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Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Fab Four photographer's display
kids
Astrid Kirchherr took shots of 60s Liverpool
A photographer who captured the earliest days of The Beatles has opened an exhibition of her work in Liverpool.

German-born Astrid Kirchherr met the Fab Four when they embarked on their first tour of Hamburg.

She took scores of shots of the group and also fell in love with the then bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe, who became known as the "fifth Beatle".

Miss Kirchherr, 63, is visiting Liverpool to open the display of her work at the Mathew Street art gallery - yards from the former site of the Cavern Club which helped launch The Beatles.

astrid kirchherr
Astrid Kirchherr worked as a freelance photographer
She said: "I love Liverpool and it is great to be back in the city.

"I think this is the ideal location for the exhibition because it is the city where The Beatles were born."

Although many of the 40 photographs on view feature The Beatles, there are also remarkable pictures of Liverpool from the early 60s.

Miss Kirchherr said: "I thought the city was lovely when I came here in 1960.

'Charles Dickens book'

"When I look at the pictures now of the children playing in the street, I think that although it is only 40 years ago it looks like something out of a Charles Dickens book."

Miss Kirchherr first came to Liverpool as a freelance photographer to take shots of The Beatles as they filmed the movie A Hard Day's Night.

Her own relationship with Stuart Sutcliffe was also brought into the limelight in the nineties with the film Backbeat, which told the story of The Beatles in Hamburg.

lennon
Kirchherr captured the early days of The Beatles
Miss Kirchherr helped in the preparation of the movie, where she was played by Twin Peaks star Sheryl Lee.

The photographs she took of the band during their visit to Hamburg in 1960 remain extremely popular images with fans.

Gallery manager Melissa Storey said: "Astrid's photographs of the Beatles in Hamburg and of Liverpool in the early 60s provide a unique snapshot of that era.

"This exhibition will be of great interest to both Beatles fans and local historians."

Miss Kirchherr will also be making an appearance at Liverpool Beatles week over the August Bank Holiday this year.

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