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Hamburg Days

Photos by Astrid Kirchherr & Artwork by Klaus Voormann

Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voormann

Hamburg Days is a signed, two-volume set that presents The Beatles as seen through the photographs of Astrid Kirchherr and the art of Klaus Voormann. It is their memoir of the days they spent with The Beatles, 1960-63.

An array of newly-commissioned artworks and recollections – over 80,000 words and more than 250 photographs, watercolours, drawings and paintings – bring to life the years when Kirchherr, Voormann and the young Liverpool lads first met in Germany.

'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.' from the Foreword by George Harrison

'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

The Manuscript

Hamburg Days

Hamburg Days is a two-volume boxed set. Volume 1 tells the story of The Beatles' years in Hamburg, through the unpublished memories of Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann.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 the Sixties, the arrival of The Beatles, and their first years of glorious fame, this 80,000 word insight into life with The Beatles is illustrated with Astrid's photographs of The Beatles, and Klaus's illustrations.

'George was younger, the little one. He was very sweet, with his little tooth and the cocky songs he was singing. He was really cute, and was an essential part of the team. When all of them were harmonising together was incredible!' Klaus Voormann

'When John sang I never got the impression that he put anything on, he just loved the songs. I don't think he posed himself on stage in a deliberate attempt to look sexy, or tough. Not John. He just loved the music and played it his way, and if he had to put the microphone in a particular position and take a certain stance, it was because he could sing best that way.' Klaus Voorman

'When I think of all the pictures I did - when I look at them now - I can see a change. Nobody will ever see it but me, but it's about what those boys went through in a very short period. They went through such a personal change. Especially with the grief of Stuart's death.'  Astrid Kirchherr

'It was Hamburg that did it. That's where we really developed. To get the Germans going, and keep it up for twelve hours at a time, we would really have to hammer. We would never have developed as much if we'd stayed at home. We had to try anything that came into our heads in Hamburg. There was nobody to copy from. We played what we liked best and the Germans liked it as long as it was loud.'  John Lennon
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The Photography

Hamburg Days

A constant companion of The Beatles, alongside Klaus Voorman, Hamburg Days presents over 250 photographs - the complete collection - of Astrid Kirchherr's photographs.

'The Beatles have been a big part of my life from the moment I first met them right up to now.' Astrid Kirchherr

'To be as young as seventeen years old, away from home for the first time, and working nights in the clubs of Hamburg. This was quite a way to grow up. They definitely grew up in Hamburg.' Klaus Voormann 

Many of these images are reproduced in hues of blue and sepia or in full-colour, while others remain in monochrome - all exquisitely printed in large format.

'Things were so different. If you can imagine them in the Top Ten or the Kaiserkeller, sitting on the amplifiers, smoking, playing and drinking beer and joking with one another.... When The Beatles started playing, the music was already first-rate.'  Astrid Kirchherr

'John said in an interview that Brian Epstein had persuaded them to put on suits, and that they didn't like it too much at first; but in truth they were well aware that it was a essential part of being successful, and playing bigger venues like the Star Club. They weren't shouting, 'Get this suit off me!' or 'I can't stand it!' I think they liked the suits; they'd had made them how they'd wanted.'  Astrid Kirchherr

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The Artwork

Hamburg Days

Hamburg Days is illustrated with the artwork of Klaus Voormann - his original drawings, watercolours, paintings and pastels.

Hamburg Days Volume 2 is dedicated to a series of photo-realistic paintings specially commissioned by Genesis Publications. Volume 2 reveals each stage of Klaus' design process. Starting with rough sketches of his memories, Klaus reconstructed scenes using actors and photography to create a visual reference for each finished painting.

'Klaus has now made some 'memory drawings' of our Hamburg days which are not only beautiful drawings in themselves, but which capture the spirit of the times.' Paul McCartney

'I can see it now, how Rory Storm would comb his hair non-stop for a whole hour. Ringo would be sat next to him and would mess around with a guitar for as long as Rory could comb hair. Whenever Rory asked Ringo, 'Do I look OK?' Ringo would look up, first at Rory then the mirror, and reply 'Yeah, great Rory, you're looking just great!' Klaus Voormann

Complete with large folding plates Klaus's Hamburg Days paintings are exclusively reproduced with associated artwork and commentary, printed in full-colour throughout.
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The Authors

Hamburg Days

Astrid Kirchherr first met The Beatles in the dark basement of the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg, 1960, where she and Klaus befriended the group over subsequent performances.

'Astrid asked us if she could take some photographs of us and because we loved the idea that led to our first photo session, when she took us to the Hamburg Fairground. Astrid was totally responsible for that whole image.'  George Harrison from his Foreword

'The Beatles have been part of my life from the moment I first met them right up to now. I know for sure that if I hadn't have met them in 1960, my life would have been completely different.' Astrid Kirchherr

In Hamburg Klaus Voormann 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. Most will know his work through the classic album covers for Revolver and The Beatles Anthology.

Hamburg Days presents Voorman's collection of drawings and paintings recording events throughout The Beatles' climb from the Kaiserkeller to the Star-Club.
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The Limited Edition

Hamburg Days

Introduced by George Harrison and Paul McCartney Hamburg Days is a two volume boxed set. Strictly limited to 2,500 numbered copies worldwide, each is signed by Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann.

Volume 1 - This 228-page volume includes Klaus and Astrid's story in more than 80,000 words plus the complete collection of Astrid Kirchherr's Hamburg photographs. Many of these images are reproduced in hues of blue and sepia or in full colour, while others remain in monochrome - all exquisitely printed in large format.

Volume 2 - The 72-page second volume presents, complete with large folding plates, reproductions of the Hamburg Days paintings with associated artwork and commentary, printed in full colour throughout.

Each volume of Hamburg Days is quarter bound in rich Italian cloth, with lithographed front and back covers. Master printed and image-varnished on 200gsm matt art paper, with trace paper leaves and coloured wraps, they are housed in a lithographed solander box, complete with metal name plates. The Art Direction was overseen by Klaus Voormann.
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Hamburg Days

Photos by Astrid Kirchherr & Artwork by Klaus Voormann

Select from the following editions:

Hamburg Days

Hamburg Days

  • ISBN:
    0904351734
  • Collector:
    2250 copies
  • Signed by:
    Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voormann
  • Contributors:
    George Harrison, Paul McCartney
  • Paper:
    200 gsm matt art paper, with trace-paper leaves and coloured wraps.
  • Binding:
    Quarter-bound in cloth with lithographed front and rear boards.
  • Box:
    A lithographed solander box, complete with metal name plate, houses both volumes.
Collector £345

George Harrison introduces this essential two-volume, signed book set celebrating The Beatles through the photographs of Astrid Kirchherr and the art of Klaus Voormann. A memoir of The Beatles' residency in Hamburg, 1960-63.

  • Page size: 342mm x 250mm
  • 300 pages
  • 80000 words
  • 250 images
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Since 1974 Genesis has created signed limited edition books on behalf of authors and artists ranging from the Beatles to Buckingham Palace.

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