Amazing, where lofty ideas kick off or take shape. Today: Indra Club.
Indra Club, Hamburg, St. Pauli, Grosse Freiheit 64: “Give us a show,” shouts nightclub owner Bruno Koschmider at the young Brits, back then still a quintet. Meaning: deliver a damn fine performance. On August 17th, 1960, Pete Best, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Stuart Sutcliffe take to the stage of Koschmider’s rather dingy establishment in Hamburg’s red light district, called Indra Club, for the very first time. And have no idea how to “give their audience a show.” At least not yet.
What follows are nights of hard toil at low pay and modest success. Fast-forward four months, another 47 gigs at Indra, a spontaneous move to nearby Kaiserkeller and, finally, a quarrel with Koschmider, and the – by now four – Beatles leave Hamburg on November 30th. En route to become one of the world’s most iconic bands. By the way: the Indra Club still exists today.