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On August 17th 1960, the Beatles played their very first concert at Hamburg's music club Indra. During the following two-and-a-half years, with 281 gigs played, the Beatles took part in the development of the so called Hamburg Sound and laid the foundation for their world-spanning career. Exactly 50 years later, Hamburg honors their exceptional contribution to the history of pop music with a string of exciting events.
The Beatles in their heyday in the early sixties.
The fab four from 1962 were Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
But when the band began gigging in Hamburg in 1960 they were a five piece outfit that included McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums.
Sutcliffe left in 1961 and Best was replaced by Starr in 1962.
The young band members honed their skills onstage in various clubs around the Reeperbahn area in Hamburg, playing for up to nine hours at a time.
Club Indra became a milestone for the British band, and it was here that they played their first German concert on August the 17th, 1960.
Today, Hamburg has a dedicated Beatles museum, where visitors can see a recreation of the Star Club, one of the other venues the Beatles played in.
Speaking in 2004, former Beatles frontman, Paul McCartney, remembers the early days of the band's career.
Paul Mccartney, Former Beatles, said, "So no, the early gigs were quite nerve wracking, you know as The Beatles we have people throwing pennies at us an stuff. Teds, big Teddy boys 'get off' chucking stuff at us, and you know, we played plenty to empty halls. But it was OK, we learned how to get over it, we picked the money up, 'Thank you.' They soon stopped throwing it."
Close to the Indra club is the "Beatles Platz", fitted with a steel memorial in honor of the Beatles, worth 625-thousand US Dollars.
On the 50th anniversary of their appearance in Hamburg, the city celebrates with a musical tribute: the epic concert from 1960 is re-enacted by American band Bambi Kino.
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