by Eddie M
When the The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany 1962 was released by the Bellaphon label in Germany in April 1977 it was expected to bring a lawsuit by the Apple Corps but because of German copyright laws fortunately the release couldn't be stopped.
The following month (25th May 1977) the double vinyl album was very bravely released in the U.K. through the Lingasong label. Apple immediately filed an injunction to prevent it seeing the light of day but the judge overruled the injunction stating that the tapes were of historical interest & this was clearly stated on the cover of the album.
It was an exciting release for Beatles fans who were now able to hear the legendary recordings of The Beatles Live at the Star Club 1962 as recorded by Adrian Barber and given to Kingsize 'Ted' Taylor (of Kingsize Taylor & the Dominoes} with the added bonus that on the night these tapes were recorded Ringo Starr was guesting as drummer to cover for Pete Best's absence.
Of course, the reality was that the sound quality of the recordings wasn't great but to hear the Beatles live in the Star Club was fantastic and we thank you judge!
The Beatles Live at the Star Club 1962 contained twenty six tracks but it was known that thirty or more songs were recorded and another four tracks originally released in the U.S.A. but not in the U.K. were later included on what became known as the 'Silver Album'.
Of course what followed the 'official' releases was cheap repackaging after repackaging of the music including 'Rare Beatles', 'Early Beatles' most with awful LP covers, two or three volumes, spelling mistakes in the song titles & a promise of superior sound quality that never materialised!
The first Star Club release to feature all thirty releases on the same double album was Audiofidelity Enterprises 'The Beatles Historic Sessions' but even they had Stuart Sutcliffe listed on the cover as being on the recordings when unfortunately Stuart had died on the 10th April 1962.
The first Star Club release on Cd was in 1985 by the Overseas label that brought together all the available Beatles Star Club songs under one great package!
Considering the importance of these recordings they're a real thorn in the Beatles side or should that be maggot in the Beatles Apple! They say that due to their poor sound quality the recordings show the Beatles in a bad light & if a music fan made these recordings as their first Beatles purchase it could tarnish the Beatles reputation. What a load of bad Apples!
Just as the home recordings recorded in Paul's front room in 1961 that featured on Anthology 1 & widely available on bootleg are of historical significance so are the Beatles Live at the Star Club tapes complete with raw but exciting sound.
Everybody starts somewhere!
In 1996 the tapes were released on CD that prompted a court case by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Star and Yoko Ono.
George Harrison attended the court hearing because 'it was my turn' and his testimony was as an important factor in the judge's decision. He handled his appearance with his usual sense of humour calling the claim that John Lennon gave Kingsize 'Ted' Taylor permission for the recording as "a load of rubbish", adding: "One drunken person recording another bunch of drunks does not constitute business deals'.
The Beatles won the court case in 1998 and the Star Club tapes disappeared into Apple Records' vaults where they've been gathering dust for 22 years.
On this occasion I'd say kudos to the bootleggers without whom....