Beatles’ Decca audition tape up for auction
Prefab Four: The Beatles with Pete Best
A tape containing ten of the fifteen tracks demoed by the Beatles for Decca Records – who refused to sign them – will be auctioned on Tuesday.
The reel is one of two recorded on January 1, 1962, after John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best spent 10 hours travelling to London from Liverpool the previous night.
It includes covers and a handful of originals, chosen by manager Brian Epstein. But Decca later rejected the demo, telling the band: “Guitar groups are on the way out.”
Despite that, they signed the Tremeloes, who’d auditioned the same day, and went on to work with the Rolling Stones. The Beatles signed with EMI four months later and replaced Best with Ringo Starr.
The tape comes complete with a handwritten index note and a negative photo which would have been used on the cover if Decca had turned the recordings into an album.
Ted Owen of Fame Bureau, who will run the auction on London, tells the Telegraph: “It is totally unique and the sound quality is crystal-clear.
“They’re copying the American style, the style of artists like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. Everybody who was trying to make a name for themselves was trying to replicate that style.
Own believes the two-track mono reel will sell for £18,000-20,000.
Like Dreamers Do
Money (That’s What I Want)
Take Good care of My Baby
Three Cool Cats
Sure To Fall
Love of the Loved
Cryin’ Waitin’ Hopin’
Til There Was You