McCartney Times

Welcome to Hamburg – Willkommen!

Welcome to Hamburg – Willkommen!

Welcome to Hamburg – Willkommen!


From their humble beginnings in Liverpool, the Beatles’ first step towards a real career was when their first Booking Agent/Manager Allan Wiliams decided to take them to Hamburg. They were very excited at the prospect of going abroad together.

Their first trip was in Allan’s beat-up old van, and that was an adventure in itself. First of all, getting them ready for a trip to this cold and wet area of Germany, packing all of them into the vehicle, plus instruments and luggage, and their various picnics for the journey.

When they arrived, cold, hungry and tired, they were shunted off to their first venue, and found that they would be sleeping in the Bambi Kino, behind the screen, on beds that, were to say the least, lumpy and uncomfortable. But by this time, they were so exhausted they would have happily slept on the floor.

And so it began. Their crippling schedule, day and night, playing to a usually drunk and abusive crowd. Their lives were saved (to a degree), when the lady cloakroom attendant started stealing food for them and giving them Preludin tablets (“prellies”) to help them get through the long nights.

But Hamburg was where they really began to realize what a career was going to mean. They bonded together, in true Liverpool style, shored up by their sense of humour, which  was a Godsend, and began to mold themselves into the professionals that would eventually catch the attention of Brian Epstein, who took them to the “toppermost of the poppermost” to quote one of John Lennon’s catch phrases.

They learned to cope, learned to survive, If not for Hamburg, then the rest of  their history may never have happened.

I remember Jim telling me that, the first time he opened the front door to greet Paul on his return to 20 Forthlin Road, for a split second, he didn’t recognize him, he looked so pale and thin, undernourished, and exhausted. I can only imagine the TLC Paul came in for from his Dad until he was back on his feet again.

There is an organized Beatles Tour of Hamburg here – it is run out of the UK and all tours are conducted in English:

Seasonal weather in Hamburg:


Akustik Studio
Kirchenallee 57, Hamburg, Germany

Bambi Kino
Paul-Roosen Strasse 33

Beatles Platz
Reeperbahn 174, 20359 Hamburg

St.Petersburger Str. 30, 20355 Hamburg

Friedrich Ebert Halle 
Alter Postweg 34, 21075 Hamburg

The Hard Rock Cafe
Brücke 5, Bei Den St. Pauli Landungsbrücken,
Bei den St. Pauli, 20359 Hamburg

The Indra Club
Grosse Freiheit 64

Underneath Große Freiheit 36

The Star Club
Grosse Freiheit 39, St. Pauli

Top Ten Club
Reeperbahn 136, Hamburg


<<<Back to Index


Disclaimer: McCartney Multimedia, Inc. has no affiliation with the tour operator and is not responsible for errors, cancellations, refunds etc.