Almost 60 years ago to the day, The Beatles backed a singer/guitarist called Tony Sheridan at the Indra Club
The Beatles’ Hamburg tour will take you to famous sites including Kaiserkeller, where the band met Ringo.
Hamburg has long been a thriving port.
Almost 60 years ago to the day, Tony Sheridan hired a band from Liverpool to back him at the Indra Club at the far end of the street. The band was called The Beatles.
Over the next two years, they would play nearly 300 gigs in the clubs in the area. Along the way, they would find a new drummer (Ringo Starr) and lose their bass guitarist, Stuart Sutcliffe.
As John Lennon put it, ‘I might have been born in Liverpool — but I grew up in Hamburg’.
Reeperbahn was a red-light district where the lights were redder and the ‘acts’ bluer than anywhere on Earth.
And here is the Beatles-Platz, with its four stainless steel sculptures of the band,the Indra, the riotous Kaiserkeller, where they met Ringo, and the site of the glamorous Star Club, also the Gretel and Alfons pub and the Bambi Kino children’s cinema, where the lads would try to grab a few hours’ sleep. By the end of their Hamburg stint, The Beatles were doing well enough to be upgraded to a hotel, the Pacific on Neuer Pferdemarkt.
The 1994 movie Backbeat captures those times well, especially John’s relationship with Stuart Sutcliffe. Stuart couldn’t really play but he looked great. His Hamburg girlfriend, photographer Astrid Kirchherr, gave him the moptop haircut which the band would make famous.
Astrid died in May this year, just short of her 82nd birthday, and 58 years after Stuart succumbed to a brain haemorrhage in Hamburg.