So sad to read about the world losing Astrid Kirchherr to cancer. This obituary in The Guardian really struck a chord. Many Beatles fans have written, asking if I knew Astrid at all.
Actually, I met her just once. She was in Liverpool to visit Stuart Sutcliffe, shortly after the first Hamburg shows, I guess. Astrid was staying with Cynthia and they came into the canteen at Liverpool College of Art together. Stuart was still legally attending college at that time, whereas reprobate John Lennon had already been moved sideways, by the principal, for bad behaviour!
Astrid was a lovely girl and very gifted artistically. Her photography defined an iconic look for the emerging Beatles. This work was very progressive for the period: she and Stuart were a great match, on a creative as well as a personal level. Their love is palpable in the famous photos and they even looked somewhat alike, with the same high cheekbones. Astrid was very "elfin"; this was the dawn of the Twiggy look and we almost all had short hair in those days, inspired by either Twiggy or Mary Quant.
Cynthia Powell, later Lennon, was incredibly fond of Astrid and saw her often after Stuart died so tragically. I never met her again but read about her from time to time. She never lost those striking looks that mesmerized our dear friend Stuart. So sad. RIP, to a great talent and a beautiful lady, inside and out.
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Helen Anderson, artist friend of John Lennon and creator of his iconic leather caps, features in BBC Two's factual programme, A Life in Ten Pictures, premiering May 2021.