A Magical and Mysterious Tour of Mongolia’s Beatles Monuments in Manhattan
The Beatles arrive at Wellington Airport in 1964. Photo / Alexander Turnbull Library
No corner of the world has been spared by Beatlemania. The band and their signature mops swept across New Zealand in 1964. Lennon left less than a tuft of hair after being mobbed by women at Auckland City Hall.
There are places they will remember.
The music of the Fab Four resonates throughout the universe. Even in places they were forbidden to visit. From Cuba to Mongolia, you’ll find public statues of John, Paul, George and Ringo.
We have organized a magical mystery tour of the Beatles sites for an international pilgrimage.
Return to the USSR
Despite rumors sparked by their song USSR, it wasn’t until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the band that Ringo Starr became the first Beatle to perform in Russia in 1998. Their music was banned behind the iron curtain but that didn’t stop them from becoming superstars. Bootlegged records helped their music spread where the band couldn’t go.
After his death in 1980, the John Lennon “Lennonova zed” wall in Prague was painted in his memory. You’ll also find statues – of varying quality – across the former communist bloc, including in Almaty in Kazakhstan. There are also statues in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia and a statue of Lennon with wire-rimmed glasses in Havana, Cuba.
In 1968, the Beatles went on a spiritual tour from Uttarakhand to northern India, following the death of manager Brian Epstein.
The ashram they visited, Chaurasi Kutia, fell into disrepair in the early 2000s but has since been restored as a gallery called “Beatles Ashram”. Visitors can pay $13 for a tour that includes yoga, meditation, and contemplating more outlandish inclusions in the Beatles’ discography.
After Liverpool, London was a second home for the Beatles. Your first stop – according to the rules of the road – should be at Abbey Road Studios. Or, as the locals call it, “that bloody Beatles crossing.”
The zebra crossing to the recording studios that featured on the Abbey Road album cover is now shocked from dawn to dusk with tourists recreating the image. Other must-see stops include 3 Savile Row, the site of the band’s last live gig – on the roof of Apple Studios in 1969 – and Marylebone Station, the black-and-white station through which the band escaped hordes of screaming girls in A Hard Day’s Night.
Hamburger Hafen was the “town that built the Beatles”. Working in post-war Germany, they booked their first gigs at the Kaiserkeller and the Star-Club. Playing as a cover band, the Beatles were booked to play American hits, dressed in leather rockabilly and slicked back hair.
Lennon once said that the Beatles were “born in Liverpool, but raised in Hamburg”.
Pauli, the neighborhood where the band was based, is now home to a Beatles-Platz square and several Beatles-themed music bar crawls.