Whatever happened to Helmut Schmidt’s hat?

Whatever happened to Helmut Schmidt’s hat?


norman lebrecht

November 10, 2015

This is the hat that Helmut wore when the Luftwaffe flew him in to record Mozart at Abbey Road.


But here’s where it ended up.

john willan helmut's hat

In the Abbey Road control room, on the head of co-producer John Willan.

John tells Slipped Disc:

The picture is in Abbey Road Studio One control room and that’s his hat! Justus (Frantz) didn’t tell him until the day before the session that the recording was in London – hence the Luftwaffe… And (producer) John Fraser, sitting next to him had, occasionally, to let his hand slip onto the keyboard when the Chancellor missed it.

More about the session here.


  • william osborne says:

    That’s a fleet hat which is part of the traditional style in Hamburg where Schmidt was from. Hamburg is a very sea-going town. I’m an admirer of Schmidt (except for his animosity toward Jimmy Carter which seemed harmful and unfounded.) After Schmidt was voted out of office and Helmut Kohl put in, Germany’s political culture made a long-term sea-change, and not for the better.