Still Playing A German Guitar // CC // Oli Gill
To be a fan of The Beatles is to also be a historian, for fans of the 'Fab Four' seem to have the uncanny ability to store a never ending amount of trivia in their heads, as long as it pertains to the band, of course.
Many of these fans will know that Paul McCartney started his musical career on the trumpet, which was a present from his father. This was probably an unpopular circumstance for McCartney's neighbours, as the terraced 1950s council houses of Liverpool did not have the best soundproofing.
A young Paul decided that he wanted to be able to make music and sing at the same time, and eventually persuaded his father to swap the trumpet for a guitar. The swap took place at the largest music store in Europe, which at the time was Rushworth's in Liverpool. In exchange for the trumpet, the youngster received a German guitar worth £25.
This was when the soon-to-be-Beatle realised that he was left-handed, and according to some, he had to turn the strings on his guitar round the other way. We all know what happened in the subsequent years of McCartney's incredible career, and it may have all happened differently without the guitar provided by the family-run Rushworth's music store.
The Beatles' active years seem like a blip on the radar in compairson to the 174-year history of the store, which is now to be the study of a three-year project by the University of Liverpool.
The shop originally profited from the roaring trade in Liverpool during the Victorian era, and would display up to 300 pianos at any one time.
The enormous property played host to a 200-seat concert room, a 175-seat lecture hall, and 24 music studios.
When The Beatles secured their first record deal in 1962, John Lennon and George Harrison were each presented with a Gibson guitar, flown in specially from Chicago.
Sadly the store closed in 2002, but lasted through five generations of trade.
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