The Top Ten Club was at Reeperbahn 136,
right next to the Reeperbahn stop of the S1 or S3 line. The Beatles
played there March 27, 1961 - July 2, 1961 and lived upstairs.
The club was opened November 1960 in the rooms of the
Hippodrome on the Reeperbahn. While still with their engagement in Bruno
Kaiserkeller, the Top Ten Club owner Peter Eckhorn
was negotiating with the Beatles to get them to switch clubs. Each member
of The Beatles was to be paid 35 deutschmarks.
GEORGE: We went back to Hamburg in April 1961.
I'd become eighteen so I was able to go back and whatever the problem was
with Paul and Pete's deportation we managed to get round it. Peter Eckhorn
sorted it out. He was the owner of the Top Ten Club, where we were going
to play; and the fact he'd made that effort meant that he was keen to get
The Beatles, so we were happy to work there. We lived above the club in
a really grubby little room with five bunk beds.
PAUL: We tried our "Beatle" hairstyle in Hamburg
this time. It was all part of trying to pull people in.
JOHN: We had a bit more money the second time so
we bought leather pants [and cowboy boots] and we looked like four Gene
GEORGE: The Top Ten Club had a mike system called
the Binson Echo. That had a great echo -- on it you'd sound like Gene Vincent
doing "Be Bop A Lula". Back then we were still performing the latest records,
one was Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over" and it went:
"Shivers down my backbone, shaking all over. . . " but the Germans thought
we were singing "Schick ibn nach Hannover" -- "Send him to Hanover" --
the German equivalent of "send him to Coventry." We were backing up lots
of people at the Top Ten. The singer Tony Sheridan was there.
PAUL: We did a recording with Tony Sheridan, "My
Bonnie" for Bert Kaempfert. They didn't like our name and said, "Change
to The Beat Brothers, this is more understandable for the German
audience." We went along with it -- it was a record.
GEORGE: Stuart was engaged to Astrid and after
that trip decided he was going to leave the band and live in Germany. At
that point I said, "We're not going to get a fifth person in the band.
One of us three is going to be the bass player, and it's not going to be
me" . . .. Paul didn't seem to mind the idea. He went out and bought a
Hofner violin bass.