Friday, April 1, 2011

On the Road to Hamburg - Again

April 1, 1961

The Beatles trip to Hamburg is on much better terms this time than last, which was, amazingly, only eight months ago.  First and foremost, they are now a know quantity to the Hamburg promoters.  They are going to play at a very much nicer club, the Top Ten, than they started in last year, the Indra.  The Indra was a glorified storefront,  the Top Ten is a converted exhibition space, large and cavernous inside.  Peter Eckhorn, the manager of the club, is paying for their travel via comfortable European train.  They are given accommodation for the duration of their visit in the relatively nicer rooms above the Top Ten.  And the pay is better, too.

George has turned 18 and is now legal to be playing after 10 pm.  Stuart, who preceded them to Germany, is staying with Astrid.  He has been suffering with depression and was refused reentry into the Liverpool Art College.  (I wonder if the amplifier that the Beatles convinced the college bursar to purchase and which later disappeared with them may have had something to do with that.)  Anyhow, he has decided to pursue his artist's training where he can be near his beloved Astrid and his best mate, John Lennon.

Finally, they will be trading off shifts with Tony Sheridan, whom they all respect and who is generous with his considerable knowledge of the techniques of rock and roll guitar playing.  I you haven't yet, you can meet Tony here, an unsung hero of rock music, if ever there was one!

Their contract with the Top Ten calls for over 500 hours on stage over the next 13 weeks, an astonishing work load.  Quarry Bank High School is John's alma mater.  Its motto is ‘Ex Hoc Metallo Virtuten’ - ‘From This Rough Metal -Virtue’.

No comments:

Post a Comment