Feb 25, 2013

Another Woman Michael Loves, Astrid Kirchherr

Astrid Kirchherr and Stuart Sutcliffe
I had not even realized that over this past weekend in which I had been watching Martin Scorsese's very fine documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, that it was right around the time of George's birthday, which is today.  Happy birthday George:

Ms Kirchherr is such a lovely, warm, and humble soul, that I can not help but to love her.  She has never complained or fought about the rights to her photographs of the Beatles in Hamburg, though they are without question some of the finest rock photographs in the (short) history of that genre, and could have made her an extremely wealthy person.  Her attitude now is as it always been, that she did not mind the world using those photographs, because they were just pictures of her friends, and meant to be shared with an entire globe that thinks of itself, still today, as "friends" with The Beatles.

She also is so humble as to never take claim for inventing the "Beatles haircut", which she rightly claims was a style already popular amongst German boys at that time in the early sixties.  But, Ms Kirchherr was the first person to cut Stuart Sutcliffe's hair in that style, and the other Beatles at that time followed suit by having one of her friends, Jürgen Vollmer, cut their hair in the same fashion in Paris.

In fact, just the Beatles' days in Hamburg are enough to write a truly great novel, although one which many might find unbelievable, even if you reassured them that it all really happened.

Astrid and Stuart Sutcliffe, who had just quit The Beatles to become a full-time painter, were engaged to be wed, but Sutcliffe suffered an aneurysm and died en route to hospital, the young Ms Kirchherr with him, holding his hand as he passed.

But, she has never been a bitter or jaded person.  Or even ever tried to carpetbag on the group's subsequent unheard of (and perhaps will never see the like of happening again) monumentally massive success.

A truly wonderful person.

One of the cameras Ms Kirchherr used.


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