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13 February 2016
10.18am
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Beatlebug
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^^ Pic 1: too cool 4 u 

Pic 2: Dangerous eyes 

Pic 3: Clean handsome lad 

Pic 4: Softie 

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Zig

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8 October 2016
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Ey up. Anyone know how to purchase a Stu Sutcliffe print?

7 January 2017
2.45pm
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Shamrock Womlbs
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I'm reading 'in my life John lennon remembered' and read something about Stu's sister owning an unfinished novel/book by Stu (presumably) about John... and would like to know if anybody here knows something about that.

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6 February 2017
7.03am
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Joe
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Here's something that puzzles me. From Mark Lewisohn's Tune In (p1155 in the extended edition):

They [The Beatles] had no idea that Stu had suffered a violent convulsive fit at noon this same day, that it lasted thirty-five minutes, that he slipped into a coma, that Nielsa Kirchherr summoned Astrid home from work, and that, at 4.30pm, in an ambulance speeding him to hospital, Stuart died in his fiancée's arms.

Does anyone else think the timing is a bit odd? Stu had a fit that began at roughly midday, ended before 1pm, and he fell into a coma. Astrid came home at her mother's notification, and an ambulance took Astrid and Stu to hospital... around three hours later?

"Oh hi Astrid, it's your mum. Yeah, I think Stuart's in a bit of a bad way. He had a fit earlier on, which lasted half an hour, and now I can't wake him up. Yeah, it's probably best if you come home. OK love, we'll wait for you. Bye!"

If you'd just witnessed someone convulsing and afterwards not responding, why on earth would you not phone an ambulance immediately? Did she really wait for Astrid before calling for help? I'm trying to wrap my head around it because it seems crazy.

(Also according to Lewisohn, the haemorrhage was so great that he would have been a husk of a man had he lived, so I'm trying to avoid thinking that he could have been saved by quicker reactions. But still...)

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6 February 2017
7.36am
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Ron Nasty
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Since Stuart's condition was ongoing, @Joe, it may well have been that the seriousness of this attack was not immediately realised and reacted to.

My mother has epilepsy and I can kind of relate to how the seriousness of an episode may not be immediately obvious. What might seem like the usual after effects to begin with can take time to reveal themselves as more serious.

I witnessed my mother have hundreds of fits, and it was usual for her to be sleepy and largely unresponsive for some hours afterward. I learnt that that was normal, and to not worry. It can take time to recognise when something is different.

It is likely Stuart would have slept after an attack, and that would have been viewed as normal. What's missing is the time that Nielsa Kirchherr started to worry about being unable to get a response from Stuart and called Astrid.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

6 February 2017
7.57am
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Joe
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Thanks for those thoughts, @Ron Nasty. I don't have any particular direct experience of this sort of thing (I know a couple of people with epilepsy but haven't witnessed any fits).

I'd always pictured it as an emergency dash to the hospital, with Stuart dying in Astrid's arms during the journey, very soon after the attack. I had no idea it was much later. Once again, I'm so grateful to ML for digging out tiny details which make you see things in a different light.

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9 February 2017
11.21am
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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost
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Joe said
...I'm so grateful to ML for digging out tiny details which make you see things in a different light.  

This is why I have a bookshelf full of Beatles books, magazines, DVDs, etc... Mining for and finding those tiny details is a rush for any serious Beatles fan.

It's also cool to be on this site to get other's perspectives on things I've read. I read Tune In twice and remember reading that same passage Joe quoted above. After reading Joe and RN's posts, I now have a much different - almost eerie - feeling for that event. 

Ron Nasty said
What's missing is the time that Nielsa Kirchherr started to worry about being unable to get a response from Stuart and called Astrid.  

That's where things get my skin crawling. Assuming this to be the timeline of events, imagine Nielsa's panic when she realized something was way off. Did Stu slip in and out of the coma prior to dying in Astrid's arms? I'm hoping not. But if so, how cognizant or intelligible could he have been? Makes me shudder no matter how much or little he suffered at the end. Poor Stu.

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19 May 2017
5.03pm
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Ron Nasty
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Given Paul's criticism of Stu's ability on bass over the years, I was rather surprised to come across this comment made during a 1964 interview with Beat International:

Not that I'm suggesting that every bass player should learn on an ordinary guitar.  Stuart Sutcliffe certainly didn't, and he was a great bass man.

It does make you wonder if Stuart was a better player than is often made out.

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22 May 2017
4.02am
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Ron Nasty
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Klaus Voorman:

Stu was a really good rock and roll bass player, a very basic bass player, completely different.  He was, at the time, my favourite bass player…and he had that cool look.

Klaus in a 2006 interview:

The Beatles were best when Stuart was still in the band. To me it had more balls, it was even more rock and roll when Stuart was playing the bass and Paul was playing piano or another guitar. The band was, somehow, as a rock and roll band, more complete.

Rick Hardy, a member of The Jets, said this:

Stu never turned his back on stage.  He certainly played to the audience and he certainly played bass.  If you have someone who can't play the instrument properly, you have no bass sound.  There were two rhythm guitarists with the Beatles and if one of them couldn't play, you wouldn't have noticed it - but it's different with a bass guitar.  I was there and I can say quite definitely Stuart never did a show in which he wasn't facing the audience.

Pete Best, in a radio interview, commented:

I've read so many people putting him down for his bass playing.  I'd like to set that one straight.  His bass playing was a lot better than people give him credit for.  He knew what his limits were… what he did was accept that and he gave 200%.  He was the smallest Beatle with the biggest heart.

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22 May 2017
6.44am
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Starr Shine?
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I wonder if Paul had other feelings towards Stu that clouded hso judgment?

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22 May 2017
10.19am
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Evangeline
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Starr Shine? said
I wonder if Paul had other feelings towards Stu that clouded hso judgment?  

Stu took Paul's place as John's toppermost friend. So jealousy mostly. (And Stu got Astrid, but I don't know if that was really a big deal to Paul.)

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14 June 2018
12.53am
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Astrid Kirchherr not long ago gave an interesting interview where she tells some details about the early Beatles and her time with them.  She says in the interview that she was initially the girlfriend of Klaus Voormann, then when she met Stu Sutcliffe, she kind of fell in love at first sight, and she says "He was and still is the love of my life" and she still feels that way, even after having married twice.

Two interesting details she tells: she claims she kind of invented the Beatles moptop hairstyle, as an idea initially to help her then boyfriend Klaus do something about his "big sticking out ears".  She added that Stuart was the first Beatle who wanted a "Klaus haircut" and was the first to perform with it. When they left Hamburg and returned to Liverpool, she said she visited them there, and at that time George came up to her and wanted that haircut too, "but the other two didn't want to know about it -- John and Paul -- and Pete couldn't have the hairstyle anyway because he had curly hair."  Then she added: "But a little bit later, John and Paul went to visit an old friend of ours, another German photographer, called Jürgen Vollmer -- he used to live in Paris and was assistant to William Klein a very famous photographer -- and Paul and John visited Jürgen and he persuaded them to have their hair style changed, and so they came back from Paris, looking like the rest of the Beatles".

The other detail she tells is that Stu Sutcliffe never really wanted to play music, he mainly just wanted to keep painting his paintings. The interviewer asked Astrid, well why did Stu learn the bass and join the band? And Astrid replied that John persuaded him to join and to try to learn the bass, because John wanted someone good-looking in the band!

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10 April 2019
11.51am
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Ron Nasty
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57 years since his death, I shall be raising a glass or two in memory of Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe this evening...

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11 April 2019
9.43am
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TheWalrusWasBrian
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thanks for the pictures Ron! I haven't seen most of these. I'm late, but RIP Stu, we miss you. a-hard-days-night-paul-10stuart-sutcliffe

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11 April 2019
10.11am
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SgtPeppersBulldog
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I was watching Birth of The Beatles a few months ago (I know, there are historical inaccuracies), and it really opened my eyes to the club atmospheres and the part Stu played in those times getting the Beatles to where they were. I wholeheartedly wish he'd got the chance to marry Astrid, live a full life and become the successful and well renowned artist he destined to be. R.I.P. Stu apple01heartstuart-sutcliffe

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11 April 2019
3.34pm
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vonbontee
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RIP Stu, in an alternate universe you went on to paint a few Beatles album gatefolds, just out of friendship. apple01

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18 January 2021
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vonbontee said
RIP Stu, in an alternate universe you went on to paint a few Beatles album gatefolds, just out of friendship. apple01

  

Just before I fell asleep last night, I imagined what life would have been like had Stuart Sutcliffe lived beyond 1962. I can imagine him designing the Beatles album sleeves (as per the above), moving to London with Astrid and playing bass, instead of Klaus Voorman, on John's early solo efforts

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19 January 2021
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sigh butterfly
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@Tony Japanese, I think about stuff like that too.stuart-sutcliffe

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20 January 2021
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Starr Shine?
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Paul and John might not of been as close

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9 March 2021
6.59pm
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As far as I know Goldman was the first to say that John was responsible for causing stuarts death by kicking him in the head with his winkle pickers when he was drunk, but I'm sure someone posted some post mortem information on here that debunked that completely as the dates do not make it possible? Thats not to say that other claims Pauline Sutcliffe made in her book couldn't have some truth, John was certainly capable of lashing out at people when he lost it and perhaps he believed that he had been responsible for stuarts death for all those years, which is just awful to contemplate. One thing that is true however is that John had told Derek Taylor that he and Stu had got very drunk in Hamburg one time and had sex. 

The other thing to remember about Stu's death is that he like the other Beatles was taking a lot of Preludin at the time and it could have been a contributing factor, or he may have simply passed out when exhausted from the bands crazy schedule and had a head blow. 

One thing for sure is that John dearly loved Stuart and never forgot him, his relationship with ono always felt to me like his own version of his friends relationship with Astrid all those years previous. That sense of obsessive love.  Something quite intense was going on between John,Stu and Astrid emotionally I feel. The only reason Stuart was even in the band was to be with John after all. 

One other interesting thing that cropped up in the get back audio tapes - Sutcliffes mother sent John a letter begging him for money and uses his closeness to her son as emotional blackmail, John reads the letter to the band and he and George are both incredulous. John then makes some pretty uncomplimentary comments about Stuarts relationship with his family.... 

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