04 February 2008

Before They Took the World by Storm. . .

Ok, time to wear my Beatles fan badge proudly and stop hiding it, I suppose. Of all the great popular music and rock bands of the last half century or so, the Beatles and their music are the greatest in my humble opinion – musically and personality-wise. So, in honor of Der Stollenkeller, here are two photos of the savage young Beatles. . .

The top shot is of the original five-man band onstage at The Indra Club, the first place in Hamburg that the Beatles played when they arrived in August 1960. Besides George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, original drummer Pete Best and bass player Stuart Sutcliffe (an art school buddy of Lennon’s) are pictured here. The band members ranged in age from 17-20 here, and the Hamburg redlight district was by all accounts a pretty wild and rough place for five very young guys to be let off the leash.

By the way, Ringo Starr was playing in a rival club around the corner at this time with his own Liverpool band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Hamburg is where everyone met, became friendly, and the rest is history of course.

Anyway, the lower photo shows George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon, posing on a Hamburg rooftop in 1961, dressed in their new leather suits and cowboy boots. Yes, yes, I actually have three pairs of cowboy boots myself (stop laughing you guys!) that I wear on the weekends with jeans. Don’t worry. I dress a little more conservatively during the week when I’m teaching young minds. ;-)


Bill McHenry said...

Hey now, don't I get a partial credit for pointing out the Beatles connection earlier? Remember, I got the answer right on your movie blog about poor Ringo "losing" Paulie's Grandfather.

Seriously, congratulations again Stokes. On the Chandler book as well, its excellent. You should also try and get the Grant book if you can. Its more of a reference really, along the lines of the other WRG books, but with much better detailed info in the back. Also a great uniform reference for the period.

Sir William

tradgardmastare said...

New uniforms for the Duchy ? Inspired by the leather -clad Spanish of New Mexico etc ?
My tastes ( when it comes to confession time -as it appears to be re music) are early/middle Genesis and the excesses of Prog Rock. That perhaps is why I am attracted to the Baroque.....

Bluebear Jeff said...


I looked at the second photo and thought that those boots were too low to protect their knees when riding their horses at the charge.

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...


I'm of the time of Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran -and Elvis, of course, at least when he was still at Sun Records... 1954 - 1961: were you born?

Good to see such references on a Lace Wars Imagi-Nation blog: we are NOT obsessec monomaniacs!


Bill McHenry said...

Well Jean-Louis, if we're going to start throwing age around, I guess I'm in the middle ground. Born in 52, grew up listening to Rockabilly on Mom's radio and records around the house. Was in Germany at the height of the Folk scene, got to see all the great acts from 60 to 63 at free USO shows in Frankfurt, which motivated me to get my first guitar and start playing. Moved from there to Northern California with my budding collection of new British Invasion records to run into a head-on collision with surf and car music; Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Ventures, etc. Moved to Texas just before the "Summer of Love" hit Cal, got heavily into the Rock of the day and I guess I still gravitate to it; Hendrix, Joplin, Doors, Stones, etc.

Didn't make it to Woodstock, but went Texas International the same year and to two big Festivals the following year. Saw Joplin, the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Ten Years After, Led Zeppelin, Cream (and Clapton solo) and others in person, Hendrix's last US appearance, the Allman Brother's triumphant return to Georgia and many others.

From there it was an easy journey to the Blues, have seen Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, B.B. King, Clapton, Hubert Sumlin and others multiple times. Spent all 3 days center stage at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas in 04, great celebration of the guitar and the Blues.

Arthritis and a left hand injury prevent me from playing effectively, but I still own three guitars and a bass, still "bang around" on them with friends and my Son, still work sound and lights at local benefits and for a couple of local bands.

My current collection includes over 200 albums still on vinyl, over 150 cassette tapes, and now over 150 CD's, all with very few duplicates. Everything from Billy Holiday through the British Invasion through the late 60's through to the present day. Rock and The Blues, like Life, just keep on keepin' on!

Sir William

Stryker said...

Hi Stokes

I actually met Paul McCartney at the opening of one of Linda’s Photography exhibitions many years ago. Much to my wife’s embarrassment I quizzed him for ten minutes about the Beatles exploits with the Maharishi. He was really interesting to listen to and turned out to be a really nice bloke.


Stokes Schwartz said...

This is an interesting digression! Ian, are you familiar with the theory of six degrees of separation?

Best Regards,


Stryker said...


Is that anything to do with the three degrees? I Quite like Motown.
By a bizarre coincidence I see on MSN that the Maharishi has just died!


Steve said...

I'm with Tradgardemaster I'm afraid, with the notable exception of Sergeant Pepper pehaps... :o))

"Old School" (how could it not be old school?? As per my wargaming, so is my music!) classic rock for me every time - Floyd, Genesis (the Wind & Wuthering/Trick of the Tail/Then There Were Three, era) Zeppelin (saw them at Knebworth in the 70's), Rush, Jethro Tull - bring it on.... :o)

guy said...

Hi Stokes,

Just catching up with your blog. I've been swamped at work. The Chandler book is extremely interesting and I'm sure you will be glad you bought it. I v briefly met David Chandler about 4/5 years ago at Sandhurst Military accadamy after a passing out parade. I was taken for lunch in the officers mess and he was eating at our table, albeit pretty long. Regretfully he was suffering from the effects of a stroke then so he was not really able to talk. He died soon afterwards.



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