Live: Star-Club, Hamburg

This was the 10th date of The Beatles’ third and final residency at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany, situated on Große Freiheit off the infamous Reeperbahn.

The residency began on 18 December 1962 and ended on 31 December, and saw The Beatles perform for a total of 39 hours over 13 days.

The Beatles had previously appeared at the Star-Club in April-May and November 1962. This time around they each received a fee of 750 DM (£67) per week. They performed for three hours each night, with a night off on Christmas Day.

The Beatles were reluctant to fulfil this contractual obligation, as their profile in Britain was rapidly ascending. Back home they were enjoying burgeoning chart success, more prestigious live shows, plus television and radio appearances. Despite the enduring fondness they felt towards Hamburg and its residents, there was little the city could do for their career now.

Recordings of The Beatles’ performances from this period were released in 1977 on the double album Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962. The group was taped by the Star-Club’s manager, Adrian Barber, at the request of musician Ted ‘Kingsize’ Taylor.

Barber used a Grundig reel-to-reel home tape recorder and a single microphone. Although commonly held to come from 31 December 1962, it is likely that the Star-Club recordings date from a range of nights in that month.

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