Multi-genre content distributor Rocket Rights has picked up distribution rights to No Hamburg, No Beatles, a new 90-minute documentary about the Beatles’ hard-gigging, pre-stardom days in the German port city that will be launched at MIPCOM in October.
The documentary chronicles the period from 1960 to 1962 when the teenage, Ringo-less Beatles — including original drummer Pete Best and bassist Stuart Sutcliffe — hit Hamburg to ply their trade in the city’s rough and often wild club scene. Over the course of four visits, the band sowed their share of wild oats, tightened up their stagecraft, acquired the manager (Brian Epstein) who would shape them for superstardom, and lost two members: Sutcliffe, who departed the band to focus on his art career before dying tragically young from a brain aneurysm; and Best, who was jettisoned by the group and replaced with Starr prior to their final pre-fame Hamburg trip in December 1962.
No Hamburg, No Beatles is produced by music video specialist MGMM Studios — which also produced Alex Cox’s legendary Sex Pistols biopic/fantasia Sid and Nancy — and Brightmoon Media, the prodco behind the 2018 Sky Arts doc Looking for Lennon, which covers “the Clever One’s” Liverpool childhood. The latter doc’s director, Roger Appleton, also helms the new project, which is produced by MGMM co-founder Scott Millaney.
“This is a fascinating story [that] reveals a period in the Beatles’ history when no one had heard of them,” Rocket Rights CEO Matthew Frank said in a release. “Beatles archive historian David Bedford and his team are unearthing unseen archive, pictures and testimony from people who lived alongside [the band] in the early ’60s — it’s a rich and colorful story which is largely untold.”