Astrid's personal tribute
Dec 8 2005
Lennon's Legacy from one of his great friends . . .
ASTRID Kirchherr is a brilliant, world famous photographer whose work in the early 1960s with The Beatles was both a key influence on their visual style and a significant catalyst for their career.
She was engaged to Stuart Sutcliffe, an original member of The Beatles, and John Lennon's best friend.
This picture (below) is one of the most remarkable from her career.
John Lennon aged 19 - by Astrid Kircherr
Says Astrid: "Talking about this picture, it's a very close-up photo of John and I took it in Hamburg when he was 19 years old.
"And it was very, very soon after Stuart's death.
"John always put on the macho style when he was young, but the picture does show all the emotions and sadness and loss he had gone through even then in his short life - the death of his mother and then the death of his best friend.
"So that is why I really love the picture of him because it shows the John I always wished he would be when he got older - showing emotions in his face. I took the photograph in the attic where Stuart used to paint in Hamburg."
Astrid says she always admired John and was proud of their friendship. Her many exhibitions of the early days capture The Beatles' freshness and their black leather image.
"That is what I am still thankful for - to be able to reminisce, to think about the old days when we were young and so full of hope and just being anxious, wondering what the world would have in store for us.
"And then knowing that all he did - when I never spoke to him when he lived in America and did all this beautiful music - giving us Imagine, all I can say is I'm ever so proud to have met him and say he has been a friend of mine.
"John is still with me and I'm still thinking about him. I'm so terribly proud of him."
* The full text appears in Memories of John Lennon (Sutton Publishing)
* Picture credit: John at 19 by Astrid Kirchherr