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LIVERPOOL BEATLES MUSEUM REVIEW
Just a few doors down from the legendary Cavern Club on Liverpool’s iconic Mathew Street lies the Liverpool Beatles Museum. This three-story exhibition is the youngest of The Beatles‘ attractions available in the city but is the best around.
The monument invites punters in with a tribute to all six members of The Beatles above its front door – yes, all six.
Included in the exhibition are not only trinkets and tributes to the iconic Fab Four, but also the two members the band lost along the way.
First is Stuart Sutcliffe, who ventured to Germany with the band in the early 1960s before tragically dying of a brain haemorrhage aged just 21-years-old.
Pete’s younger brother, Roag Best, is the curator and owner of the Liverpool Beatles Museum and owns every piece of historic memorabilia within the establishment.
Roag sat down with Express.co.uk to discuss his work and how he got his collection started.
Liverpool Beatles Museum review: The exhibition has an astounding amount on display
Liverpool Beatles Museum review: Never-before-seen artefacts are included in the line-up
Roag casually revealed how it all started when he started claiming objects owned by his older brother Pete while growing up. Roag said: “I was going to him and saying: ‘Can I have this? Can I have that?’ [He would reply:] ‘Yeah go on.’
“That’s how I began playing drums, he basically gave me a ton of stuff – as did my dad, as did my mum.”
The Best family have been intrinsically linked to The Beatles for their entire careers.
Not only was Pete in the band at first, but the quartet first hit the stage in The Casbah Coffee Club, which was owned by Pete and Roag’s mother, Mona Best.
Mona looked after the band during their early years. She cooked them dinner, gave them somewhere to hang out and write songs, and was even responsible for their first residency slot at The Casbah. The Quarrymen – as The Beatles were known at the time – were paid £3 a night, prompting queues to form around the corner of the Liverpool street.
Roag’s father, Neil Aspinall, was the band’s road manager throughout the 1960s and was a school friend of Paul and George.
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Liverpool Beatles Museum review: The exhibition included John Lennon’s egg chair
Throughout the family’s incredible connection to The Beatles, Roag has curated an astounding collection of artefacts that will not be seen anywhere else on the planet.
From the band’s original leather jackets and overtly used instruments to handwritten notes, music video jewellery and paraphernalia – even pieces of history from Apple Corp’s offices – it is a robust collection that will leave visitors truly overwhelmed.
Each floor showcases a different period of the band’s journey through the years. From Liverpool and Germany all the way to the rooftop of Apple’s headquarters, every single event in The Beatles’ history has a specific piece of memorabilia to bring the picture together.
Roag explained he included memorabilia and historic items from every piece of The Beatles’ lives. Trinkets from music videos neighbour tour tickets and worn-out guitars. All of it 100 percent authentic, and 100 percent awe-inspiring
And there is much more to come. Roag coyly told me: “This is only 20 percent of the collection … we still try, all the time, to improve it.
“But it’s very much like whatever part of the story we touch on let’s have a piece of memorabilia to show it off.”
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The curator added: “I’ve been very lucky because Pete was right in the middle of it 1960 to 1962 and my dad [Aspinall] was right in the middle of it in 1967 to 1970.”
This firsthand experience is obvious to visitors the moment they step through the doors, as they will be greeted by actual chairs from one of their earliest stadium gigs, and letters written directly to Mona Best from John Lennon, et al.
While other museums and exhibitions in Liverpool strive to tell the chronological story of The Beatles, Roag’s glorious collection feels real – because it is.
Pieces of clothing are frayed, instruments are damaged, Lennon’s glasses are dirty. These are all artefacts from the band’s youth that have been ripped out of time and displayed in all their glory for the world to see for the first time.
And it is all brought together by people who were actually there, in the room where it happened. The only way this could get any better would be if Paul or Ringo themselves were showing you around.
Speaking of which, have either of the remaining Beatles attended the museum just yet?
“No,” Roag said. “Not to the museum. They know about it, and Paul wished me all the best.”
With a smile, the curator remembered: “He sent me a lovely letter saying: ‘I hope it does well, I couldn’t think of anyone better to do it!’ I thought that was nice.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Tickets for the Liverpool Beatles Museum are available here.