This was the eighth 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.
Also on this day...
- 1967: Magical Mystery Tour is premièred on BBC 1
- 1965: Paul McCartney has a moped accident in Liverpool
- 1965: George Harrison pays a surprise visit to his family
- 1964: Live: Another Beatles Christmas Show
- 1963: Live: The Beatles’ Christmas Show
- 1963: US single release: I Want To Hold Your Hand
- 1961: Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
I love those recordings!
My mom was there for the December 31, 1962 performance. I’m looking for pix of the audience hoping to find her in one.
I only wish there were at least 50 more hours recorded of this stuff !
According to this detailed Record Collector two part look at the Star Club tapes (the first looking at the background of the tapes, the second a detailed analysis of the original tapes which the writers had access to, both parts well worth a read)…
…the tapes were recorded on Kingsize Taylor’s Philips RK 14 four-track mono reel-to-reel tape recorder (aka an EL3541) which was set-up by the side of the stage and connected to a Sennheiser microphone dangling from the ceiling above the stage by Adrian Barber.
Taylor later copied some tracks onto a two-track Grundig TK 120 when Taylor was trying to flog them to Brian in the mid-’60s.