Beatles photographer Astrid Kirchherr dies at 81: NPR

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Ringo Starr and Astrid Kirchherr in an undated photo.

Max Scheler – K & K / Redferns

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Max Scheler – K & K / Redferns

Ringo Starr and Astrid Kirchherr in an undated photo.

Max Scheler – K & K / Redferns

Before becoming world-famous mop icons, the Beatles looked like a bunch of oilers. And photographer Astrid Kirchherr is often seen as the first to capture the group’s fashion trends and influence their new direction.

Kirchherr, who met with the group after a performance in 1960 in Hamburg, Germany, died Wednesday at the age of 81 after a short illness, German media reported.

“Intelligent, inspiring, innovative, bold, artistic, alert, aware, beautiful, intelligent, loving and uplifting for many people”, Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn tweeted. “Her gift to the Beatles was immeasurable,” wrote Lewisohn, adding that she died “a few days before being 82 years old.”

Kirchherr, born in 1938, was about 22 years old when she and her boyfriend at the time, Klaus Voorman, went to see a moderately popular group from Liverpool playing a dark, dirty, and not entirely appropriate club for ladies in his hometown of Hamburg.

“It took him a few days to convince me to go with him to see the boys, because Reeperbahn is not a place where young women from the 50s or 60s were to be seen … it was not a nice place,” , she told Terry Gross of Fresh Air in 2008.



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