Early '60s ~ Part III: HANGOUTS

St. Pauli District

Pictures of the St. Pauli district

The Reeperbahn

Reeperbahn Police Station Today
Most of the Beatles activity was concentrate on this street of strip clubs, peep shows and sex theaters. A rough area with an interesting street crowd but probably a lot safer now that it's been taken over by tourists. From the Central Train Station (Hauptbahnhof) take the U3 line towards Barmbek. Get off at St. Pauli and go to the right, down Reeperbahn.

Fish Market
St.Pauli Fischmarkt

There are countless St. Pauli stories centered around John Lennon. One frequently told, involves a piglet that John had bought at the Fischmarkt, christened Bruno - in honor of Mr. Koschmider. He proceeded to chase it through the city in a less than "gentlemanlike" fashion. Later, after arriving at the hotel, he supposedly tossed it over the balcony, and then ate the remains with his friends. Another version states, that the piglet died a far more common death at the hands of butcher Schlachterheinz's knife in the Paradieshof next to the Star-Club. Everyone agreed that it tasted good and, for just once, they were satisfied with Bruno.

Pubs and Restaurants
Gretel & Alfons & Co
Schmuckstraße ... Große Freiheit

Schmuckstraße by Klaus Voormann
This beautiful ink drawing by Klaus Voormann depicts a piece of the city's history, that was irrevocably lost. The Schmuckstraße was once known as the Chinese street, where up untill shortly before the end of the war, many Chinese seamen and harbor workers had lived with their families. In 1944, some 160 of the remaining were deported to the Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg labor camp, and those that survived later left Hamburg after the war. Now there is almost nothing that reminds us of this Chinese episode in Hamburg's past. Around 1960 though, there were still a few small and inexpensive Chinese restaurants in that area, that were later to go down in the Beatles Story.

PAUL: If you went round the back there was Chug-ou. It was a Chinese Place just three hundred yards up the road, slightly off the Reeperbahn. Its great attraction was pancakes -'Pfannkuchen mit Zitrone bitte, und Zucker' - pancakes with lemon and sugar. It was the only place that sold them; everywhere else was 'foreign food' for us.

 In the official Chinese language there is no word that could clearly be pronounced as "chug". Maybe in one of the many dialects.   On a plaque across from the Kaiserkeller, one can still read the following today:
Die "Chinesenstraße" Schmuckstraße
Für die harten Arbeiten an den Maschinen und als Schiffsköcher oder Hilfsstewards wurden auch auf deutschen Dampfschiffen immer häufiger Chinesen eingesetzt. Seit jener Zeit siedelten sich Chinesen in der Nähe des Hamburger Hafens an,nicht in großen China-Towns wie in Amerika, sondern in einer Seitenstraße der Großen Freiheit, der Schmuckstraße, in deren Häusern entstanden chinesische Speiselokale, Läden und Logierhäuser. Diese Chinesenstraße gab es in der NS-Zeit noch immer. Der Einsatz von Chinesen auf britischen Kriegsschiffen bot den Nazis aber den Vorwand, den Chinesen Spionage zu unterstellen. Am Morgen des 13.Mai 1944 wurden 160 verbliebene Chinesen verhaftet und ins Arbeitslager "Langer Morgen" in Wilhelmsburg deportiert.
17 von ihnen starben in kürzester Zeit. Die Überlebenden verließen nach dem Krieg das Land.
Informationen und Rundgänge
St.Pauli-Archiv e.V.
Wohlwillstraße 28, 20359 Hamburg
Tel 040 319 4772
Kunst im öffentlichen Raum
Kulturbehörde Hamburg

Gretel & Alfons, Große Freiheit 29 (front and interior)
It is one of the few Beatles landmarks in the Große Freiheit and surrounding area, that has been preserved to this day. This Pub, opened in 1953, was absolutely the star pub of the Star-Club musicians, amongst them of course the Beatles. Here the artists met there fans to eat, celebrate, and really drink, sometimes till the early dawn. The "Gretel & Alfons" pub was named after their founders.

Paradieshof, Große Freiheit 27-33

In the late 80s, the burned out remains of the former Star-Club building was torn down along with the neighboring Paradieshof property, and replaced by some new buildings along with a new passageway, hardly anything remained of the old courtyard. Where once could be found the Hölle, the Flunder, or the Salome clubs, one is more likely to find standard entertainment instead, with the "artists" now coming almost exclusively from the Thai instead of the British Kingdom. Where now exists mostly sheer boredom, once prevailed high spirited madness, when many a musician after a successful stage performance at the Star-Club, spared no cost to maintain the Pub-atmosphere on an equally high level. Our friends from Liverpool were no exception, and John Lennon - as was well known, more likely the rule.

Blockhütte, Große Freiheit 66

The putting up of a parking prohibited sign on the Große Freiheit right next to the Indra, can certainly only be taken to be more ironic than useful or comprehensible in this case. Who else could possibly want to stop here? Or should it maybe have meant "don't look, and keep driving". On this such sad place once stood the "Blockhütte", also one of the favorite bars of the Star-Club musicians, until it was torn down in 1982.

The Frikadelle

PAUL: Harald's was on the Große Freiheit. They would serve hamburgers called Frikadellen. We could never understand why they didn't call them 'hamburgers' in Hamburg.

Jäger-Passage Street
Wohlwillstraße 22

John Lennon - Rock 'N' Roll Sessions ~
John Lennon Rock 'n' Roll

This is without a doubt what the most Rock'n'Roll door in music history looks like. Jürgen Vollmer discovered it in 1961, with John, Stuart, Paul and Pete, while the Beatles were still playing in the Top Ten club.

A note for possible emulators. Should the entance door happen to be closed, don't try to open it forcefully, be polite and not too loud.

Thadenstr.6 ... Spielbudenplatz 9

At Thadenstrasse 6 there was a tailor shop in the sixties that made the Beatles' leather suits.

... and here, by Paul Hundertmark's at Spielbudenplatz 9, they bought their cowboy boots.

Moorweidenstraße Street
Moorweidenstraße 18

Here beneath this beautiful door, Jürgen Vollmer photographed Astrid Kirchherr with Stuart Sutcliffe.

Landungsbrücken Piers

The Elbe river and the landing stages were the right place for the homesick lads from Liverpool.  When they took a GROSSE HAFENRUNDFAHRT (big boat tour) through the harbour, or strolled along the river banks, up to the British Mariner's Mission for example.

University of Applied Sciences
fachhochschule für gestaltung

Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Fachbereich Gestaltung
University of Applied Sciences
Department of Design

It was in this building where Astrid Kirchherr and Jürgen Vollmer once studied photography, and Klaus Voormann - commercial art. Back then this University of Applied Sciences was called: Meisterschule für Mode, Textil, Grafik und Werbung Master Craftspeople college for Fashion, Textile, Graphics, and Advertising

GEORGE: They were all very nice people and it was really good for us to meet them, because they were more cultured than the locals. They had a great appreciation for us, but they were very artistic and interesting in themselves. They were the arty crowd around Hamburg. We started hanging out with them. We learnt more from them at that point than they learnt from us, including style. Klaus, Astrid and Jürgen became real friends.

Heiligengeistfeld Square
U3-St.Pauli, U3-Feldstraße, Glacischaussee

Photos of the Dom-exhibitors trucks over 40 years later at precisely the same spot that Astrid Kirchherr immortalized her newfound friends from England.

Alster lake   außenalster   Brodersweg ... Alte Rabenstraße

Here on the Brodersweg in Hamburg's Rotherbaum district on the Westshore of the Außenalster,
originated one of Astrid Kirchherr's first Beatles photos.
Jürgen Vollmer also took photos of George Harrison at the nearby steamer jetty (Rabenstraße stop).

Today you can hardly recognise the Brodersweg on the old photo.

Between the Brodersweg and the Alte Rabenstraße lies the Milchstraße. (street name)
The Außenalster seen from the east shore.

British Mariner's Mission
britische seemannsmission
Johannisbollwerk 20
At this address was once the British Mariner's Mission. According to Astrid Kirchherr, the Beatles were often guests here, so that far from home they could sniff a bit of their native atmosphere. They also spent Christmas 1962 here.

The building right of Johannisbollwerk 20 is the Gustav Adolf Church - the oldest Seaman's Church of Hamburg, built in 1907.