Astrid Kirchherr

11.12.2012 in15:28 in Portraits -->


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Astrid Kirchherr is best known for her photographs of the Beatles during the early Hamburg days and for her association with the Beatles’ original bass player, Stuart Sutcliffe whom she was later engaged to before his death in 1962. Kirchherr rode with Sutcliffe in an ambulance after he collapsed one day due to a brain heaemorrage, but he died in her arms before it reached the hospital. He was just 21 years old.
Kirchherr admits that she is not good at business as she is not organized enough, and has never really looked after the negatives of her photographs to prove ownership. Her business partner Ulf Kruger—a songwriter and record producer—successfully found many of Astrid’s negatives and photographs and had them copyrighted, although he believes that Kirchherr has lost more than ?500,000 over the years because of people using her photographs without permission.
Kirchherr’s work has been exhibited internationally in places, such as Hamburg, Bremen, London, Liverpool, New York City, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, Vienna, and at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Kirchherr worked as an advisor, in 1994, on the film Backbeat, which portrayed Kirchherr, Sutcliffe and The Beatles during their early days in Hamburg. She was impressed with Stephen Dorff (who played Sutcliffe in the film) commenting that he was the right age (19-years-old at the time) and his gestures, the way he smoked, and talked were so like Sutcliffe’s that she had goose bumps.