“Star Club” safety master for sale

Postcard from Hamburg

The recordings which were used as the basis for albums such as ‘The Beatles Live At the Hamburg Star Club 1962‘ is up for graps in an upcoming auction. The description is of a “noise-reduced” safety master version of the original tape, with a different running order of the songs than the records, and also featuring some recordings made by other groups, captured on the same tape. In the nineties, Apple records managed to win a court case, preventing anyone from ever releasing these recordings again. Although the original master tape was accounted for and returned to the
record company, the safety master remained with the executive producer Larry Grossberg as an item of memorabilia, in a hinged BASF tape box and a chipped plastic reel.

In his last public appearance, George Harrison entered the witness box in London’s High Court to halt the release of recordings of the band’s early live appearances at the Star Club in Hamburg by Lingasong. The record label claimed that John Lennon had given permission for the band’s performance in 1962 to be taped. Mr Justice Neuberger said Harrison had convinced him that Lingasong should be forced to stick by an injunction prohibiting it from selling the recording. He ruled that Lingasong would have to hand over the original Hamburg tapes, and pay both sides’ costs. Thus ended the 20 year long tradition of small record labels releasing records made from these tapes. It’s believed that Apple finally bothered to take action when the bigger label Sony released the material on CD in 1991.

The auction is by “American memorabilia” and ends on June 21st. Hey, that’s my girlfriend’s birthday! Maybe I could… nah, she’d kill me. On the other hand, the 23d is my fiftieth birtday, so if any of you wealthy blog readers are reading this…

Auction site

A drinks menu in German, French, English and Swedish(!) from “The Beatles season” at the Star Club

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