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Boston Herald

Beatles fans can take Fab tour through U.S., England

It’s been 50 years this month since the Beatles released their first single — “Love Me Do” — and changed music history forever.

Now, fans can celebrate this notable anniversary by visiting significant places in the band’s journey to fame. TripAdvisor, the Newton-based travel site, is evidently staffed by some hard-core Beatles fans. After combining their Fab Four knowledge, the experts there put together an Atlantic--crossing itinerary that would please even the most ardent Beatles fan. And it all starts, -appropriately, at the beginning.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met on the grounds of St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool, England, while Lennon’s band, the Quarrymen, was waiting to perform at a dance in the summer of 1957. The imposing neo-Gothic structure is an active church in the community, but it also stands watch over a cemetery that holds a gravestone bearing the name “Eleanor Rigby.”

The Cavern Club, one of the first venues the Beatles performed at in 1961, still features live music. The “cradle of British pop music” is actually three venues: the Cavern Club, where the iconic, arched front stage is located; the Cavern Live Lounge, where Sir Paul McCartney played the final performance of the Millennium; and the Cavern Pub, a memorabilia-packed watering hole located across Mathew Street. For the full-on Fab Four experience, just show up at the front stage, which opens at 10 a.m. Cover charge at the Cavern Club (10 Mathew St., Liverpool) ranges between free and $25, depending on who is playing that day.

If you find yourself in Liverpool with a hankering for more Beatles, try The Beatles Story, a museum that celebrates the legacy of the band, located in the historic Albert Dock and Pier Head. Open daily, the museum has clothing worn by the lads as well as some of their instruments. The film “Fab4D” takes visitors on a trip through the history of the band. Entry to The Beatles Story is $25 for adults and $11 for children.

For a bit less of a commercial look, head to 20 Forthlin Road, McCartney’s boyhood home. It’s here that the Beatles wrote and practiced some of their ear-liest music, and it has been tagged as “the birthplace of the Beatles.” The house is now under the ownership of the National Trust, and tours are conducted for free on Wednesdays and Sundays.

To complete the roundup of the Beatles’ humble beginnings in Liverpool, try 251 Menlove Ave. (Lennon’s childhood home), 12 Arnold Grove (George Harrison’s birthplace) and 10 Admiral Grove (Ringo Starr’s childhood home).

A road trip south to London — a strong three-hour drive — will bring fans to Abbey Road, which served as the iconic cover image of the album of the same name. Feel free to jog across the crosswalk to re-create the image in your own likeness. A live webcam on Abbeyroad.com shows that it’s a popular tourist pastime.

There are a number of Beatles-related sites here in the United States, as pointed out by the TripAdvisor crew. Start with Strawberry Fields and the John Lennon Memorial between 71st and 74th streets in New York City. The 2A-acre site commemorates the life of Lennon, and includes the “Imagine” mosaic. The entrance to the memorial is located on Central Park West, directly across from the -Dakota Building, where -Lennon and Yoko Ono lived, and where Lennon was shot by Mark -David Chapman. It was dedicated on Oct. 9, 1985, which would have been Lennon’s 45th birthday. The site is a designated quiet zone, and is often a gathering place for impromptu remembrances....