The Top Ten Club was at Reeperbahn 136, right next to the Reeperbahn
stop of the S1 or S3 line. The Beatles played there April
1, 1961 - July 1, 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 Koschmider's
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
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 Vincents.
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.