buses to get from my house to John’s and a lot of my friends’ houses. It was a big bus terminal that we all knew very well. I sang in the choir of St. Barnabas Church, right across the street.” said Paul McCartney about Penny Lane. If in Yesterday the barber went bankrupt, in reality he still exists, under Tony Slavin. Penny Lane street signs were regularly stolen because of the popularity of the song. To remedy this, the city decided to remove the signs and paint the street name until 2007. From that date, new panels, more resistant to theft, were installed. Despite these precautions, some continue to disappear.

Address: Penny Lane, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Tomb of Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby's grave - Photo Wikimedia Commons by Crestville
Eleanor Rigby’s grave – Photo Wikimedia Commons by Crestville

Sometimes reality and fiction clash. Paul McCartney had the idea for a song about a woman cleaning churches after weddings. He sees her first young, then older and names her Daisy Hawkins. Then the artist decided to change Daisy to Eleanor, a first name he liked very much, and the surname to Rigby in reference to a wine merchant’s sign in Bristol. Eleanor Rigby seemed more natural to him.

In the 1980s, a grave named after Eleanor Rigby was discovered in the cemetery of St Peter’s Parish Church, a short walk from the site of the first meeting between Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Then, in 2008, for an auction for the benefit of disabled children, Paul McCartney provided a 1911 pay slip bearing the signature of Eleanor Rigby. The artist, who has always defended himself against the invention of his character, has even declared “If someone wants to spend money to buy a document that proves that a fictional character exists (in reality), then that’s fine with me”.

Address: St. Mary’s Cemetery St. Peter’s Parish Church, Woolton, United Kingdom

Lime Street Station

Lime Street Station - Yesterday
Lime Street Station – Yesterday

Jack tries to catch up with Ellie (Lily James), on her way to Liverpool’s Lime Street Station. If this one is not directly evoked by the Beatles, Lime Street on the other hand is on the front line of the title Maggie Mae. A rendition of the traditional Liverpool song Maggie May, the song tells the story of a prostitute who takes up residence in Lime Street. The street is mainly composed of the railway station, the most important in the city. Ironically, the shooting of the scenes in Liverpool was rather complex. Indeed, the team had to erase all traces of the many references to the group scattered throughout the city.

Address: Lime Street Station, Liverpool, UK

Pier Hotel Gorleston

The Pier Hotel played an important role in the Jack and Ellie story. Jack was supposed to perform there before he found out the hotel was closed. Taking this as a sign of destiny, he decided to stop playing music and resume teaching. Ellie talked him out of it. When Jack, armed with his new celebrity, has to choose a location for the preview of his album, he chooses the roof of the Pier Hotel. This concert is a direct reference to the Beatles Rooftop Concert at 3 Savile Row in London. This last public performance was filmed as part of the music documentary Let It Be and also marks Jack’s last public performance before he gave up his desire to exploit the Beatles’ image for his own profit.

Address: Pier Hotel, Harbour’s Mouth, Gorleston-on-Sea NR31 6PL, United Kingdom

Abbey Road

Abbey Road London
Abbey Road London – Photo credit: Fantrippers

Jack tries to impose Abbey Road for the name of his album with a picture of the famous pedestrian crossing, but the Los Angeles marketing team rejects it, considering it to be a simple street where people drive on the wrong side of the road. It was Ringo Starr who came up with the idea for the crosswalk and the name of the album. Simply tired of being in the studios just around the corner, the other Beatles approved of their drummer’s idea and went out to get their picture taken, crossing the street. Iain McMillan, a close associate of John Lennon, was behind the lens. He took a total of six pictures.

Funny little anecdote: Paul McCartney is the only Beatles to be barefoot. Proof for conspiracy fighters of all stripes that the real Paul McCartney had been dead for a long time, replaced by a perfect lookalike. For it is barefoot that the dead are buried in India, and as everyone knows, the Beatles have a common history with this country. Further proof: Paul McCartney holds his cigarette in his right hand while he is left-handed. Other clues, on the cover of Abbey Road but also in some of the tracks, fed this thesis for a long time. The main interested party preferred to have fun with it.

Finally, there is a fifth identifiable person on the album cover, namely Paul Cole. This American tourist was on a trip to London at the time and is present in the photo on the right by pure chance. A man who can therefore pride himself on being on the cover of the Beatles’ second best-selling album.

Address: 2 Abbey Road, London, United Kingdom

Wembley Stadium

Jack asks Ed for a favour and goes to Wembley Stadium where the singer of Shape of You gives a concert. Jack declares his love for Ellie but also reveals the deception and makes all his songs available for free. Among the Beatles’ iconic venues, Wembley Stadium has a prominent place there. In 1965, the four boys in the wind played a live performance that has remained in all memories, notably their performance of the newly composed Ticket to Ride. This stage is not the same as the one seen in the film. Indeed, the old one was demolished in 2004. The new one was completed in 2007, has 90,000 seats and is the second largest stadium in Europe after Barcelona’s Camp Nou. In addition to sporting events, many concerts are held there.

Address: Wembley Stadium, London, Wembley HA9 0WS, United Kingdom

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By Damien Duarte

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

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