At the time of their arrival in Hamburg, the Beatles were a five piece ensemble, with a line up consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best. When the Beatles left, two years later, Stuart Sutcliffe stayed behind to be with the girl he had met there, Astrid Kircherr. (It was Astrid who helped to popularise the distinctive Beatles mop-top – she also took the photo below.)
The Beatles’ time in Hamburg saw them gigging extensively in clubs around the city, indulging in copious amounts of Preludin (a prescription amphetemine) and learning a lot about sex (almost all the women they met in Hamburg were strippers or prostitutes). It also lead, eventually, to their first recording. This single, “My Bonnie”, was what eventually attracted the attention of Brian Epstein to the boys, leading to him becoming the manager of the band for many years.
The Beatles would leave Hamburg in 1962, returning briefly in 1966, after they had become superstars.
By Astrid Kirchherr – Original publication: 1960
Immediate source: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/feb/14/beatles-hamburg-recordings-sale, Fair use, Link
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