Popular Music History, Vol 4, No 2 (2009)

Popular music, mapping, and the characterization of Liverpool

Brett Lashua, Sara Cohen, John Schofield
Issued Date: 16 Nov 2010

Abstract


Liverpool is widely recognized for its iconic ‘Three Graces’—a trio of grand buildings that stand along the city’s River Mersey waterfront. In this article we argue that there are a similar kind of iconic ‘three graces’ in Liverpool’s popular music and heritage landscapes: the Cavern Club, Eric’s Club, and Cream. These three venues have taken on broader symbolic meanings as representative of entire musical styles and eras. As such they dominate the histories of the city’s music-making cultures, producing (and reproduced through) a variety of representations, texts and mappings of the city’s musical past. This paper draws from ethnographic materials gathered through a two-year research project to decentre this ‘master page’ or ‘master map’ of the three graces with a series of mappings of Liverpool’s popular music heritage that calls attention to hidden or alternative histories of the city that are less often mapped.

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DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v4i2.126

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