It has taken Liverpool almost half a century to come to terms with the musical, cultural and now economic legacy of the Beatles and popular music. At times the group was negatively associated with sex and drugs images surrounding rock music: deemed unacceptable by the city fathers, and unworthy of their support. Liverpudlian musicians believe that the musical legacy of the Beatles can be a burden, especially when the British music industry continues to brand the latest (white) male group to emerge from Liverpool as ’the next Beatles’. Furthermore, Liverpudlians of perhaps differing ethnicities find images of ’four white boys with guitars and drums’ not only problematic in a ’musical roots’ sense, but for them culturally devoid of meaning and musically generic. The musical and cultural legacy of the Beatles remains complex. In a post-industrial setting in which both popular and traditional heritage tourism have emerged as providers of regular employment on Merseyside, major players in what might be described as a Beatles music tourism industry have constructed new interpretations of the past and placed these in such an order as to re-confirm, re-create and re-work the city as a symbolic place that both authentically and contextually represents the Beatles.
"The value of this book first of all lies in the detailed historical overview and engaging analysis of Beatles tourism to Liverpool, which is a contribution not only to Beatles scholarship but to the emerging field of music tourism research as well. The recommendations for tourism policy that are passionately put forward towards the end of the book add a practical relevance that potentially solidifies The Beatles’ hold on Liverpool."
- Leonieke Bolderman, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.