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Visits to Liverpool and Hamburg
8 November 2010
4.36pm
Zig
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Joe – I was hoping you wouldn't put it that way, because you are absolutely right!

Thanks for the pics just the same. I did not realize until I re-read your posts in more detail that the taking of pictures were verbotten.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

8 November 2010
5.30pm
An unidentified flying cupcake
The Star-Club
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You're so lucky Joe! The pictures are amazingg..

Was "Nowhere Boy" filmed in John's home? or was that just a replica!

 

Like Mithveaen, it did surprise me a bit that you have blond hair :)) But – no, Mithveaen, it doesn't mean i'd expect you to look like George in Yellow Submarine a-hard-days-night-george-10

Do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on!
8 November 2010
6.32pm
mithveaen
Sitarday's room
Apple rooftop
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An unidentified flying cupcake said:

Like Mithveaen, it did surprise me a bit that you have blond hair :)) But – no, Mithveaen, it doesn't mean i'd expect you to look like George in Yellow Submarine a-hard-days-night-george-10


LOL!! Yeah you've got a point there. a-hard-days-night-george-3

 

Mhh good idea for my next Halloween costume… a-hard-days-night-george-4

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
9 November 2010
11.06am
Joe
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I don't think Nowhere Boy was filmed in John's home, no. I'd imagine they'd have reconstructed it on a film set. The upheaval would have been enormous, and the house probably isn't big enough to accomodate a full crew anyway.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

3 December 2010
8.56pm
mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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So, Joe, How is Hamburg so far?

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
3 December 2010
9.06pm
Joe
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Snowy, apparently. All flights were cancelled, so I'm still in the UK. Will rearrange for next year. paul-mccartneya-hard-days-night-ringo-14

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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4 December 2010
3.51am
mithveaen
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Joe said:

Snowy, apparently. All flights were cancelled, so I'm still in the UK. Will rearrange for next year. paul-mccartneya-hard-days-night-ringo-14


I'm so sorry to hear that Joe!! a-hard-days-night-paul-3 apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01apple01 

 

Can't you postpotne it for a few days? Oh ok Mith in few days it will be next year… a-hard-days-night-paul-3

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
4 December 2010
3.33pm
Joe
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The big freeze is predicted (by some) to last into the new year, so there's no point booking for a few days' time. Also I need to give my employer enough notice that I'll be taking time off – I can't just drop everything and fly to Germany whenever, much as I'd like to!

It's OK. December is expensive enough without taking an extra holiday. I'll get there, I'll get there in the end. Yes I will, I'll get there in the end, oh yeah, oh yeah…

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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4 December 2010
4.53pm
Zig
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8So sorry to hear about the postponement, Joe.

I'm gad to see you have a sense of humor about it all - love that British stiff upper lip attitude!

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

6 April 2011
8.00am
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It's taken me a while to go through these. Here are photos from my trip to Hamburg a couple of weeks ago. I hope you enjoy them.

I went with my dad. We were supposed to go late last year, but our flight was grounded by snow. Turns out that was a blessing in disguise, because had we made it traipsing around the city in the snow would have been hard work.

The Reeperbahn is the main street which comes alive after dark. If you've ever been to Amsterdam you'll know what to expect: sex shops, live shows, head shops etc. Grosse Freiheit runs just off it at the western end.

At the junction of the Reeperbahn and Grosse Freiheit is Beatleplatz ('Beatle square' ). They're quite easy to miss, but there are monuments to The Beatles there.

 

This is Grosse Freiheit ('great freedom' ), the street on which the Kaiserkeller, Indra and the site of the Star-Club can all be found. It's a pretty garish mixture of bars, strip clubs and music venues. I'm sure it's changed a lot since The Beatles were here, but after dark it's easy to imagine the sort of seedy atmosphere it once had.

A little way up Grosse Freiheit is the site of the Star-Club, where The Beatles did three residencies in 1962. It was destroyed by fire in 1983 and the ruins were demolished three years later, with a plaque now marking the site.

Elsewhere in Hamburg is a museum of St Pauli, the district where the Reeperbahn and Grosse Freiheit are. I didn't go in the museum, but in the window outside I saw this cash register from the Star-Club. Apologies for the bad pic.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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6 April 2011
8.04am
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The Kaiserkeller was the second venue they played in. It's just over the road from where the Star-Club was. This is where Klaus Voormann discovered The Beatles, and the following night took Astrid Kirchherr and Jurgen Vollmer to see them.

At the very northern end of Grosse Freiheit is the Indra. This was the first venue that The Beatles played in on their first Hamburg trip in August 1960. I think it's safe to assume it didn't look much like this back in the day.

I didn't get to go inside any of the venues, sadly.

The last photos are of the Bambi Kino, where The Beatles stayed during their first Hamburg trip, while playing at the Indra.

As you can see, there are a couple of Beatles posters and plaques, but nothing major. The cinema (kino) is on an unassuming street a short distance from Grosse Freiheit, just round the corner from the Indra, and the building doesn't really look big enough to house a decent-sized cinema.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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6 April 2011
8.05am
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Back down to Beatleplatz is the Beatlemania museum. This is really very good, far better than the Beatles Story one in Liverpool. The best thing is the number of autographs, contracts, memorabilia, artworks etc that you can't see anywhere else.

Astrid Kirchherr and her manager Ulf Kruger were, I believe, involved in putting it together, and there's some amazing stuff in there. The fifth pic is a portrait of Astrid by Stuart Sutcliffe. There's also one of John Lennon that I didn't get a good pic of.

As with the Liverpool museum, it loses focus a bit after it's dealt with The Beatles' time in the city. Still, the rest of it's done quite well. There was also an Andy Warhol section when I was there, presumably a temporary thing, which had quite a few of his images of The Beatles and Lennon (all reproductions).

The fourth pic below is Klaus Voormann's original artwork sketch for George Harrison's single When We Was Fab. There were also Sgt Pepper costumes (reproductions), and a mockup of the cover where they encourage visitors to stand and pose (I didn't). Apparently this is the only part of the museum where people are allowed to take pics, but I asked on the door and the guy said I could use a camera anywhere.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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6 April 2011
8.07am
Joe
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Some other places. The Hotel Pacific was where The Beatles stayed during their final Star-Club residency. It was near where we were staying in St Pauli. A lot of other bands used to stay there, and there's a music shop underneath where people (including The Beatles) bought strings 'n' things.

 

The Dom is a huge funfair which is held in Hamburg three times a year. It was just setting up when we were there, so we got to wander around a little. The Dom is where Astrid took a bunch of famous Beatles photos (sitting on trucks, leaning against equipment etc).

 

To illustrate, here are a couple of Astrid's pics. In the first one you can see the funfair behind them.

 

And finally, this is the Jagerpassage. John Lennon stood in the doorway of number 1 to be photographed by Jurgen Vollmer in 1961; the shot was used on the cover of Rock 'N' Roll in 1975. This was probably the place I was most looking forward to visiting.

It's changed a lot since 1961, and it's surrounded by junk and graffiti. I also had to be careful my shoulder didn't set off any of the intercom buttons. Standing in the doorway is quite a thrill, a little like walking on the zebra crossing at Abbey Road.

In order, the entrance to the passage; doors 1 and 2; two pics of the doorway; a different angle taken from nearer to door 2; what John Lennon would have seen as he stood in the doorway (though the truck wouldn't have been there); me in the doorway.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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6 April 2011
8.09am
Joe
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The Top Ten Club was back on the Reeperbahn, just round the corner from Grosse Freiheit. It's the pink building with the green doorway, which happened to be open when we were there.

Finally, some random thoughts. Hamburg is a brilliant city, though not quite up there with Berlin IMO. Good for wandering around, and plenty of nice neighbourhoods to explore (there's a huge lake around which all the city's millionaires live in mansions – quite different from the Reeperbahn). The people are really friendly too, and forgiving of stupid English people who don't speak a great deal of German.

Oddly, though, they don't make a big deal of the Beatles connection – you have to go looking for it rather than having it thrust in your face at every turn (Liverpool, I'm looking at you*). It's surprising there were no leaflets/maps showing the various parts of Grosse Freiheit and the Reeperbahn where they played and stayed, or any kind of acknowledgement at the Jagerpassage of the Rock 'N' Roll connection.

A useful book is Ulf Kruger's Beatles In Hamburg guide. There does seem to be a dearth of decent books about The Beatles' time in the city, and detailed maps seem to be non-existent. I also looked out for an anthology of Astrid's work but couldn't find one anyway. Someone's missing a trick.

I bought some books though. Baby's In Black is a graphic novel telling the story of Astrid and Stuart. My copy has the Germans speaking German and The Beatles speaking English (with a translation of the latter at the back). It's easy enough to follow the German dialogue if you've seen Backbeat or know the tale, but I think there's an all-English translation available.

I also bought a book called Das Neue, So Merkwurdig, which is presented as an interview between the young John Lennon and the German composer Hanns Eisler (1898-1962), in English and German. I got about half way through, thinking it was a great previously-undiscovered interview, before realising it was all invented by the author, Thomas Freitag. Very strange.

Lastly, vinyl! There are quite a few proper record shops dotted around Hamburg, which was nice to see (they don't really do the big chain stores as much as we do in the UK). I picked up the Concert for Bangla Desh set, the Live at the Star-Club double album, a German version of A Hard Day's Night, and an interview flexi-disc containing an interview from, I think, their Germany tour in 1966. I haven't listened to that properly.

*I love Liverpool, but the Rubber Soul Bar, Lennon's Bar, Hard Day's Night hotel etc gets a bit much after a while. The authentic stuff is great, but I don't care for the cash-in places at all. Still, unemployment's high there and I can't really blame them.

PS sorry for the picture quality. I didn't have time to crop anything, and I'm not a great photographer. Click for bigger versions.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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6 April 2011
3.04pm
Zig
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Thanks for taking us along with you on your trip. You are a most gracious and accommodating tour guide.

mal-evans

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

6 April 2011
7.44pm
mithveaen
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Wow those pics are fantastic Joe!! And the trip sounds terrific. It looks that's worth visiting. Thanks for sharing! apple01

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
6 April 2011
7.55pm
mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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Awesome Pics Joe!!! Are you going to show us the one of you in the doorway where the Rock And Roll cover was?

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
6 April 2011
8.20pm
Inner Light
Friar Park
Shea Stadium
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

Awesome Pics Joe!!! Are you going to show us the one of you in the doorway where the Rock And Roll cover was?

Thanks for all the great photos Joe. It is great to see that so many places have not forgotten them. 

Speaking of a photo of you in the doorway, it would be great if we all could post a photo of ourselves so we know what we all look like. 

 

The further one travels, the less one knows
6 April 2011
8.22pm
mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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I say no to that last proposal. That's half the fun of forums, not knowing who it is exactly you know.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
7 April 2011
1.06pm
Joe
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The final pic is of me in the doorway.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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