THE BEATLES ILLUSTRATION: THE BEATLES IN HAMBURG, 1962
We arrive in Große Freiheit, Hamburg in late spring of 1962. High on pep pills mixed with scotch and coke, John Lennon takes an early morning stroll to get breakfast after another long night of "MACH SCHAU!" at the Star-Club.
Years later, when The Beatles had achieved worldwide fame, there was no happier memory for him than that of blasting out simple rock 'n' roll among gangsters, strippers and cross-dressers in this dangerous, sordid yet sheltering and tolerant place.
In order to capture the architectural details and squalid feel of St. Pauli in the early '60s, I have relied upon old photographs of Große Freiheit and of The Beatles playing the Star-Club. Emphasizing the vibe and vulgarity of the place, I decided to add a few neon signs that were not originally visible here in 1962. Other than the "39" star, which was put up later, "TABU" hung further op the street and - from this angle - would have been visible only to John, had he bothered to open his sleepy eyes.
THE BEATLES ILLUSTRATION
Original artwork made with graphite pencils
on 120gsm paper