Very early partial handwritten letter from George Harrison, one page, both sides, 5.25 x 7, February 23, 1963. The unsigned letter, consisting of the first and third pages, is addressed to German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, and reads as follows: "Thanks for your letters, and I am sorry I have not answered sooner, but it is not because I didn't want to, but I have not had any time at all. you may think that sounds funny but it is the truth, and tonight is the first time we have been in Liverpool for weeks. We made our first long-playing record about 2 weeks ago and it will be released about the 15th March, so / being all mixed up, but I am just writing everything down as it come to me. Have you heard of Kenny Lynch, who recorded 'Up on the Roof'? Well he has just recorded one of Paul & John's songs, for his next single release, called 'Misery,' and another man called 'Duffy Power' has recorded that one, 'Just 17,' you know what I mean.' I think you have head that one. It was my 20th Birthday on Monday and I received 97 Birthday cards, ad 2 cakes. I think we are definately [sic] going to Teneriffe [sic] (how do you spell it?) on the 28th of April for 12 days." In fine condition.
This extraordinary letter not only makes reference to their debut album Please Please Me—mostly recorded in one long session at EMI Studios on February 11th—but also their early hits, 'Misery' and 'I Saw Her Standing There.' British entertainer Kenny Lynch became the first artist to cover a Beatles song, 'Misery,' with his release of a single in 1963. Duffy Power became the second with his recording of 'I Saw Her Standing There,' which included the famous line 'She was just 17,' as George mentions here. This important letter reveals the early popularity of the group as they stood on the precipice of Beatlemania.
Along with her companions Klaus Voormann and Jurgen Vollmer, Kirchherr was a principal photographer of the Beatles during their early days in Hamburg. She was introduced to the group at the Kaiserkeller bar in August 1960, and soon became romantically involved with original Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe. The two became engaged in November and, less than a year later, Sutcliffe left the band to focus on his artwork. While living with the Kirchherr family in Hamburg, Sutcliffe suffered from severe headaches and, after dismissing a medical trip to Britain as unnecessary, he succumbed to a ruptured aneurysm on April 10, 1962.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.