Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Coming in Like a Lion

March 1 - 5, 1961

The Beatles are entering their last month playing in Liverpool before they depart on their second campaign to Hamburg, Germany.  They will go across this time a much more accomplished band, but still primarily a cover band.

Veteran followers of this blog will remember that the Beatles left Hamburg last year under something of a cloud when it was discovered that George Harrison was not yet 18 years old and that no one had taken the trouble to apply for official permission for any of them to work in Germany.  Allen Williams is still in touch with his entertainment colleagues in Hamburg and Peter Eckhorn is anxious to have the Beatles at the Top Ten Club.  Unlike the other places the Beatles played in Hamburg, the Top Ten is right on the brightly lit Reeperbahn.  At the end of 1960, the Beatles had been living above the club and unofficially jamming there with the likes of Tony Sheridan  (known to them as "the Teacher" because of his well developed guitar technique.)

It is Allen Williams who takes it upon himself to straighten out the relationship between the band and the German Government. (Of course, he is thinking of his commission, if he does manage to work out another trip across for them.)  On March 1st, he sends a letter to the German Consul in Liverpool vouching for the character of the boys and asking permission for them to return to Germany.    Meanwhile, the Beatles are playing gigs at the Aintree (twice), Litherland, St John's Hall and the Casbah.

Allan Williams

1 comment:

  1. yes, I remember reading that George was too young to go into the clubs in Hamburg. They didnt realize that he wasnt 18 and the beatles didnt know what the German police were saying until someone told them they were saying "all people under the age of 18, get out now!". I think, out of all the clubs they played in, I liked the Top Ten club the best! good post!