El panorama: Paul McCartney at his parents’ home in 1962

METROike McCartney took this picture of “our kid” reading the Observador a couple of weeks after the release of the Beatles’ first single, Love Me Do, en octubre 1962. The record had reached number 17 en los gráficos. He and Paul were still living at home, 20 Forthlin Road, in Allerton, south Liverpool. “This was the time before the time,” he told me last week. “We were just working-class Liverpool people trying to survive with our dad after our mum had died.”

Mike was 18 and had just formed his band the Scaffold, while working as a hairdresser. Pablo, a couple of years older, had brought him back a Rolleicord camera from Hamburg, a gift from Astrid Kirchherr, who had befriended the Beatles when they played there. The brothers were experimenting with it, while their dad was out at work as a cotton salesman. “My parents always got the Observador rather than the Espejo because they wanted us to try to better ourselves,” Mike recalls. “Our mum would have been horrified to see the springs coming through the arm of the chair.”

los house at Forthlin Road has been restored to its 1962 life – when Paul and John Lennon would be writing songs on this armchair – by the National Trust, using Mike’s photographs. Próximo mes, music will be brought back to the house, when winners of a competition will get the chance to play a new song, inspired by memories of the Beatles, in the front room. The performances will be streamed. Mike has written a poem for the project, part of which reads: “In eight short years/Four walls gave rise/To a world changed for ever/Under marmalade skies.”

Eighteen months after this picture was taken, he recalls, “we all had to leave Forthlin Road for good at midnight one night, because Beatlemania had started, and if we’d left in the daylight, the fans would have seen what was happening and stripped the house bare.”





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