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Let It Be

Jerry Goldman, former director of The Beatles Story attraction in Liverpool will be speaking in Leeds about his experiences. JLife briefly caught up with him to discuss his career.

Jewish connections have always been part of The Beatles’ story, from their pioneering manager Brian Epstein to their headline-grabbing ban from Israel in the 60s, and so it continued when Jerry Goldman was appointed as the director of The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool. He helped to turn it into one of Liverpool’s top visitor attractions and will soon be speaking at an Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA) event at the MAZCC to discuss his career on 6th August.

Jerry, who now resides in Leeds, has lived all over the world – including Tel Aviv for a spell –but originally from London, his work eventually drew him to Liverpool when he was appointed to oversee the popular museum at the Albert Docks. During his time there he helped to turn The Beatles Story into a must-visit attraction for the city, accumulating in the institution winning the 2012 People’s Choice award at the Annual Tourism Awards before deciding to step down after 12 years at the helm.

Jerry will present a talk entitled ‘The Beatles, Elvis and Me’, though he admits that he usually decides absolutely a day or two before about what he will actually discuss, but revealed that it will contain insights on the ‘Fab Four’, as well as the crowned ‘King of Rock and Roll’: “About 15 years ago I moved out of the IT. industry and found myself in the world of The Beatles. We did many amazing things, including creating a partnership with Memphis and so I also became deeply involved in the world of Elvis Presley as well. I had a number of adventures along the way and I certainly met a lot of interesting characters!” This refers to the tourism partnership that was created with the birthplaces of Elvis Presley and The Beatles and hoped would encourage tourists to explore the many links between the cities whose musical history is known throughout the world. After all, as John Lennon famously explained, “If there hadn’t been an Elvis, there wouldn’t have been The Beatles.”

He has worked with the HSFA before and so relishes the chance to be part of the association’s programme of events, Jerry explains: “I had the privilege of helping them stage an exhibition in Liverpool nearly 10 years ago in the Anglican cathedral.” The collaboration resulted in Anne Frank & You, a dramatic multimedia exhibition created by the Anne Frank Trust with contributions from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and Oscar-winning film director, John Blair.

Now retired, Jerry still lends his significant expertise and know-how to consult other projects, including one with the Salvation Army to reopen Strawberry Field, the former children’s home made famous in the Beatles song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’: “I’m helping deliver the project as it’s been derelict for a number of years. The charity is hoping to open it as learning centre for young adults with learning disabilities, and at the same time it’s also going to be a visitor attraction due its connections with John Lennon and the Salvation Army.”

Asked if he remains much of a Beatles fan: “I’m not sick of The Beatles, but it’s good to step away and not have them constantly in your face every morning and every evening!” he joked. “I actually much preferred The Rolling Stones!” That’s okay Jerry, we won’t tell Ringo and Paul…