Tony Sheridan, early Beatles supporter, dies aged 72 - media

BERLIN Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:32am IST

Kishore Pandey, 82, lies on a bed as his daughter, Usha Tiwari, holds him and a priest stands by them (L) at Mukti Bhavan (Salvation House) in Varanasi, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Waiting to die at Salvation House

The city of Varanasi is Hinduism's holiest city and many Hindus believe that dying there and having their remains scattered in the Ganges allows their soul to escape a cycle of death and rebirth.  Slideshow 

BERLIN (Reuters) - Singer-songwriter Tony Sheridan, an early supporter of the Beatles, has died in Hamburg aged 72 following a long illness, German media reported.

Sheridan used the Beatles, then known as the Silver Beatles, as his back-up band when they played in seedy nightclubs in Hamburg's red light district in the 1960s well before numerous No. 1 hits made the British band famous.

Sheridan died on Saturday, Feb 16, Hamburg-based magazine Der Spiegel reported on its website, citing a post by the musician's family on social media website facebook. A search by Reuters found no such post.

The Beatles, then playing as "The Beat Brothers" also backed Sheridan on his song "My Bonnie" and Sheridan last year played at the 50th anniversary of the legendary Hamburg Star club, Der Spiegel reported.

A 1962 performance including Ringo Starr on the drums at the Star Club with songs such as "Roll Over Beethoven" was a watershed performance that helped catapult the Beatles to fame. They were Sheridan's warm-up act that night.

"Tony was a good guy who we knew and worked with from the early days in Hamburg," former Beatle Paul McCartney said in a statement on his website on Monday.

"We regularly watched his late night performances and admired his style. He will be missed." (Reporting by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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