Astrid Kircherr, German artist and photographer, died last week in Hamburg of cancer at age 82. Even during the darkest days of Nazi Germany, Hamburg was never totally conquered. (For example, the Nazis had difficulty using the port of Hamburg to ship arms to the Spanish fascists in that country's civil war, since the Hamburg longshoremen kept dumping the weapons into the ocean.) After the war the young generation of avant garde artists set out to break all boundaries. Astrid and her then boyfriend Klaus Voorman were very much a part of that. The Beatles toured Hamburg in the early sixties, playing at clubs frequented by sailors and prostitutes. As young working class men from a port city, they were hardly naive, but Hamburg was eye-opening even for them. Bass player Stuart Sutcliffe met Astrid while performing and the pair fell in love. Stu was an art school classmate of John Lennon, handsome and a talented artist but mediocre musician. He recognized that himself when he decided to stay in Hamburg to be with Astrid and pursue his art studies. Tragically, he died of a brain hemorrhage in his early 20s. Astrid took iconic photos of the early Beatles, many still classics. But she is best known for cutting first Stu's, then the others', hair into the style forever known as "the Beatles haircut" and for dressing Stu in one of her collarless jackets, the style you can see them wearing on their first album. Astrid remained friendly with the surviving Beatles. Two subsequent marriages ended in divorce; she had no children. Klaus Voorman frequently played with John Lennon, including on John and Yoko's Live Peace in Toronto album. She is survived by her work. RIP.