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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It was 50 Years Ago Today...

Fifty years ago today, the music group of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and newly inked drummer Pete Best - formerly known as the Silver Beetles - ventured into the Indra Club in Hamburg, Germany for the first of 48 straight nights of performances as The Beatles. 

Of course, the group had been playing much earlier, as John Lennon formed the Quarrymen in 1957, but the gig at the Indra marked the forst road gig in Hamburg.

Said the late Harrison in his Anthology:

"Of course, on the first night we got there there weren't arrangements for anything. The club owner, Bruno Koschmider, drove us round to his house, and we ended up staying, all in the one bed. Bruno wasn't with us, fortunately, he left us to stay in his flat for the first night and went somewhere else. Eventually he put us in the back of a little cinema, the Bambi Kino, at the very end of a street called the Grosse Freiheit.

Bruno wasn't some young rock'n'roll entrepreneur, he was an old guy who had been crippled in the war. He had a limp and didn't seem to know much about music or anything. We only ever saw him once a week, when we'd try to get into his office for our wages.

The city of Hamburg was brilliant; a big lake, and then the dirty part. The Reeperbahn and Grosse Freiheit were the best thing we'd ever seen, clubs and neon lights everywhere and lots of restaurants and entertainment. It looked really good. There were seedy things about it, obviously, including some of the conditions we had to live in when we first got there."

This is how the date will be marked at the club:

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Beatles concerts in Hamburg, Germany, Hamburg-based label Tapete Records stages a very, very unique event.

Bambi Kino are: Mark Rozzo (Maplewood), Ira Elliot (Nada Surf), Doug Gillard (Ex Guided By Voices), Erik Paparazzi (Cat Power)

Hamburg, 17th of August, 1960: Five young musicians from Liverpool take the stage of the small and slightly scruffy "music and vaudeville" club Indra. On a side street of the notorious Reeperbahn and lost to the general public... this is the Beatles first gig in Hamburg. It is also the start to an unparalleled carreer which will shake the foundations of the music world.

New York City, summer 2009: Four young Beatles+Hamburg fans from New York put together "Bambi Kino", named after the infamous first accommodation of the Beatles, in the back of the Bambi cinema, Paul-Roosen-Strasse during their first stint in Hamburg. Their dream: A concert at the Indra to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first gig at just such location.

Hamburg, August 2010: In cooperation with Tapete Records, "Bambi Kino", comprised of members of internationally reknown bands such as Nada Surf, Cat Power, Maplewood and Guided By Voices, will play a run of four shows at the Indra, starting on the 17th of august. The band will resurrect the sound and the spirit of those heady days in August 1960 by performing exactly the same songs that comprised the Beatles set fifty years ago!

The love of detail, passion for the project and fine reputation of the musicians involved in "Bambi Kino", as well as the historic location will make this a "once in a lifetime" event that is sure to stir up much attention Nationally and Internationally. Performing the original Beatles 1960 Hamburg setlist, "Bambi Kino" will be the first band to bring this chapter of music history back to life, putting them light-years ahead of the slew of Beatles coverbands the world over.

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