The Beatles audition tape from Decca Records has been discovered and is up for auction soon. This is big news for fans of the group and for fans of music history, especially early rock n’ roll history. The tape, which apparently contains covers of early American rock artists and originals by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, according to Ted Owen (of Fame Bureau auctioneers), is also said to be in “pristine condition”. The band, made up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and original drummer Pete Best, auditioned for Decca Records producer Tony Meehan and were rejected by executive Dick Rowe due to his belief that ‘guitar groups are on the way out’.
One of the biggest blunders in rock history, considering the Beatles went on to become the greatest band ever, Decca did somewhat right this wrong by signing The Rolling Stones a little further on down the road; though this is still a tough pill to swallow when looking at the success that the Beatles went on to garner.
The audition tape is said to include 10 tracks on the 12 inch audio tape. A few of the songs are as follows:
* Like Dreamers Do – one of the earliest known McCartney-Lennon songs dating back to 1957
* Love of the Loved – another early McCartney-Lennon tune, supposedly mainly written by McCartney
* Money (That’s What I Want) – Barrett Strong song
* Take Good Care of my Baby – written by Carole King, made famous by Bobby Vee
* Three Cool Cats – 1958 tune recorded by The Coasters
* Memphis – Chuck Berry track
* Crying Waiting Hoping – Buddy Holly song written in 1958
According to the UK publication The Telegraph:
“A handwritten note stuck on the cover for the tape lists the 10 songs and their length.
There is also a photo negative of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best that they took with them to the audition and would have been used as the album cover had they won the contract.
Ted Owen, of auctioneers the Fame Bureau, which is now selling the tape, said the tape had never been officially released.
‘It is totally unique and the sound quality is crystal clear,’ he added, saying that the tape went to a Capitol Records executive after the Beatles signed with EMI.
‘He sold it to the current owner who was one of the top buyers for Hard Rock Cafe but it was for his own personal collection.’
Mr Owen said the tape contains covers from mainly American artists and in some songs they sound American.
‘They are copying the American style, the style of artists like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry,’ he said. ‘Those were the days of Rock and Roll and everybody who was trying to make a name for themselves were trying to replicate that style. They were hoping that by doing that they would get a record deal. But they were turned down, which is pretty ironic when you look at what happened after.’
Instead of the Beatles, Decca Records signed up the Tremeloes, who auditioned the same day. They did later go on to sign the Rolling Stones.
Within weeks after signing with EMI, it was decided to replace drummer Pete Best with Ringo Star.
Bill Heckle, the co-owner of The Cavern Club in Liverpool, said: ‘This was always a big, big deal for Beatles fans. It was a great album. It was the one that failed the audition but it is such a historical document.’
The tape will be offered for sale at the Fame Bureau auction in London’s Mayfair on November 27.”