The Beatles had first come to Hamburg in 1960, contracted to serve as house band at a nightclub on the city’s famous Reeperbahn. They slept in the back of a rundown movie theater and played six or eight hours a night, first at at a dingy, low-rent club called the Indra, then in a slightly less dingy, marginally less low-rent establishment named the Kaiserkeller.

In 1966 they returned as conquering kings, playing two shows at Ernst Merck Halle to a combined 11,200 people. In this clip you can see them being escorted into the venue, setting off the usual pandemonium, and launching into “Rock and Roll Music” (their set list did not vary during the six shows they played over three days in Germany).

During the day John Lennon met up with Beatle friend and photographer Astrid Kircherr, who had lived with ex-bassist Stuart Sutcliffe in Hamburg until he died of a brain hemorrhage in 1962. After the shows John and Paul “paid a nostalgic visit to the Reeperbahn,” says The Beatles Bible, “ where they visited a number of people and places from their past.” I imagine them checking in with their favorite strippers and friends at the VD clinic, but maybe that’s just my filthy mind.

And that was it for Germany. Because the theme of this tour was, apparently, a circuit of the Axis powers, The Beatles would soon be off for Japan.

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