The Beatles Museum in Hamburg
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
A DAY IN THE LIFE of a travel blogger.
On this particular day in Hamburg, Germany, I started out by hopping on the U-Bahn and heading to the St. Pauli district to visit Beatlemania, located at the aptly named Beatlesplatz on Reeperbahn at Große Freiheit.
Beatlemania, opened on May 28, 2009, is a museum dedicated to celebrating the Beatles from their time in Hamburg in the early 1960s until their break up (officially announced in 1970). Their Hamburg experience, playing gigs on the Reeperbahn (the city’s famous red light district) while living in rather seedy conditions, really launched the band.
The Reeperbahn is not PENNY LANE.
The Star Club, Indra Club and Kaiserkeller, were a few of the clubs where the Beatles performed in the early 1960s. They were located along Große Freiheit, among the sex theaters and brothels.
When the band first came to Hamburg, it consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Geroge Harrison, and the lesser known Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best. Sutcliffe left the group in 1961 and Ringo Starr replaced Best in 1962.
SIE LIEBT DICH — jeah, jeah, jeah!
Beatlemania’s exhibits are on five floors with videos, photographs, interactive displays, news clippings, reproductions of places the Beatles lived and performed, and artifacts from that time period. There are also original documents, letters, autographs, news clippings, some of Stuart Sutcliffe’s artwork and postcards that Ringo sent his grandmother from Hamburg.
In the Abbey Road Studios exhibit, you can sing along with the Beatles and make your own recording, but I didn’t do it. If I had been with someone else, I might have been tempted to record one of my favorites, but I was by myself and a little self-conscious.
I don’t think I’d want to live in a YELLOW SUBMARINE.
This exhibit puts you inside the “Yellow Submarine”. It was a rainy weekend morning in December, which may be why there were so few visitors to the museum that day.
SHE’S A WOMAN who was very important to the Beatles
The above display is of an autographed copy of Lennon’s book, In His Own Write, given to Astrid Kirchherr. Kirchherr first met the Beatles at the Kaiserkeller. She was a close friend of each of them, but was eventually engaged to Stuart. In 1962, Stuart died of cerebral hemorrhage. Baby’s in Black was written about her mourning after Stuart’s death.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?
During the famous British Invasion of the Fab Four to the United States, Beatles items such as albums, magazines, school supplies, bubble gum and clothing were in huge demand. I’ll disclose here that I actually had one of these dolls — Paul. He was my favorite. I have no idea what happened to that doll. Maybe that’s mine in the case.
There’s SOMETHING about Yoko ….
The walls of the Abbey Road Studios exhibit are filled with visitors’ graffiti, much like that on the wall around the real Abbey Road Studio in London. As evidenced here, many people blame Yoko Ono, who John met in 1967 and married him in 1969, for the breakup of the Beatles. Where do you fall on the issue?
Sounds like a fun place to visit. I missed out on it when I was in Hamburg, something like fifteen years ago. That Ringo doll is really creepy looking!
Haha! You’re right about the Ringo doll — I didn’t notice it before. The museum wasn’t there 15 yrs ago, (opened in 2009) so you didn’t miss it. Check it out next time!
I still love the Beatles. The only thing I remember when I was 3 yrs old was when the Beatles came on the Ed Sullivan show.
I was really young when they were on the Sullivan show, too But it was such a big deal at the time that we all still remember it (just not in much detail!).
Huge Beatles fan here, so this is right up my alley. Would love to hit some of their old spots in Hamburg and Liverpool one day. If you’re ever in Vegas check out Love…awesome.
There are actually quite a few Beatles songs that I appreciate more now than I did when they were first out. I definitely want to see “Love” in Vegas.
XD My mom lives Beatles ~ and oohh, I don’t think I can make my own recording there in the museum XDD I rather hear Beatles sing than my own voice.
lol, typo, I mean to say “loves” not “lives”
I’m probably better off leaving the singing to the Beatles, too. But ever since I started writing this post, I’ve been singing lots of their tunes — out loud!
That’s fascinating that the Beatles have such a connection to Germany — I had no idea! Love that you had a Paul doll…
I only learned that recently, too. So glad that I did before I went to Hamburg. The Paul doll was pretty cool at the time 🙂
Beatles forever! And I’m old enough to have lived through the entire hype in the 60s and the sensation they caused in Hamburg.
The Beatles ushered in a whole new era. I hope that even those who weren’t around during that time appreciate their influence on music & culture. What a sensation they were worldwide! It’s so interesting to me now learning about their time in Hamburg.
Lovely post, Cathy. I know what you mean about feeling self-conscious — that happens to me sometimes.
Those dolls are hysterical — all that hair!
The Beatles hairstyles were a big deal back then. It seems pretty tame now, but at the time it was considered outrageous. I remember my parents laughing when we first saw them on the Ed Sullivan show. But it was very exciting time.
I would love to visit this place. They have really quality artifacts!
I think this would be right up your alley, Scott — lots of Beatles history and a little quirky, too.
I love that retro fridge. What a fun place to visit and lose yourself!
Fun to see a reproduction of their living quarters back then — before they were the famous (and very rich) Beatles!
Ha, I love your opinion on Yoko Ono – let it be!! Why do people always have to hate on the ladies in these types of situations?
I’m way too young to have been around during the craze of the Beatles, but their music still gets regular play-time on my iPod. I definitely would have owned a doll or two if I was alive in the 60s. 🙂
Glad to hear that you like some Beatles tunes. Appreciation for their music really does span the generations.
Fantastic. Didn’t know about Hamburg! Yoko or not, I am with you – Let it be 😉
Thanks, Fida! 😉
Totally a place I would visit! Not that I’m a big Beatles fan but I know a few of their songs. And that Yellow Submarine looks very impressive.
It’s a little slice of history that is fun to explore. 😉
I want those dolls and I´m not even a Beatles fan!
Pretty wild, those dolls. As Michael F. pointed out above — especially the Ringo doll,
I think with or without Yoko the Beatles were on their way out. John was always the flaky one — he was just lucky enough to find an equal in Ono.:)
Oh, those are fighting words, Raymond — at least for some John Lennon fans, I think! 🙂
I’m glad I stumbled upon this article! I’m headed to Hamburg this weekend, and I first saw this article (http://www.germany-travel.org/reeperbahn-hamburg/). Good overview, but I’m really interested in Hamburg’s connection to the Beatles, and this post made me more excited than ever. And yes, people are still pissed at Yoko…