A New Hampshire Beatles fan has bought George Harrison’s childhood home. Now you can hang out in the room where the Fab Four once stuck.

I arrived at the modest townhouse, opened my suitcase and carefully placed “Revolver” on the turntable – the vinyl had miraculously survived the trip from Boston. I listened to the Harrison written “Collector” in the living room where teenager George once stuck with Paul McCartney and John Lennon as the Quarrymen and then as the Beatles from 1960. legend has it Louise Harrison used to bring some whiskey to the boys when they rehearsed, so I had a drink in her honor while listening to records. Did I have misty eyes? Only the shot of young George on the coat knows for sure.

A photo of Beatles guitarist George Harrison in the living room of his childhood home can be found in . . . the living room of his childhood home. Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

The George Harrison Airbnb, which cost me $472 for two nights (including taxes and fees), was something very different from dozens of other Beatles attractions in Liverpool. You can visit McCartney and Lennon’s childhood homes, but they belong to the National Trustwhich means you can visit them for $33 with a group, but you can’t sleep in all the beds and dance on “Love Me Do” in the living room. Well, I guess you could try, but it might not be looked upon favorably.

Perhaps the weirdest part of this story, other than dancing to “Love Me Do” after a few glasses of whiskey in Harrison’s childhood living room, is how I learned he was available at the lease. I heard about a local guy who had bought Harrison’s house and I knew I wanted to stay there.

Harrison’s home, located in the Liverpool suburb of Speke, went up for auction on November 30, 2021, and the winning bidder was Hampton, NH, resident Ken Lambert. He was the third and final bidder and won the modest home for around $200,000 (£171,000). He had been allowed to bid in the auction but did not anticipate that he would win.

“When I got it, there was joy,” said Lambert, who works in construction. “But there was also a lot of worry and apprehension. I didn’t really have a plan. I had never been to England before. The first time I went there was when I closed the house.

Lambert, an avid Beatles and Harrison fan, learned about the auction last November when friends began forwarding him stories and videos from national and international news organizations. The history of Harrison’s house put up for auction was clickbait fun.

“I had these group texts with friends from high school, and they were like, ‘You gotta buy it.’ It was like a joke, and then it was less of a joke,” he said. “As the auction got closer and closer, I really started to think about it.

A photo of young George Harrison outside his childhood home in Upton Green in Speke (left). Ken Lambert of Hampton, NH, who purchased the home last year, reenacts the pose.Ken Lambert

Since winning, Lambert has traveled to the house to make repairs and rent it out. Business so far has been good, but he admits ‘more than half the reason’ he even considered buying the house was to play Beatles songs on guitar in Harrison’s living room and connect with other Beatles fans. Lambert didn’t know this Harrison fan had stayed in the house prior to my booking (a couple in England manage the property for him).

The Harrisons were the first occupants of 25 Upton Green. It was built in 1949 and the family arrived in 1950. In the 72 years since the Harrisons moved in, there have been several updates. The kitchen looks like it was last updated in the 1990s. But the layout of the house is the same, and Lambert tried to replicate the living room, which was the most photographed part of the house. The most striking feature of the room is the floral wallpaper and the sofa.

“The focus was always on that front piece,” he said. “You walk through the door and you are instantly in this world. But there were no color photos of the wallpaper and that sofa. We were looking at swatches, filtering them to black and white, then looking at shading. When you look at the end result, it looks pretty good.

A copy of the Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ record plays on the turntable at George Harrison’s childhood home.Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

When I arrived in the neighborhood, my immediate reaction was not, “My dear lord, this is amazing.” It was more “My dear lord, I’m in the middle of nowhere.” I was officially a man from nowhere (sorry, I’m stopping). Speke is about 9 miles from Liverpool, or about 30+ minutes by public transport. This is a residential area and not somewhere you can walk out the front door to a busy downtown.

But the location was perhaps what made the experience more authentic than any Beatles tour. One night when I got back to George’s I couldn’t open the front door and fumbled with the keys for what felt like an hour. A neighbor spotted me, took pity and opened the door.

“These English locks are complicated,” she said. At least that’s what I think she said. His accent was thicker than sticky caramel pudding.

I asked if she lived well next to a famous house and Airbnb. Not only did she agree, but she was thrilled. She said the previous owner neglected the house. In addition, she liked to hear the American accents of the tenants. She invited me over for coffee the next morning (!), told me that if there was anything I needed, I should knock on someone’s door in the neighborhood, and if I needed a ride into town, one of the neighbors was a taxi driver. I’ve always found the people of Liverpool friendly, but my temporary neighbor was a complete peach.

Beyond 25 Upton Green

After sleeping in all the beds, cooking, and considering using the outhouse, it was time to leave Speke’s easy life behind for . . . yes, more Beatles. On a previous trip, I immersed myself in all things Beatles. The Beatles are an industry in their own right here. Their legacy injects hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. There are museums, bus tours, taxi tours and walking tours. I felt like I didn’t need to do it all over again, but there was one tour I hadn’t tried: a 3.5 hour tour on an e-bike through Liverpool. It is offered by Liverpool Bike Tours.

A marker at Strawberry Field in Liverpool.Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

Of all the Beatles tours I’ve done, this was by far my favorite. Instead of getting on a coach and looking out the window, then jumping for the occasional photo, we were able to zip down the narrow streets of the neighborhood. We drove through Penny Lane and stopped at Strawberry Field, which has been transformed from a weed-filled field into a tidy visitor center, cafe and garden. We stopped at Eleanor Rigby’s graveand, across the street, we saw the exterior of the party hall of St. Peter’s Parish Church.

The interior of St Peter’s Church Hall in Woolton, Liverpool. This is where Paul McCartney met John Lennon on July 6, 1957.Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

It was here that 15-year-old McCartney met 16-year-old Lennon in July 1957. It is still a church reception hall and not open to tour groups. But a member of the church was working on the building and left our group inside to look around. It is a beautiful but unremarkable space. But having the connection of being where that first encounter was, or of having been at Eleanor Rigby’s grave, or, of staying in Harrison’s modest childhood home where the Beatles once rehearsed, offered a moving connection to the band in its early days.

Forget watching the documentary “Get Back”. Liverpool is far more effective at evoking the optimism and excitement of The Beatles in a way that no eight-hour film can.

The George Harrison Airbnb is currently listed at $176 a night. There is a two night minimum, plus a $99 cleaning fee. The Beatles Electric Bike Tour operates twice a day from May 2 to August 31. The cost is $43.

Christopher Muther can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther and Instagram @chris_muther.

Comments are closed.