a professional Beatles and Rock tour guide in London
and internationally recognised authority on the Beatles.
Hons Leisure Management
of the Beatles Brain of Britain titles at the
1991 and 1992 Liverpool Conventions.
contributor to the former Revolver magazine,
editor of the London Beatles Fanclub magazine Off
the Beatle Track, correspondent of the British
Beatles Fanclub Magazine. He interviewed Kenny
Everett, Alan Parsons, Alistair Taylor, The Rutles
and many others.
consultant on Sky News and other TV and radio
and President of the former London Beatles Fanclub,
Beatles Events Manager for the British Beatles
has been guiding Beatles
tours in London for over 15 years. His tours have
been featured on Newsnight, Sky News, BBC Breakfast News,
BBC London and London Tonight in the UK. CNN, CBS Evening
News with Dan Rather, and ABC News in the US, as well as
in newspapers around the world, including the London Evening
Standard, The Guardian and the Independent in the UK; the
New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, Los Angeles
Times, San Francisco Examiner and many others in the US.
- Previous clients have included EMI, The Rock, Roll
Hall of Fame and many others.
- A consultant
on the A Hard Day's Night DVD and the Long
and Winding Road DVD.
has written the The Official Abbey Road Cafe Guide to
The Beatles London, now in its second edition. More
runs the Beatles
News website and London Rock Tours website.
I am Richard
Porter, professional Beatles London tour guide, author and consultant.
Richard with Paul McCartney
outside Air Studios 1982
have told me I have the best job in the world - well,
I don't know about that (the pay could be better!) but there
are certainly worst jobs.
became a fan in 1976 when I was 13 years old. EMI re-released
all the Beatles singles and they all reached the top 100 of
the British charts at once. Of course, they were played on
the radio a lot, and I thought they were great. My first Beatles
record was The Red Album and I went on to buy all the
singles and albums in 2 years - not bad when I just earned
pocket money from my parents.
I was very isolated in my Beatle fandom. My interest coincided
with the punk rock boom and all the other boys in school were
in to the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Being a Beatles fan was
not regarded as hip! Also I didn't really realise there were
so many other fans around.
All that changed
on that awful day in December 1980. John's death really devastated
me and I didn't have anyone to share my grief with. I therefore
put an ad for penpals in Beatles Monthly and was amazed by
the number of replies I received. It was through a penpal that I
heard about the Beatles convention to be held in Liverpool
in August 1981. I was amazed that such a thing existed and arranged
was a real revelation to me. There must have been over 1000 like
minded fans there - I was not alone! The abiding memory of that
convention is when Victor Spinetti unveiled a statue of John and
everyone sang Give Peace a Chance. It was a really moving
Haven't we met somewhere before? Richard with Paul
outside Abbey Road Studios 1997
months later another penpal told me he'd met Paul McCartney
regularly outside a recording studio in Oxford Street, London.
Now Oxford Street is the busiest shopping street in London,
and I didn't even know there was a studio there. Of course,
I later found out it was AIR Studios, which was owned by George
evening I arranged to meet my friend and several others outside
the studio. I'd only been there 10 minutes when the unmistakable
figure of Paul McCartney emerged from the building. Paul chatted
to us for several minutes and I got him to sign my Paul McCartney
and Wings book. Paul was at AIR for many months during that
period and I got to meet him several times.
I stated wrriting
for Beatles fanzines and when those fanzines ceased publication
I decided to start my own fan club with two old friends. The
London Beatles Fanclub was born in November 1988.
Richard with George Martin,
Studio 2, Abbey Road
of the magazine I got to meet and interview many Beatles-related
people, such as Kenny Everett, Alan Parsons, Alistair Taylor,
Alf Bicknell, etc.
started corresponding with Beatles fans around the world.
One was Irina Dyomkina, who ran the Moscow Beatles Fanclub.
Irina moved to London in the early 1990s and became the secretary
of the London Beatles Fanclub. We married in June 2004. Irina
is now a fully qualified London 'Blue Badge' guide.
a while members of the club started asking me where various
London Beatles landmarks were. Obviously, I knew the
major ones, but started researching some more obscure sights.
I discovered someone was actually guiding tour of London Beatles
sights, so I went along on one. The guide seemed very impressed
at my knowledge and asked me to guide the tours for him. Of
course, I said yes. I just did Sunday tours to start with,
but after leaving University decided to take up guiding full
time. I've now been guiding tours for over 15 years.
During the past
15 years my walks have been featured on many TV and radio shows
all over the world. I remember in 1995, during the run up for the
Anthology, I had TV crews on my walk every week.
on the roof of 3 Savile Row -
where the Beatles played
their last ever concert.
got to go to some great places. One day a German TV Station
rang me to ask me for my help. They were filming in Studio
Two at Abbey Road and the roof of 3 Savile Row
- and they wanted me to act as technical adviser - and pay
me too! Of course I said yes. These places are normally out
of bounds for fans and I felt really privileged just being
long time people kept on asking me when I was going to write
a book on The Beatles, and I finally got around to
doing it. I found I had so much material on The Beatles' London
haunts, I was only using a fraction of it on the tours. Also
I had lots of material from interviews I did for The London
Beatles Fanclub, - the book virtually wrote itself. I was
very glad when Jeff Jarratt of the Abbey Road Cafe
decided to publish it. Jeff worked with The Beatles on the
Abbey Road album, and is now a successful producer in his
Abbey Road Guide to The Beatles London is basically
a walking tour around Beatles sights in central London, plus places
in outer London you can get to by public transport. Also included
are lots of my own personal Beatles photos plus some great ones
from some friends of mine of the Fabs outside their homes in the
All the best
wife, Irina, is also a Beatles guide and a fully qualified London
'Blue Badge' guide. Irina guides tours of London on foot and by
coach. For more details of Irina's tours please
here. Irina also does Beatles
tours in Russian - more