Skip to comments.Rejected Beatles audition tape discovered
Posted on 11/23/2012 10:06:03 AM PST by raccoonradio
The Beatles' audition tape famously rejected by a record executive in 1962 has finally been uncovered after 50 years.
The fledgling group were told "they had no future in showbusiness" as guitar groups were "on the way out" following the audition. The decision by a Decca Records executive proved to be one of the worst made in music history.
Within months John, Paul, George and original drummer Pete Best had signed with EMI and went on to become the greatest band of all time.
Now the original safety master tape, a 10-track demo the group recorded at Decca's London studios on New Year's Day 1962, has come to public light for the first time. It is thought the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein held on to the tape he had paid to make and later gave it to an executive associated with EMI.
He sold it in 2002 to a prolific buyer of music memorabilia. He is now selling it at auction with a pre-sale estimate of 30,000 pounds.
The recording has never been officially released and the sound quality on it is said to be pristine.
I don’t know the history of the Beatles as well as I should for being a collector of vinyl. I still don’t understand how much influence George Martin had on the music.
I heard it when I was living in London. The tape has the first rocking version of “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.
That guitar is left handed, no way it was used by the Rolling Stones.(toy manufacturers must not care too much for details...that being the cutout on the wrong side).
Cher, who recorded a novelty hit called I Love You Ringo
As for a certain recording containing an early rockin’ version of Ballad of John and Yoko, it probably isn’t the one mentioned in the article. Recorded in ‘62, and they didn’t meet till about 3-4 yrs later, so...
I cherish Decca as a great classical music label. Rejecting the Beatles? Who cares.
I happen to think rejection is a good thing. It toughens you up and makes it more likely you will succeed in the long run if you are so sure of yourself that you can reject rejection. If on the other hand, you accept rejection, you were probably never going to make it anyhow and the rejector just saved you some time and aggravation.
So to all the rejectors and rejectees in the world, I hoist my glass of ale and salute you all.
George Martin was truly the 5th Beatle and provided the polish & studio guidance that allowed the Beatles creativity to fully blossom.
Without a George Martin (trained in classical music), the Beatles would never have had the impact they did.
Sometimes rejection is based in wrong headed stuck in the mud concepts.
ASCAP initiated the payola hearings because they no longer had the hits. They also refused to publish “hillbilly” or “race” music (BMI would) and when those two musical forms crashed together into a third form branded rock and roll ASCAP no longer had the biggest sellers.
The Beatles were told “the guitar group” sound was out. There was an audience for it. The labels wanted to push Bobby Darin, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Vee, et al.
The big labels didn’t like the small labels. 1990s were the last we saw big chart success from independent labels.
And radio/television/magazine coverage of music is horrible today again because the suits are dictating to the masses what they should listen to (Gaga Peas Spears et al).
The sales figures aren’t what they were in the hey day. Much of the smaller music sales are untracked (labels aren’t participating in the tracking and neither are the independent stores and the much need “radio airplay” factor in chart rating is completely shut out).
“...because the suits are dictating to the masses what they should listen to...”
I was just reading about the rock group RUSH, and their producer said that most (all?) bands have a “suit” that is either involved throughout production, or has the final say on the songs/album. I didn’t realize it was like that. (Rush doesn’t - they do the album, cover art, etc. with no interference.)
Frank Zappa talks about what happened to the music industry.
“Dont believe the hype. Its been released numerous times on vinyl and this is a later safety copy of the master tape.”
Right you are. I’ve had a copy vinyl in the original sleeve for many years. I think I received it as a gift around 1984. It’s essentially the same songs as their first couple of albums, along with some other cover versions:
Now, Kenny G. or Barry Malinow audition tapes, that would be something1
Now, Kenny G. or Barry Malinow audition tapes, that would be something!
Interesting on how it was better off “with the old guys chomping on their cigars saying ‘who knows? - play it”.
A few years ago Rush had an intro video for their “Time Machine” concert and the machine changes a Bavarian style oompah band into one of Rush’s big hits. The Rush guys are playing characters, and one says something like “So what do you think?” The other says “It sounds like crap!”
“Well sure - but the kids love crap!”
I’m sure there’s an interesting story around that. I would love to hear them.
The entire item is “cover” songs, written by someone else, not the Beatles. WHO would want this? Other than beatle fanatics. It is not the creative unit of the writing/playing talent that was to be.
But of course in the vast wasteland of dancing with america’s got no talent idols, someone feels this tape would have value. IF it got current writers to create similar excitement in modern songwriting then maybe it is a good thing. Otherwise, it is like buying old 45s of second rate performance. The Beatles forte was LIVE performance and their own writing of melodic original music.
Long story short...
I created a company to import/distribute ultra-high end audio & stereo equipment from Europe and Far East. During this time, a critically acclaimed mastering engineer and I became business associates for a series of projects.
Since then, he and I have become good friends - certainly the one I trust more than anyone else in this liberal/socialist infested industry.
This individual has re-mastered hundreds if not thousands of classic rock & jazz albums. He traveled to Abbey Road to consider remastering the Beatles entire catalog. During this time, he had access to the original master studio tapes of all the albums + unreleased studio demos.
Alas, the business details didn’t work out but he has been kind enough to provide me those and so many, many more. I have numerous “dry” versions of classic albums and single tracks BEFORE the echo/reverb was added for the final commercial release PLUS studio chatter between the artists, engineer, producer, et al.
The Beatles unreleased studio demos with chatter among them and others are absolutely fascinating. These “dry” versions are so much clearer than the “echo/reverb” versions.
These gifts are absolutely priceless...especially as a longtime Beatles fan.
Anyway, that’s my story and i’m, well, you know......
btw, if you ever have an interest in ultra-high performance audio gear, touch base with me. I’ll always help a fellow freeper.
Well, that and the fact that McCartney could actually play the guitar, unlike Lennon. Lennon knew only banjo chords and tuned and played his guitar as if it were a banjo.
McCartney taught Lennon how to tune and a guitar and how to play guitar chords.
Decca went with the Temeloes who are a talented band but also guitar-based.