February 7, 2014 marks 50 years since the Beatles’ historic touchdown at JFK Airport, resulting in one of the most acclaimed welcomes in pop culture history. Two days after the group landed, they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, and consequently induced the American strain of “Beatlemania”. This fever lasted for years, transforming along with the band, as they performed, recorded new music, started families, divorced, quarreled and eventually broke up. But even five decades after the “British Invasion”, there are five major cities around the world that are still feeling the lasting side effects of Beatlemania. Rely on Auto Europe for all your car rental needs while traveling the world and following the famed footsteps of the Fab Four.
Give the peace sign while posing for photos in front of the Lennon Wall in Prague. This colorful tribute to the musician is a fusion of graffiti, song lyrics and poetry that became an outlet in the early ‘80s for locals and visitors alike to display their creativity, express their feelings and share their love for the Beatles. Following his death in 1980, John Lennon became a martyr for peace, idolized by young people throughout the Czech Republic. Despite the randomness of contributions, the wall always seems to come together as a crossroads of unique messages, forming a cohesive explosion of color.
The Imagine Peace Tower is a work of art that was conceptualized by legendary artist, musician, and peace advocate Yoko Ono, located on Videy Island in Reykjavik, Iceland. Designed with the intent of acting as a beacon for world peace, the light tower was dedicated to the memory of John Lennon on October 9, 2007, the day that would have been his 67th birthday. Comprised of numerous individual lights that come together to form a single skyward beam, the light tower is a profound symbol of encouragement and inspiration in a world that is so often filled with fear and confusion. Travelers are able to see the tower illuminated between the October 9th and December 8th, as well as on New Year’s Eve, during the first week of spring, and other special occasions throughout the year.
3.New York City
Located across from the Dakota Apartments where John Lennon lived and in front of which he died, is a 2.5 acre landscaped section of Central Park called Strawberry Fields, which is a memorial space that has been dedicated to the musician’s life and work. The entrance to the New York City memorial is located on Central Park West at West 72nd Street, and Lennon fans from around the world visit the park every year to pay their respects, covering the memorial’s iconic black and white Imagine mosaic in flowers, candles and other personal belongings, while reflecting on the powerful message Lennon brought to the world. Strawberry Fields has been endorsed as a Garden of Peace, and named after the song; “Imagine” evokes a powerful vision and hope for a future consisting of a world free from war and conflict.
What self-respecting Beatles fan could visit London without staging a picture walking along the iconic crosswalk – “zebra crossing” as they say across the pond- on Abbey Road in Westminster? One of the most famous locations in Beatles history is the former EMI studios, where the band recorded roughly half their songs at 3 Abbey Road in St. John’s Wood, just north of central London. Get caught up in the Rock n’ Roll hype as you visit the pubs, cafes, filming locations, art galleries, homes and performance spaces that not only inspired the Fab Four, but other high-profile acts like The Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, The Clash Jimi Hendrix, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie and more.
There’s no city in the world so strongly associated with any band as Liverpool is with the Beatles. The group is a staple in Liverpool tourism, and the city tailors numerous tours around the group’s legacy every year. Mathew Street offers an array of references in honor of the Beatles, from a John Lennon statue to the legendary Cavern Club and even a themed four-star hotel, the Hard Day’s Night. The Cavern Club is the venue where the band played some of their very first shows, and over the years, continues to showcase up-and-coming talent. Travel back to the ‘Swinging ‘60s’ as you enter the Beatles Story, a museum where visitors are able to learn more about the history of the band and the group’s musical contributions through a menagerie of interactive exhibits, pieces of band member’s clothing and instruments.
Each of these dynamic destinations offers an enticing array of activities for all travelers, allowing for plenty of opportunities to venture off the “Beatle path”, and explore other interesting aspects of each locale’s unique aesthetic. A car rental is a great accessory to add to any trip, and will provide you with the ability to hand-craft your trip’s itinerary around your specific interests and desired time allotments. Reserve yours today using Auto Europe’s secure, three-step booking engine, or contact one of our travel experts directly toll-free at 1-888-223-5555! Planning a special trip to celebrate the Beatles’ 50th anniversary of coming to America? We’d love to hear about it!