60 years since the Beatles started their professional career

The Beatles on stage at the Indra Club in Hamburg, 17th of August, 1960.

Today it’s 60 years since John, Paul, George, Pete and Stuart took their baby steps into a career as professional musicians. They had left their jobs and schools behind to start working as a bar band in the seedy red light district of Hamburg. They first started playing the Indra Club, which was in the quiet corner of the Grosse Freiheit street, furthest away from the infamous Reeperbahn.

Ten years ago, there was a big celebration of the fiftieth anniversary for this, and the New York band Bambi Kino was playing in the Indra Club. They specialise in recreating live the songs the Beatles played while working in Hamburg. Their concert was later televised in Europe. There is going to be an event at the Indra this year too, but due to Covid19 it will not be quite so international as then. Still, you may tune in and watch tonight’s events from 21:00 Central European Time. You may access the event from this link or via Facebook from this link.

Thorsten Knublauch has written a new book about The Beatles and all their connections to Hamburg (1960-1966). It’s 540 pages and layout is finished but printing and marketing has been delayed because of the dreaded Covid19. The book will eventually be made available through apcor.net.

Here’s what Thorsten wrote today:

It was 60 years ago. August 17th, 1960.

Five lads started a journey – from Hamburg to the rest of the world.

There was no one who could have foreseen all this when they entered the small stage at the Tanzpalast Indra – unrehearsed because they never had played together as a group before… Pete only joined a few days before and the rest had not that much stage expierence to fill up an evening of around 6 hours playing time – six days a week… But they did and learned quickly and moved six weeks later to the Kaiserkeller to meet Rory Storm & The Hurricanes, with Ringo.

Their first trip ended in December when they had to leave Hamburg one after the other…

“No Hamburg – no Beatles!” wrote Mark Lewisohn in the foreword to my first book “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” written in 2008 with Axel Korinth, and he still is right.

John, Paul, George, Pete & Stuart. Thank you very much!

Thank you Bruno Koschmider and Allan Williams – it wouldn’t have happened without you.

A couple of days ago, Pete Bests brother Roag commented on one of the photos taken at the Indra Club that it was taken by a cleaner with Pete’s camera. Knublauch disputes this, because the photos look professionally lit and how come Pete didn’t use his camera on other occasions during they stay when he had brought it along? There are, for instance, no photos from the Kaiserkeller, where they played after their residence at the Indra.

Leave a Reply