Then, Merseyside was on its knees, laid low by forces as varied as the decline of Empire, the kill or cure economic medicine of Thatcherism, and the self destructive urges of Militant Tendency. Two football tragedies in the space of four years - Heysel and Hillsborough - didn't help, and even now a tabloid and terrace mythology persists that the 'Pool has a victim mentality and thinks the world owes it a living.
For what it's worth, I've always found the other prevailing legend to be more accurate. The Liverpool I know is a place of happy go lucky wit, and easy banter. There's sometimes an edge of course - no big city can do without it - not to mention the defiant braggadocio of a population that has been sneered at once too often.
But let's face it, Liverpool has loads to boast about. It's economic renaissance is as remarkable as its Imperial architecture; and when it comes to musical heritage The Beatles just about trumps any global brand short of Elvis. Just to make sure, though, a second wave of Merseybeat gave us Echo & The Bunnymen, OMD and The Lightning Seeds.
Having cornered the market in pop, it then went and did the popular culture Double in the 80's by providing a home to one of the most successful football teams in Europe.
It hasn't got it all right, mind. It seems to me that the showpiece Three Graces which adorn the waterfront have been deliberately and provocatively challenged by modern seafront buildings which, though interesting in their own right, sit at odds with their historical setting; and the concentration of wonderful museums down at Albert Dock has created a self-contained "Tourist Quarter" which means some visitors might give the rest of the city a miss altogether.
That would be a pity. Whether it's the two great cathedrals (and I don't mean Anfield or Goodison), the five theatres or just the craic to be found in a random pub, Liverpool is a rarity - an earthy working class city where artistic creativity and simply being different is indulged. I love it.