Before he became lead guitarist of one of the most influential rock bands of all time, George Harrison lived with his family in a modest, three-bedroom house near Liverpool, England. Now, his childhood home—where an early version of the Fab Four regularly rehearsed—is getting its own time in the spotlight as a vacation rental and living museum, reports the Portsmouth Herald’s Max Sullivan.
The home’s journey to stardom dates back to 1949, when Harrison, his three siblings and his parents moved into the terrace house at 25 Upton Green in Speke, a southeast suburb of Liverpool.
The family lived in the home until 1962—when Harrison was 18—and moved out “right as the Beatles were starting to gain stardom and success,” according to the Airbnb listing.
After the Harrisons moved out, another family moved in and stayed for about 40 years until 2014, when the home was sold again and became a rental. In November 2021, the house went up for auction and Beatles fan Ken Lambert, who lives across the pond in New Hampshire, decided—on a whim—to place a bid.
He won, spending £171,000, or about $223,000, for what the Omega Auctions listing called a “truly unique opportunity to own the property where George spent his formative years and that played an important part in helping The Beatles flourish.”
With the help of a local property manager, Lambert has spent the last six months readying the house for showtime. He studied old photographs and found period-appropriate furniture and wallpaper to help transport guests back in time to the 1950s. He also added an acoustic guitar and a record player stacked with Beatles albums to the living room, where Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon rehearsed as a band called The Quarrymen. (Ringo Starr, the Beatles' fourth member, joined the group in 1962.)
“I wanted to do it for myself, to play the guitar and play the Beatles in the room the Beatles played guitar,” Lambert tells the Herald. “That really is a cool thing for people to experience.”
The Harrisons were a working-class family: George’s father, Harold, was a school bus driver, while his mother, Louise, took care of the four children and taught ballroom dance lessons. George bought a guitar and taught himself to play when he was 14, inspired by artists like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Little Richard.
The guitarist wrote many of the band’s biggest hits, including “Here Comes the Sun” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
After the Beatles broke up, Harrison went on to have a successful solo musical career in the 1970s. In 1988, he co-founded the popular Traveling Wilburys, an English-American supergroup with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. Harrison died of cancer at the age of 58 in 2001.
Though the childhood homes of McCartney and Lennon are preserved and managed by the National Trust, a European conservation organization, Harrison’s house hadn’t received the same star treatment. In-the-know fans occasionally stopped by Harrison house and requested a tour, a previous owner told the Herald, but Lambert wanted to honor the guitarist’s legacy by opening up the property to the public.
Months before he became an international star, Harrison went on his own vacation—to the United States. Smithsonian magazine’s Alan Pell Crawford reports that the singer spent what may have been the last private, “carefree” moments of his pre-fame life while camping and hanging out with his sister in southern Illinois in 1963.
The former Harrison home is available for short-term rentals on Airbnb (rates start at £200, or $260, per night). It’s also a stop on a weekly tour, during which participants get to drink tea and play music inside.
“It was a shame that George’s house had no relevance to millions of Beatles fans, but they’re waiting in line to walk into John Lennon’s house,” Lambert tells the New York Post’s Mary K. Jacob. “George is my favorite Beatle. I want to respect his legacy.”