Stuart Sutcliffe joined The Beatles as bassist in May, 1960 (they were then known as The Silver Beatles). 15 months later, he left the band and enrolled in the Hamburg College of Art. However just months before he parted ways with the band, on the 31st April, 1961 – a date which doesn’t actually exist – he wrote the following letter to his disappointed mother, Millie. A year later, Sutcliffe died in the arms of his fiance, Astrid, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
How are you and the family – happy I hope. As you said in your letter there is a gross misunderstanding on A Williams part in thinking I could possibly give even in a gift my last few precious paintings. I was under the impression that he was contemplating arranging a small exhibition in his new club. I will write to him and re-enlighten him. I am so happy you had such a nice time with my father and thank you for his address, but it seems rather impossible to collect anything substantial in the way of stamps to send just yet, but I will write. I have spent the last 2 weeks composing a letter for Hart at the college. He should have it now and I hope he replys. I’m still a bit sad that you think I’ve made a mess of my future, but out of it all I have something to really compensate – my love for Astrid which knows no boundaries and her love for me. I’m quite certain I will start teaching in September and hope to know for definite where in the next 2 or 3 months. I have enclosed some money but cant send much as I’m paying off the bank £8 plus £12 to college which I borrowed about 3 years ago and forgot about + guitar and amplifier.
I’m sorry you didn’t like the photo (I didn’t actually but its very difficult to make double portraits) but never mind. Will write again soon, love from myself and Astrid to all at home. Your son Stuart xxxx