Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trains, Boats and Automobiles

July 2-3, 1961

The Beatles are finished playing their second stint in Hamburg and use these two days to travel back home to Liverpool.  Before they could afford air travel, which is still for more wealthy travelers, it would usually take about 24 hours to complete the journey.

They have really stepped up their game and audiences back home will be more delighted than ever at the wonderful shows they will put on.  In fact, many people who are in a position to know, including John Lennon and George Harrison, have gone on record as saying that this is when they reached their musical peak.  By this time they had really gelled as a musical unit.  They were, after all, practicing their craft something like 6 hours EVERY DAY.

Paul McCartney's take is that, each time they arrived home from Hamburg or some other high pressure tour, they would take some time off and their first shows after the layoff the shows would be a bit raggedy. 

Photographs from this time show that they are becoming much less concerned with piled high hair-dos.  No doubt this is the influence of seeing the German students who would hang out at their shows and nearly all had hair in the French style, brushed forward and ungreasy.  (The wet head is dead.)  I think this is really interesting.  New styles are not usually adopted in a "big bang" way, but slowly the old styles seem to have less appeal and the new ones more until one day, almost without conscious effort, the change has taken place.

Astrid Kircherr says that shortly before they left, George had come to her and asked her to style his hair like Stewart's, whose hair she had already been doing for some time.  So, of John, Paul, George and Ringo, little unassuming George was the first to see the potential in what would come to be known as "The Beatle Haircut".

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