Thursday, August 9, 2012

Baby's in Black

Baby's in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and The Beatles is a graphic narrative about the prehistory of The Beatles. In 1960-1962, they were playing small clubs in Hamburg when the police discovered that guitarist George Harrison was not old enough to play clubs, and he had to go back to England. The drummer then was Pete Best, and Stuart Sutcliffe played bass.

The band were working on their act, backing up singer Tony Sheridan on stage and on an album.

Sutcliffe fell in love with photographer Astrid Kirchherr. She was responsible for creating their "long hair" styling (It's hard to believe now how shocked people were then.), and shot an early, still-famous series of photos of the group.

Their affair had a tragic ending, after which the Beatles (now with Ringo Starr on drums and Paul McCartney on bass) recorded "Baby's in Black." So this story helps to explain that song, as well as the development of arguably the most influential musical act of the 1960s.

I like books that work for more than one age group, and this is certainly one of those. Anyone who likes The Beatles would enjoy Baby's in Black. So it would probably be a good gift for your parents or your grandparents. I hope you read it too.

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