Kaiserkeller Music Club
Große Freiheit 36 or 38 Grosse Freiheit
31 July 1960 and 4 Oct to 30 November 1960

This is down the Reeperbahn about a block from the Top Ten Club. Turn right down the Grosse Freiheit and continue for about a block.  The Beatles played there July 31, 1960 and October 4 to November 30, 1960. The Kaiserkeller today is still in business, although its big sister - "Große Freiheit 36" offers many more dance bands.

When the Indra closed the Beatles where moved over to the Kaiserkeller club where they alternated sets with Derry and the Seniors. At the end of the Seniors' contract a few days later, Williams sent over Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, with Ringo Starr on drums,  to replace them. It was at the Kaiserkeller that the band met graphic designer (and later bass player) Klaus Voormann and his girlfriend, photographer Astrid Kirchherr. Stu was smitten. . . he wrote to his mother: "I have found the most wonderful friends, the most beautiful looking trio I have ever seen. . . the girl thought that I was the most handsome of the lot . . . Here was I, feeling the most insipid working member of the group, being told how much superior I looked -- this alongside the great Romeo John Lennon and his two stalwarts Paul and George: the Casanovas of Hamburg!" Astrid was instrumental in developing the Beatles "look" in their first professional photo shoots and hairstyles.
GEORGE: Astrid was the one, really, who influenced our image more than anybody. She made us look good.

JOHN: We had to play for hours and hours on end. Every song lasted twenty minutes and had twenty solos in it. That's what improved the playing. There was nobody to copy from. We played what we liked best and the Germans like it as long as it was loud.

ALLAN: You'd better pull your socks up because Rory Storm and the Hurricanes are coming in, and you know how good they are. They're going to knock you for six.

PAUL: We never thought to write our own songs over there. There was so much other stuff. "A Taste of Honey" was one of my big numbers in Hamburg -- a bit of a ballad. We sang close harmonies on the little echo mikes, and we made a fairly good job of it. It used to sound pretty good, actually. We got better and better and other groups started coming to watch us. The accolade of accolades was when Tony Sheridan would come in from the Top Ten (the big club where we aspired to go) or when Rory Storm or Ringo would hang around to watch us. "What'd I Say" was always the one that really got them. It is the perfect song; it has the greatest opening riff ever. And if you had a Wurlitzer (which we didn't) you could keep that riff going for hours. Then it had the killer, "Oh yeah!" -- audience participation.

STUART: (letter) We have improved a thousand fold since our arrival and Allan Williams, who is here at the moment, tells us that there is no band in Liverpool to touch us.

STUART: (letter) We finished at the Kaiserkeller last week. The police intervened because we had no work permits. Paul and Peter the drummer were deported yesterday and sent in handcuffs to the airport. I was innocent this time; accused of arson -- that is, setting fire to the Kino where we sleep. . . . John and I were without money and job. The police had forbidden us to work as already we were liable to deportation for working there months in the country illegally. The next day John went home. I stay till January at Astrid's house. God I love her so much.


George ~ Stuart ~ John
November 1960 photo by Astrid at the Fair Grounds

Fair Grounds Today
Flic Flac Circus Tent Show.
.. ..
Walking from the Reeperbahn 
past the clubs along Grosse Freiheit

Joining the block-long queue for 
the rock show at Kaiserkeller and Große Freiheit 36
. .

Kaiserkeller and  Große Freiheit 36 Entrance

Security take a breather after thousands file into the club

Opening act from the US from our front row standing location

Headliner Heather Nova and band on stage

Heather Nova

Partial Crowd Shot

PART I: Gigs  |  PART II: Digs | PART III: Echoes | PART IV: Reeperbahn | PART V: Places
Photos I | Photos II | Photos III

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