© Mediaserver - Christian Spahrbier

In a backyard of Große Freiheit, a plaque commemorates the former Star Club. In the 60s, great musicians such as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Little Richard and Fats Domino performed here.

Door to door with striptease shops and nepp pubs, suddenly sweating young Englishmen in leather jackets and dangerous hairstyles stood on stage, let their guitars thunder and screamed hoarse declarations of love to Lucille, Carol, Peggy Sue and Miss Molly through their 30-watt amplifiers.

This club was a revelation for the then youngsters, the "Halbstarken". Since Bill Haley had initiated wild hall and street battles between his fans and a truncheon-wielding, tear-gas-throwing police on his first German tour in 1956, adults and the press have ensured that this music was almost completely suppressed. What remained were pop songs, jazz and so-called "teenager music" - Germanized and trivialized American rock songs. The only ray of hope: the English soldier station BFBS and Chris Howland with his "Saturday Club" on WDR.

A small unknown band called "The Beatles".

Nevertheless the development somehow stopped. Although the Kaiserkeller was the first club in Germany to regularly bring rock music and local greats like Tony Sheridan live on stage, real stars, as they were known from records and runkfunk, did not come to Hamburg. There were only more or less unknown bands who mainly played other people's hits, even the Beatles were no exception.

It was time for the Star-Club...

One morning St. Pauli was stuck full of bright orange posters with the announcement: The need has an end! The time of village music is over! On 13.04.1962 Manfred Weissleder opened his Star-Club on Grosse Freiheit and lured rock greats like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Little Richard, James Brown, Fats Domino, Eric Burton, Lee Curtis and Jerry Lee Lewis to St. Pauli for the next seven years. A milieu that initially deterred many young people and even more parents.

Suit instead of leather jacket, party instead of brawl

However, fights and bad rockers in leather jackets were rarely encountered in the Star Club. They went there to listen to music. And that with suit, tie and Nyltest shirt or high heels, lipstick and high backed beehive hairstyle. There were problems every evening only for the under-18s. At 9:50 p.m. sharp, when the star band had finished their first performance, the hour of truth, which always brought many guests to it, suddenly struck a 10:00 p.m. from the house loudspeaker by announcement. All young people under the age of eighteen must now leave the Star Club. The waiters are instructed to carry out a passport check. In ten minutes it goes then further in the star club with... ".

The last memory of the club: a commemorative plaque

Soon there were almost a million visitors a year. If he was a teenager in Hamburg, his first way led him to the Star Club. Some even came from England, France and Scandinavia just to spend a few nights at the Great Freedom. Desperate parents wrote letters and called the Star Club office to see if their runaway son or daughter had been seen. The Star Club was a small piece of freedom in a hostile world dominated by authority, prohibition and coercion that fought and tried to suppress everything that was fun. On 31.12.1969 there was the very last concert, the very generous nightclub Salambo moved in. The building, which lay idle for a long time afterwards, was finally demolished in 1987 after a fire. Today only a commemorative plaque commemorates the legendary time.

Hamburg CARD

Free travel by bus, train and harbour ferries (HVV) and up to 50% discount on over 150 tourist offers

Hamburg CARD

More on this subject

Die Beatles in Hamburg
© ThisIsJulia Photography

A Milestone in Pop Music The Beatles in Hamburg

In the matter of two years, five young lads from Liverpool transformed into the most famous pop band of the 1960s: the Beatles! It was in the live music clubs of St Pauli that the Beatles developed their distinctive style and laid the foundations for their world career

The Beatles in Hamburg
© ThisIsJulia Photography

CITY AREA PORTRAIT Altona & Ottensen

For strolling, having a coffee, taking a walk or having some delicious food – situated directly at the Elbe and traversed by parks, Altona & Ottensen are considered to be charming and diverse districts with character. Brick walls create a rather rough atmosphere in Altona, while it is lively and colourful in Ottensen.

Altona & Ottensen

THIS MIGHT INTEREST YOU AS WELL Further recommendations

© ThisisJulia Photography

An interactive memorial to the greats of pop history Beatles-Platz

A memorial for the Fab Four: with the exception of Liverpool, no other city played such a major role in the Beatles' career as Hamburg. In the very heart of St Pauli, on Grosse Freiheit, the Beatles Platz square commemorates this legendary pop band.

© Hamburg Tourismus GmbH

Where freedom began Große Freiheit

When the world thinks of St. Pauli, it thinks of pictures from the street "Große Freiheit". Nowhere is the amusement industry of St. Paulis more concentrated than in this narrow street, which becomes a pedestrian zone in the evening hours.

Große Freiheit
© Marius Röer

930 metres of nightlife & entertainment Reeperbahn

Not even one kilometre in length, and yet rich in contrast: the Reeperbahn is bright and shrill, vibrant and down-to-earth – and so much more than just “the sinful mile”. A hotspot for live music and famous for its party atmosphere, the legendary entertainment district in the heart of St Pauli is always worth a visit, offering anything from glamorous shows to colourful musicals.


Top customer reviews

No reviews available.

Write new rating

This is your text

Your rating *


Google translator for other languages

Please note that this is an automatic translation.
For better information, you can always switch to the German or English version