Following their 48-night tenure at the Indra Club, The Beatles moved to another club owned by Bruno Koschmider, the Kaiserkeller.
On 4 October they began a 56-night run at the Kaiserkeller, which ended on 30 November. They alternated sets with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, another Liverpudlian band featuring Ringo Starr on drums.
To get through the lengthy demands of the Hamburg nights, The Beatles – minus Pete Best – began taking Preludin, German slimming tablets commonly known as Prellies, for their energy-giving properties.
The pills would keep the group going until daybreak, when they would finish performing and return to their sleeping quarters at the Bambi Kino, a cinema also owned by Koschmider.
The Kaiserkeller was situated at 36 Grosse Freiheit, on the corner of Schmuckstrasse. The club’s bouncer was Horst Fascher, and the clientele were mostly black-clad gangsters, sailors, and sex workers.
Those clubs were pretty violent; you’d mainly get the violence with visiting servicemen. You could often tell what nationality they were by the smell of their cigarette smoke. You would smell English ciggies, Senior Service, in the club and you knew you might have trouble. The English guys would be very much on our side. ‘Ow yes, English! Orrrright, lads, play this! Play this!’ The more drunk they got, the more they’d start to think they owned the club, but of course the Germans don’t like that. Nobody likes that. And there would come a point when they would get into an altercation with a waiter. The waiters had a system, a little whistle that could be blown and there would be ten waiters where there was once one. And they were all big body-building guys. They weren’t chosen for their waiting abilities.
Horst Fascher was a very good friend of ours and we’ve kept up the friendship. I think probably the most surprising thing when we really got to know those people, and we got to know them very very well, was that they really loved us. They loved us like brothers. Leaving Hamburg was always terrible, particularly later because we were starting to get a bit good and everyone could sense this might be the last time they’d see us. All of them would be weeping, drunk, ‘I love you guys so much, you’re like my own brother. Have a drink.’ Gangsters are very very sentimental guys. We made some really good friends.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles