Mighty Mouse and the Dinosaur: Kevin Keegan at Hamburg
In August 1960 a promising but amateurish young band travelled to Hamburg in the back of an Austin minivan. They had come to seek fortune in the vibrant underground music scene emerging from the city’s crumbling docklands. It was hard work for these young men in the viceland of the Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s bristling red-light district.
They gigged almost every night, hostage to the whims of their employers: “Mach schau…mach schau (make a show),” was the mantra dictated to them by the owner of the Kaiserkeller, one of the nightclubs in which they played. And though at first they earned little and slept in a dingy room beside the ladies’ toilets of the Bambi Kino, a seedy movie theatre, they would go on to become megastars.
The band’s name was, of course, the Beatles, and they had come to Hamburg from another great seafaring town, Liverpool. Seventeen years later, with the group dissolved and Beatlemania just opened on Broadway, a footballer named Kevin Keegan made the exact same trip, albeit in rather more glamorous circumstances.