When it comes to feeding & sustaining Liverpool's chronic addiction to the Beatles, Joe Anderson has shown that he's just as reliable a dealer as Warren "War Zones" Bradley. How else to account for the decision to rename the newly renovated Neptune Theatre the Epstein Theatre (http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/news/Newsdetail_2222.asp )?
I suspect that most people on Merseyside would see no valid reason to change the theatre's name; the venue was given the name Neptune to reflect the city's maritime past.
It is true that, as the council press release states, Brian Epstein "began his career in music at the landmark venue when Crane's Music Store sat below what was then Crane's Music Hall."
That said, there's a dispiriting predictability to the council's mania for gratuitously linking the Neptune with John, Paul, George &, ooh, whatisname, you know, the one who did the voice on Thomas the Tank Engine.
In this latest bout of civic onanism, Cllr Anderson refers to the Beatles' manager as "the 5th Beatle", a tag which, if merited by anyone, should surely go to the band's producer, George Martin.
Still let's not bother with the fact that there's a healthy & vibrant music scene in the city, shall we? As long as it's another lucrative stopping-off point for the tourists in the Hard Day's Night Hotel that's all that matters. Anderson admits this:
"For our Beatles industry this development means Liverpool has a new attraction and a new story to tell and for the city we will soon have a new theatre with a world famous name which will hopefully make it a commercially more attractive business to market and operate."
Both the council & Oldham Hall Street normally shudder with distaste when they're accused of seeing the Beatle legacy as nothing more than a tired & tawdry cash cow. Here, however, Anderson commits the Freudian slip once considered the preserve of his predecessor on Dale Street & blurts out the reality we've long known.
Oh yes, there's another aspect of that quote which should be shot down in flames. The Neptune is not "a new theatre". It has been renovated, not reinvented. To many of its former patrons & performers, it will still be known as the Neptune.
Got that, Joe?