The end of Star-Club

Grosse Freiheit in 1970

The very famous Star-Club in Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg closed its doors on December 31, 1969. 50 years later, one of the last club operators – Achim Reichel – tells the story about the end of an era.

The documentary features very rarely seen archive footage from a 1970 ZDF programme in colour, with rare pictures and interviews.

In the 1970 footage, we see the club is being redecorated and the main floor converted. The old stage piano, whose ivories has been tickled by rockers like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles and no doubt Paul McCartney, has been left on the floor on its way to the junk yard. The new owner, flanked by a couple of his women, brags about how sex is going to bring him millions on the premises.

Pete Best, 1970.

The team from ZDF also travelled to Liverpool in 1970, for a short interview with Pete Best, at the time finally sporting somewhat of a Beatle haircut. Drums stowed away, Pete had a normal job by then, and this was his first public interview since the first part of the sixties.

The documentary is best suited for those of you who understand German, but the 1970 footage makes it worthwhile for anyone who is fond of this era.

Swedish Beatles author Hans Olof Gottfridsson and collaborator Richard Moore wrote a two part article for Record Collector about The Beatles’ Star-Club recordings. These have now been made available from Richard’s company website Mint Audio Restoration. The articles are based on exclusive access to the original tape, and was written in close cooperation with the producer of the official Star-club records in 1977, Larry Grossberg. PDFs: Part 1Part 2.

3 Responses

  1. hopeforbetter says:

    Now that i'm looking at Pete Best's photo I can understand why he didn't wanted a mopt-top in 1962.

  2. Mike N says:

    Have noticed that you haven't posted in awhile, Wogew. Hoping that all is well my friend!

  3. David Brailsford says:

    Thanks for this. A very interesting read!

Leave a Reply to hopeforbetterCancel reply