Memorabilia from the band’s Hamburg years, sent to photographer Astrid Kirchherr, will be auctioned in May
It was the city that made the Beatles. Not Liverpool, but Hamburg, the north German seaport where, between August 1960 and October 1962, the group played more than they ever did at the Cavern in their home city.
Sixty years on, previously unseen letters, work permits and photos have been unearthed about the band’s time in Germany and their relationship with Astrid Kirchherr, the photographer best known for her stark black-and-white portraits of the Beatles taken in Hamburg before they were famous.
Letters to Kirchherr – who is credited with influencing the group’s style and signature “mop-top” haircuts – include one from George Harrison inviting her to London “to make him tea and give him cornflakes” and one from John Lennon, who mentions their just-released first single, Love Me Do, writing modestly: “It’s quite good but not good enough.”