The Beatles haven`t always been a hit. What is now considered to be by many music experts one of the greatest bands in history, with a rich discography and a list of numerous songs which cause trouble to lovers back in the sixties or had the power to end wars, was once a group of twisted little chaps. They had gigs in small clubs and bars and even though girls were crazy about them since the beginning, the world didn`t have any idea that the four boys would end up making music history.
In the early sixties, they went on a series of concerts in Hamburg, Germany. They played in small music clubs on street Freiheit 39. Their performance at the Star Club in the German town was recorded and now the tapes that were lost have been found.
The tapes are now available to purchase and they are priced 200,000 pounds. Also, people can buy the tape machine used to do the recordings. It is a Phillips that recorded using microphone that was hooked above the stage of the club. The tape machine can be bought for approximately 35,000 pounds.
The tapes cover 300 minutes of live performance by The Beatles. During this time, they played 33 songs, but most of them were covers. The recordings also include the four musicians` chitchat between one track and another.
Even if The Beatles weren`t, back then, the biggest name on the list of performers at the Star Club, their Hamburg adventure turned out to be a major success. They started to be known all around the world and be acclaimed and loved by millions.
Initially, the recordings belonged to Ted Taylor, a member of the Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes band. The group performed with The Beatles at the Star Club in December 1962. Ted Taylor asked John Lennon if he could record The Beatles` performance. It seems that Lennon told him it was ok, if Taylor would get the beers.
Ted Taylor gave the tape to a recording engineer and it disappeared until 1973, when Taylor found the tape in an old studio that was no longer used by the engineer.
These recordings are the material that was edited and became The Beatles; ‘Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962’. 100,000 pounds were spent to turn the sound from mono to stereo. The album came out in 1977 even if The Beatles tried to stop its release. The team that worked on the BASF reel to reel tape was formed of Lingasong music company (which bought the recordings) sound engineers and the American producer Larry Grossberg.
Grossberg kept the tape and discovered it just a while ago. He said he forgot that he possessed it. Next month it will be sold within the pale of an auction in London.
Grossberg, who is also the business manager of boxer Muhammad Ali and artist Andy Warhol, says he received a letter from Apple, the label responsible for the Beatles` records. The letter confirms Apple`s accord for the sale with one condition. The tapes should be sold as memorabilia, not for commercial purposes.
Ted Owen, who is an auctioneer, has priced the tapes with a pre-sale price of 115,000 pounds. But he reckons that they will be sold for far more than that.
The Phillips machine that was used to record the group`s performance at the Star Club will also be sold within the auction, but by a separate dealer. The owner of the machine decided that he wanted to remain anonymous. He bought the Philips recorder from Taylor, a few years ago.
Owen thinks the discovery of the tapes is of extraordinary importance, especially if you take into consideration the fact that Beatles fans and collectors get fewer as time goes by, even if the band continues to sell discs to this day.
“They the most significant and most important set of tapes ever to come up for auction because they represent a time when the Beatles were unknown and before they became famous. They provide a crucial glimpse into the Beatles’ development. They really cut their teeth in Germany and went from being three chord wonders to superstars playing to massive audiences.″
He added that even John Lennon and George Harrison looked back to their early period, in which they had gigs in Liverpool and Hamburg and thought that those were their best days on stage, as a band that plays passionately and every time like it was the last time. Owen says the tapes that were rediscovered recently prove how young and cheerful the guys were. There is a lot of chatter and fooling around that were recorded along with the songs. The tapes are also important because of this aspect, not as material that reproduces a musical performance. First of all, they are a document for a gang of chaps having fun and starting they`re journey to conquer the world.
“Larry Grossberg didn’t realise he had the master recordings. He was going through a lot of his old tapes and he found these tapes and played them and realised they were the original masters.They had just been lying around one of his studios for years and years since 1977. He thinks he got them from Paul Murphy, who set up Lingasong, and who is no longer with us. He has approached Apple which has given permission for the tapes to be sold as memorabilia. There is no copyright being sold with them.”
In that period, early sixties, The Beatles were still unknown outside the United Kingdom. In October 1962, ‘Love Me Do’ hit the number one in the British musical charts. However, the world still didn`t catch the fever of the four long-haired rebels. In December 1962, the Beatles completed their series of concerts at the Star Club in Hamburg. They played mainly cover tracks, including Twist and Shout and To Know Her is To Love Her. Ask Me Why and I Saw Her Standing There were the only original tracks that the Beatles played on the Star Club stage.
The Tapes will be sold in London on the first of April.
This surprising news about The Beatles comes after less than a month from some other controversial news. In February, former Beatle Ringo Starr, the drummer of the band, said that Paul McCartney died in November 1966 in a car crash and that he was replaced by someone who won a McCartney look-alike contest. Ringo Starr`s affirmations fuel a 45 year old conspiracy.
“When Paul died, we all panicked! We didn’t know what to do, and Brian Epstein, our manager, suggested that we hire Billy Shears as a temporary solution. It was supposed to last only a week or two, but time went by and nobody seemed to notice, so we kept playing along. Billy turned out to be a pretty good musician and he was able to perform almost better than Paul. The only problem was that he couldn’t get along with John, at all.”
Ringo Starr claimed during an interview from his luxurious Beverly Hills residence.
Image Source: Today