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    1960 George Harrison Letter From Hamburg- Incredible Content This three page letter on lined paper is not dated but almost certainly written in September and October of 1960 at Hamburg, Germany. It is a funny, newsy letter from George to Arthur Kelly, his best buddy back in Liverpool, written using many interesting Scouse and slang terms. Arthur, by the way, holds a very important place in George's musical career. Harrison's mother bought George his first guitar when he was 13 which he taught himself to play. He formed, with his brother Pete and friend Arthur Kelly, his first band- a short-lived skiffle group called "The Rebels." The content of this letter is an absolute goldmine for the Beatle historian. For some background, the Beatles went to Hamburg on August 16, 1960 to play the Indra Club, a dive frequented by rowdy drunks. The Indra was not quite on the main Hamburg "drag" and they moved to the bigger and nicer Kaiserkeller Club down the street in early October. This important letter was written during this formative period in the Beatle's career.

    The letter starts out (in ink): "Dear Archibald Lad, How are ye? I am playing many a rolling rock in Germanyingdaleboroughland, and have much gold. John-Paul+Stuart Deane (possibly a reference to Stuart Stucliffe's tendency to dress like James Dean?) are also having a luvly time too. We have Pete Best Mrs. Bests little lad with us from Kasbah fame and he is drumming good. His dad is a boxer in the Stadium." Pete Best had just joined the group. His mom owned the Casbah Club in Liverpool where the Beatles had visited. The letter goes on: "I can speak gut Germen now and we are staying here until Christ. and then we are going with a man to Berlin." George then inquires about Arthur's family and mentions that his mum is going to Canada to visit his sister (Louise). "We are earning 18 pounds a week now and after Chrimbo when we go to Berlin we will earn 60 marks a night [30 pounds a week]." In the next paragraph, George talks about Tony Sheridan and his trio also being there performing. The Beatles' very first recording will later be as Tony Sheridan's backing band. He also talks about his obsession with guitars: "He has got a Fender Guitar & Amp like Buddy's (Buddy Holly?) and I play it well... Look out as I'm thinking of getting yet again another new guitar. I may leave solids out of it this time & get an Everly Brother type massive Gibson as they are gear... I might manage a red Fender Stratocaster with gold plating though come to think of it, but the one I want is the Gretch..." He then closes with "From George. x"

    The letter then continues (in pencil): "Dear Arthur, It is a month now since I started the letter to you. Everything is going O.K. and hope you are O.K. My pen has also run out since then and I am writing in pencil. [As you might have noticed!] Rory Storm & The Hurricanes came out here the other week, and they are crumby. (Could this be sour grapes- George auditioned earlier for this band and was turned down) He does a bit of dancing around but it still doesn't make up for his phoney group. The only person who is any good in the group is the drummer." This drummer, of course, is future Beatle Ringo Starr! He then writes that Stewart had bought a Gibson amplifier and that he should have 100 pounds saved by Christmas. The letter closes: "Anyway cheerio for now and write and let me know how you are getting on. The address is:- G. Harrison c/o The Beatles / KaiserKeller / Hamburg, 4 / Grosserfreiheit 36 / Germany. Cheerio from George. P.S. I hope you are still getting the 8-25 am 25 bus to work. I suppose you have been missing me?!!" Soon after writing this, George was deported back to England for being underage (17). This letter would be at home in any museum or private collection. Fine condition, original folds.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2005
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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