Made the bus in seconds flat


Liverpool buses were double-deckers with an upstairs compartment where smoking was permitted, a section much favoured by schoolchildren because the conductor couldn’t see them up there. It was this removed view of the city that provided a vocabulary of places and characters used in Paul’s later songs. Though he often ran into friends on the bus, and his brother accompanied him to school, the long bus rides were an integral part of his childhood and youth; a period of enforced introspection, the detached observer viewing events and places through the frame of the bus window from the godlike height of the upper deck. Such moments was drawn upon in Paul’s lyrics to ‘A Day in the Life’, where he sits upstairs in a bus, smokes a cigarette and goes into a dream. A combination of childhood memories and a high sixties reference to smoking pot. No matter where he was headed – to school or to see friends — the bus inevitably took him first to Penny Lane.
PAUL: “I had to do the journey into the centre, half an hour on my own on the bus from the age of eleven. I was pretty independent, and I soon learned how to explore. I know it was something the other Beatles didn’t really feel too much. I used to say to George Harrison, ‘God, I’d love to go on a bus again.’ George would say, ‘Why would you want to do that?’ His dad had been a bus driver and I think maybe George could not see the romance of travelling on a bus that I would. I always saw it as sitting upstairs, smoking a pipe like a poet. Sitting on the tog of a bus composing things”.  (Barry Miles, Many Years From Now)


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