The Beatles hadn’t been to Hamburg since 1 January 1963, following their final residency at the city’s Star-Club venue. On this day, however, they were greeted as conquering heroes by an adoring crowd.
They arrived at Hamburg’s central train station soon after 6am, and were taken to the grand Schloss Hotel in Tremsbuttel, just outside the city. They slept until 1.30pm, then waved to the fans gathered underneath the hotel balcony.
During their short time in Hamburg The Beatles were reacquainted with a number of faces from their past. John Lennon paid a visit to Astrid Kirchherr, who gave him several letters written by Stuart Sutcliffe. They were also visited by Bert Kaempfert, who had produced ‘My Bonnie’ and their other recordings with Tony Sheridan.
The Beatles played two shows at the city’s Ernst Merck Halle on Jungtusstrasse, each of which was seen by 5,600 people. A press conference was held between the sets. Forty-four people were arrested for rioting during the shows, both inside and outside the venue.
The group played the same 11 songs that constituted their standard set throughout the tour: ‘Rock And Roll Music’, ‘She’s A Woman’, ‘If I Needed Someone’, ‘Day Tripper’, ‘Baby’s In Black’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Yesterday’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘Paperback Writer’ and ‘I’m Down’. The Ernst Merck Hall, on Hamburg’s JungiusstraÃŸe, was later demolished, but not before a number of major bands including Queen and Pink Floyd performed there.
Also on this day...
- 2010: Paul McCartney live at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
- 2009: Paul McCartney pays tribute to Michael Jackson
- 1968: Recording: Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
- 1968: George Harrison produces Jackie Lomax’s Sour Milk Sea
- 1967: Recording, mixing: All You Need Is Love
- 1965: Live: Palazzo dello Sport, Genoa, Italy
- 1964: Live: Town Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand
- 1964: US album release: A Hard Day’s Night
- 1963: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Newcastle
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.