On April 10th 1962 Stuart Sutcliffe, aged 21 died after going into a convulsive fit that lasted more than 35 minutes and left him in a coma. He died in the arms of his love Astrid Kirchherr. Astrid, like Stuart, was an artist. Her photographs of the Beatles taken in Hamburg in 1960 were the first professional shots of the fab five. Stuart, a “best friend” of John’s from Art School in Liverpool was a brilliant, up and coming abstract artist who put his talent aside to play rock’n roll with his mate. Stuart played bass for the band. And, though he was not an accomplished musician, he brought a decided sense of style to the band. First, with his James Dean, rebel without a cause slicked back hair, and dark glasses - worn even on stage. Then later, under Astrid’s care and the influence of their mutual friend Jurgen Vollmer, he was the first to sport the famous Beatle haircut. Stuart and Astrid’s aesthetic was a critical inspiration to these four guys from Liverpool. In 1961 he returned to painting and Astrid in Germany, leaving the Beatles a quartet and handing over his duties on bass to a reluctant Paul McCartney. His death was, in many respects, a slow one. The result of a beating he took from a group of “teddy boys” in Liverpool after a raucous Beatle gig, it began with headaches and a sensitivity to light, that over time became more and more severe. His decline was evident to his family and former band mates in the handwriting of his numerous correspondence. His elegant writing turning into a indecipherable scribble. Ironically, the very day that Stu, as he was known to his friends, died so tragically, the Beatles landed in Hamburg for their third extended stay at the Star Club.