Bill Hillman Tracks

Early '60s ~ Part I: The Gigs
PART I: Gigs  |  PART II: Digs | PART III: Echoes | PART IV: Reeperbahn | PART V: Places
Present-day photos of Hamburg by Bill Hillman
The Beatles first visited West Germany in 1960 to play the Indra Club (August 17 - October 3, 1960).

They moved over to the Kaiserkeller Club from October 4-November 30, 1960.  At that time the group's line-up was still John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, and drummer Pete Best. Playing in Hamburg either made or broke every Liverpudlian beat group that worked there but it was soon obvious to everyone that this was one group which would be going places.

After returning to Liverpool in early 1961 to do a residency at the now-legendary Cavern Club, the Beatles made a second trip to Hamburg in April 1961 to play the Top-Ten Club April 1-July 1, 1961. It was during this visit that they recorded several titles with Tony Sheridan for a German record company.

The band returned to play three stints at the Star-Club in 1962 (April 13-May 31, 1962 ~ November 1-14, 1962 ~ December 18-31, 1962). It was during the first stint at the Star-Club that Ted Taylor of the Dominoes recorded the group with his portable tape recorder. As luck would have it, Ringo Starr happened to be "sitting in" for Pete Best, although he did not officially join the group until August 1962 (around the time the Beatles were having their first recording sessions for EMI.)


Beatles Home Base: Cavern Club, Liverpool

Loading the Beatles van: Destination Hamburg (Lennon to left)

.En route to Hamburg in 1960 the band stopped at Arnhem in Holland and John Lennon took this photograph.
Allan Williams is standing on the far left, with wife Beryl, Williams' business partner, Lord Woodbine,
Stuart Sutcliffe, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best

1. Indra Music Club
Große Freiheit 64
August 17 - October 3, 1960

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

3. Top Ten Music Club
Reeperbahn 136
April 1, 1961 -  July 1, 1961

4. Star Club - 39 Grosse Freiheit
April 13 to May 31, 1962
November 1 to 14, 1962
December 18 to 31, 1962

5. Other Gigs: 
Music Stores
Return Concert: 1966

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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