Monday, December 29, 2008

Hamburg Days

The untold story, with unseen imagery by Astrid Kirchherr & Klaus Voormann
Foreword by George Harrison

A major limited edition two-volume set to celebrate the 20th century's most famous musical phenomenon.

"It's really good to see Astrid's great photos, and Klaus's new paintings put together in one set of books - with all the usual care from Genesis."
George Harrison

"I am really grateful for Paul McCartney's memories and assistance, for helping to recreate images of those great times - some wilder than others."
Klaus Voormann

"Klaus was part of a group of The Beatles' friends in Hamburg. Now he has made some 'memory drawings' of our Hamburg days which are not only beautiful drawings in themselves, but which capture the spirit of the times. The really good thing about Klaus, his drawings, and this book, however, is that - unlike many other people - he was actually there!"
Paul McCartney

Not many people can claim to have been among the very first to hear The Beatles playing live in 1960, in the dark basement of the Kaiserkeller. In Hamburg's nightclubs small audiences rocked to The Beatles' raw sound, long before it blazed a trail across the world. Now, with the publication of this sensational limited edition, you too can share in the history of those Hamburg days. This edition is strictly limited to 2,500 numbered copies worldwide. Every copy is signed by Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann.

Carefully crafted throughout the Nineties, this exceptional boxed set presents an unprecedented array of artwork and recollections: some 80,000 words and over 250 photographs, watercolours, drawings and paintings bring to life the years when Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voormann and the young Liverpool lads first met. When not in the clubs, they would eat together in their favourite haunts, engage one another in conversation, roam the streets through the early hours, and even travel together, to the North Sea and later to Tenerife. In his Foreword George Harrison explains what made these formative years so special: a time which Astrid photographed, producing an archive of unsurpassed images seen here in its entirety; including ones previously unpublished and others rarely seen before.

In Hamburg Klaus began his music career by playing bass for The Beatles. He would later perform on George's, John's, and Ringo's solo albums, and join the Plastic Ono band. In more recent times, the era inspired Klaus to begin a new artistic project. Most will know his work (through the classic album covers for Revolver and The Beatles Anthology) but Hamburg Days presents a brand-new collection of drawings and paintings recording events throughout The Beatles' climb from the Kaiserkeller to the Star-Club.

Since all the locations featured in Hamburg Days had long ago been destroyed, Klaus was faced with the task of reconstructing historic scenes himself. Paul McCartney helped with this work by providing maps and memories. Once Klaus had gathered as much evidence as possible, he set about recreating the past with the aid of actors, movie sets and studio lighting. The results were captured in photographs and video footage, as the starting point for the execution of this remarkable set of photorealistic paintings - published in Hamburg Days for the very first time.

Now subscribers to this superb set of books will have the opportunity to see for themselves the Top Ten club where The Beatles take centre stage with Klaus on bass, Harald's Cafe where John falls asleep over breakfast, Paul detained in the cells at the Davidwache police station, George singing 'Roll Over Beethoven', Ringo behind the drums, and much more besides. Only Klaus - with his unique memories, artistic ability, and lasting friendship with The Beatles - could have brought these historic events back to life.

This momentous collection of art is presented here in two volumes. Volume One tells the story of The Beatles' years in Hamburg, through the unpublished memories of Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann - covering life in war-torn Germany, through to the Sixties, the arrival of The Beatles, and their first years of glorious fame. This in-depth text is illustrated with Astrid's unparalleled photographs of The Beatles, and Klaus's unique pictures. The work of both artists is printed here to the highest standards, in the large format which such images deserve.

Volume Two finely reproduces the six oil canvases painted by Klaus Voormann. The story behind the creation of this remarkable artwork is told in Klaus's own words, and is interspersed with enlargements of details from the paintings, preliminary sketches and original photographs of the sets used in the creation of the paintings.

This major Genesis production is a priceless work of art destined to become an enduring monument to the legacy of The Beatles and the Twentieth Century.

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