Could Stuart Sutcliffe play guitar?
It’s the first question people ask about the “fifth Beatle”.
There are stories of Sutcliffe playing with his back turned so the Hamburg audience couldn’t see him fumbling his notes.
But Klaus Voormann, who was the boyfriend of Astrid Kirchherr before her eye was caught by Sutcliffe, thought him to be a good bass player.
Regardless of his musicianship, Sutcliffe’s impact on the Beatles in their early years was pronounced; their look and name were both Sutcliffe-influenced.
And one thing he could do was draw.
After leaving the Beatles mid-way during 1961 (or was he pushed?) Sutcliffe enrolled in the Hamburg College of Art, where pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi was his tutor.
“Sutcliffe is very gifted and very intelligent. In the meantime he has become one of my best students,” said Paolozzi at the time.
Looking at Sutcliffe’s work today I am impressed.
Early album cover designs?
He was clearly an artist of great talent, and I wonder what the future would have held for him and the art world had he not died from a brain haemorrhage in April 1962?
I suspect a few of the Beatles’ album covers would have taken on a different look for a start.
We have a rare opportunity for you to own four sketches by Sutcliffe.
They offer a remarkable insight into the man’s considerable talent and give you a glimpse of “what might have been”.
Please hurry though as they will not be around for long.