Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Update: Indra photo found

The five Beatles at the Indra Club, Hamburg, August 1960.
Having just arrived at the Indra Club in Hamburg, fifty-five years ago, five piece band The Beatles was photographed inside the club, wearing their lilac stage costumes. At least one of the stage photos was used to promote the band at the club and was made into a postcard. Others, like the one above, showed them in a more casual pose, standing by the Indra bar.
The above photo includes the missing piece we requested in our last blog post. Clearly scanned from some magazine or newspaper, our reader Guus Limberger found the photo at the now defunct "The Gilly" Beatles photo blog. That blog was famous among the fans for posting images of the Beatles which had remained unseen for ages, due to the keeper of the blog constantly scanning images from vintage publications.
Many of the photos distributed to magazines in the sixties were used once and then either filed away, becoming victims of later fires, or binned after the photo had been published. Unfortunately, some of the photographers sold their negatives - and these photos are now only available in scans of old magazines, newspapers, books or library microfilms of the original publications. Hanne, keeper of The Gilly blog used all these sources for her blog posts.
In the case of this particular photo, we know that at least one uncropped vintage print still exists in Pete Best's collection, due to it's partial inclusion in his Best of The Beatles DVD.

This image is usually shown in a cropped version, where bass guitar player Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best have both been removed, like this:

The common version of this photo.
As you can see, this image is in a much better quality than the vintage scan, and it also has a little more bottom and slightly more top - so there's still room for improvements. Here's a composite I made from the two versions of the photo:

The two images, one on top of the other.
Pete seemed to carry his drumsticks with him. We also have a lot more of the Indra wall behind Pete, compared to this earlier composite made by Chazz Avery, which had Stu and Pete inserted from a video still.

An earlier restoration, still with a bit missing.
Anyway, thanks to Guus Limberger for sending us the complete photo from "The Gilly", and hopefully some day we will see a good quality version of the complete photo. This is rather a historic photo session, since it was The Beatles' very first engagement as professional musicians, their first concerts in a foreign country, and the first step on a road that took them everywhere.

2 comments:

Sara S. said...

I speak to the girl that ran "the Gilly" site. I wouldn't be surprised if she visits this blog. Maybe she can tell us more information about where she found the photo.

Roger Stormo said...

Hi Sara, I did exchange some emails with her at the time when she was still doing her blog. Yes, she used to visit here from time to time. Prior to posting this blog post, I also tried to message her on Facebook, asking her about the origin of this particular scan. We'll see what she comes up with, but I'm sure she posted the image in the size it was available to her. I am also still hoping that the Best family ore someone else will some day publish the full vintage print of this photo from their collections.