RIP Astrid Kirchherr
Astrid Kirchherr who befriended The Beatles in Hamburg in 1960 and took the first photographs of the group, has died aged 82.
Astrid Kirchherr, aged 81, (20 May 1938 – 12 May 2020) was a German photographer and artist known for her association with the Beatles (along with her friends Klaus Voormann and Jürgen Vollmer) and her photographs of the band's original members – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best – during their early days in Hamburg.
Kirchherr met artist Sutcliffe in the Kaiserkeller bar in Hamburg in 1960, where he was playing bass with the Beatles, and was later engaged to him, before his death in 1962.
Kirchherr said that she immediately fell in love with Sutcliffe, and called him "the love of my life". Kirchherr and Sutcliffe got engaged in November 1960, and exchanged rings, as is the German custom. Kirchherr and Sutcliffe went to Liverpool in the summer of 1961, as Kirchherr wanted to meet Sutcliffe's family (and to see Liverpool) before their marriage. Everybody was expecting a strange beatnik artist from Hamburg, but Kirchherr turned up at the Sutcliffes' house at 37 Aigburth Drive, Liverpool, bearing a single long-stemmed orchid in her hand as a present, and dressed in a round-necked cashmere sweater and tailored skirt.
In 1962, Sutcliffe collapsed in the middle of an art class in Hamburg. He was suffering from intense headaches, and Kirchherr's mother had German doctors perform checks on him, although they were unable to determine the cause of his headaches. While living at the Kirchherrs' house in Hamburg, his condition deteriorated. On 10 April 1962, Kirchherr's mother phoned her daughter at work and told her Sutcliffe was not feeling well, had been brought back to the house, and an ambulance had been called for. Kirchherr rushed home and rode with Sutcliffe in the ambulance, but he died in her arms before it reached the hospital.
Very sad tale Steve