|"Beatlemania Hamburg", the Beatles museum closed for business June 30th|
Grosse Freiheit starts with the Beatles square, where five steel sculptures resembling the fledgeling prefabs stands on an LP-shaped circle.
|Grosse Freiheit as seen from the Beatles square|
|The same view in 1960|
|That's me inside Ringo/Pete's neck|
|With nighttime come the neon lights|
|Standing in Grosse Freiheit you glance over to the other side of Reeperbahn with the not-so-seedy Liedl food store|
|Me, standing below where the Zigarren-Haus sign was in 1960|
|The same building at nighttime|
A bit up the Reeperbahn from Grosse Freiheit is the house where the Top Ten club once was. The Beatles played at the Top Ten Club in their free time (!) in 1960 and on payroll in 1961.
|Location of the Top Ten club|
|On the ground floor, there's a Pizza Hut Express, but there's also a disco named Moon Doo in the house|
Indra Club and Bambi Kino. When the Beatles first arrived in Hamburg in August 1960, they played at the Indra and slept at Bambi. Legend has it that the Bambi was a sex cinema, but it really wasn't, they featured regular movies. And it was never named Kino, the German word for Cinema, the Bambi was an "Filmkunsttheater" - a Movie Art Theater. But patrons are likely to have referred to it as Bambi Kino, nonetheless.
The Beatles used the Bambi's back entrance in Grosse Freiheit but the main entrance is around the corner in Paul Roosen strasse 33.
My main reason for going back to Grosse Freiheit this Thursday however, was to see what had become of Indra Club. When I was there in 2010, the club celebrated 50 years since the Beatles' debut with a weeklong series of concerts by the USA-based band "Bambi Kino" who tried to recreate the Beatles feeling, and the concert I attended was also filmed and televised. Back then, I presented Orhan, the owner of the Indra Club with some good prints of The Beatles at Indra, including a framed print of a photo I had colourised. I felt that the photos of the Beatles playing at the Top Ten Club which they had hanging on the walls at the Indra were inappropriate when there were photos taken at Indra Club itself in existance. So I made a return visit to see if the owner had made use of the photos and how the club had fared since it had been so prominently featured on TV the last time I was here.
|The building that houses the Indra Club|
|A group of tourists were being guided there as I approached|
|Still closed, Indra Club was advertising tonight's program: table tennis!|