Monday 14 October 2013

Ask Me Why: When Was The Beatles First Audition At Abbey Road

George Martin
On page 16 of his 1988 book, The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, author Mark Lewisohn states that The Beatles first set foot in Abbey Road on Wednesday 6th June 1962. Also according to Lewisohn, on page 56 of his 1992 book The Complete Beatles Chronicle, EMI paperwork shows that George Martin had offered The Beatles a contract following a meeting with Brian Epstein on Wednesday 9th May 1962 without first seeing them play, and without having met them. His decision was allegedly based only on hearing their failed Decca audition, and Epstein's insistence that his band were going to be "bigger than Elvis". The Beatles contract, dated 4th June 1962, still exists.

These dates have been taken as gospel ever since, with the somewhat romantic notion of Martin blindly signing the Beatles passing into legend.

However, is this really likely? In fact, George Martin himself has addressed the issue:
George Martin: I signed The Beatles on 4 June 1962: the original contract still exists with that date on it. I would never, ever, have offered a contract to Brian Epstein for a group I had not met, or heard live. Yet most versions of events state that the first Beatles audition - and thus our first meeting - did not take place until 6 June. But this, according to the contract, was two days after I had signed the group for three years!

I don't think it was quite like that. My memory is of a recording audition in No.3 studio, at EMI Abbey Road (the upstairs studio), in March 1962. This memory is backed up by my wife, Judy Lockhart Smith.
(Source:  Summer of Love: The Making of Sgt. Pepper, George Martin with William Pearson, Macmillan London Ltd., 1994, p32)
A quick glance at Lewisohn's Chronicle shows that The Beatles were busy throughout March 1962, mostly playing clubs round Liverpool, but also including their radio debut. The only date that they had free was on Tuesday 27 March.

This suggests that this was the date that Martin is recalling above. This is corroborated by a letter that Epstein wrote to Bert Kaempfert that same day:
As it happens the particular recording Company with whom we have negotiated are unable to record the group until they return from Germany and in any event prefer to wait until their existing contract with yourself has expired.

In the circumstances therefore I would like to give you formal notice of our wish to terminate the contract at the end of this contractual period (30th June 1962).

With regard to their recording when in Germany I would myself be very pleased to discuss this with you as I shall be arriving in Hamburg on April 9th - a few days in advance of the group. I will, therefore contact you then and possibly we can settle details of their actual recording sessions.
(Source: The Complete Beatles ChronicleMark Lewisohn, Octopus 1992 (page 54) )
This suggests that the version of events on Tuesday 27 March 1962 was that the Beatles auditioned for EMI in Abbey Road Studio 3, with no recording or paperwork. Following discussion with George Martin, in which he decides to bring them in for a recording audition, it becomes clear that he cannot record them until they have completed their contract with Kaempfert. That evening, Epstein writes to Kaempfert to extricate his charges from their German contract.

Martin, meanwhile, begins preparation of the necessary paperwork, should the recording audition be successful.

For full details of the Beatles' signing, qv Brian Epstein Negotiates Beatles Deal With Parlophone.

Sunday 15 September 2013

Ask Me Why: When Did Bob Wooler Acquire His Copy Of "My Bonnie"

On page 34 of The Complete Beatles Chronicle,  Mark Lewisohn states that George Harrison gave Bob Wooler a copy of My Bonnie one Saturday night in August 1961 on a bus en route for the Aintree Institute. However, the single was not released in Germany until Monday, 23 October 1961, a whole two months later. So at what point did Bob Wooler acquire the copy of My Bonnie that led to Raymond Jones asking Brian Epstein to order the single for NEMS on Saturday, 28 October 1961, just five days after the single's German release.
Bob Wooler: "My Bonnie" came into my possession because I happened to get on the same bus one Saturday night as George Harrison. He said, "Look at this. I've just received it today." Stuart Sutcliffe, who had stayed behind in Hamburg the second time around, had sent him a copy of the record they had recorded for Bert Kaempfert in the spring of 1961. I grabbed it and said I was working the Aintree Institute that night. They weren't playing on that bill. They were playing the lower ballroom in New Brighton, and I said, "Let me play it tonight because you're playing the Aintree next weekend and this will be great promotion." George wanted to hang on to it because the others hadn't seen it, let alone heard it. But I said, "Look, we'll all be meeting up tomorrow night at Hambleton Hall, so I'll bring it there and play it. Then you can have it back and loan it to me again for the Cavern lunchtime sessions," which I was hosting. So he let me have it, and the first play of the record, outside George's record player, was at Aintree Institute.

(Source: The Beatles: An Oral History David Pritchard & Alan Lysaght,Stoddart Publishing Co., 1998, pp72-73)
There are a couple of anomalies in Wooler's statement:
  • The Beatles recorded My Bonnie on 22 or 23 June 1961, not in the spring. (qv The Hamburg Tapes)
  • The Beatles did not play the lower ballroom in New Brighton until Friday, 10 November 1961 - two weeks after Raymond Jones asked Epstein for the record.

However, we can take a couple of points as assumed fact, there being nothing to the contrary:
  • It was a Saturday night, but The Beatles were not playing at Aintree Institute that night. The Beatles played the Aintree Institute every Saturday night from 12 August 1961 until 23 September 1961.
  • The Beatles were going to be at Hambleton Hall the following night

Wooler's statement also raises another question:
  • Why did Stuart Sutcliffe send the single to George Harrison, not his best friend, John Lennon?
This last point is important, because it raises a further question: Where was John Lennon?

The Beatles played Hambleton Hall on Sunday, 15 October 1961. They had not played at the Aintree Institute on 30 September or 7 or 14 October 1961 because Lennon and McCartney had gone on holiday to Paris to meet their friend Jurgen Volmer on 30 September. It is reasonable to assume that Sutcliffe, who was still friends with Tony Sheridan, had managed to get hold of an advance copy of the single a couple of weeks before its official release and had sent it on to The Beatles back in Liverpool. Knowing that Lennon and McCartney were in Paris with Volmer, he sent it instead to George Harrison. Harrison received it on 14 October 1961, by which time Lennon and McCartney were back in Liverpool.

So Wooler got his copy of My Bonnie from George Harrison on a bus on Saturday, 14 October 1961

In fact, The Beatles were next due at Aintree Institute on Saturday, 28 October 1961, two weeks after this date. They next played Hambleton Hall on Sunday, 29 October 1961.

Brian Epstein Becomes The Beatles' Manager

The single that the Beatles had recorded with Tony Sheridan in Hamburg, My Bonnie (Mein Herz ist bei dir nur)/The Saints (Polydor NH 24673), was issued in Germany on Monday, 23 October 1961, credited to Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers (qv The Hamburg Tapes). Their former bass player, Stuart Sutcliffe, who had remained in Hamburg with his fiancée Astrid Kirchherr, lost no time in sending advance copies to The Beatles back in Liverpool.[1] He sent them to George Harrison, as John Lennon and Paul McCartney had taken themselves off on a trip to Paris. Harrison received the record on Saturday, 14 October 1961 (qv Ask Me Why: When Did Bob Wooler Acquire His Copy Of "My Bonnie"). Ironically, Lennon and McCartney had returned earlier in the week after running out of money.

Bob Wooler, the Disc Jockey
at the Cavern Club and a friend
of The Beatles
Later that day, on the bus on his way to show the other Beatles the record, Harrison bumped into Bob Wooler, a local compère and disc jockey who worked at the Cavern Club, and who had his own show at Hambleton Hall on Friday nights. Wooler worked regularly with The Beatles, and mentioned them often in his column, “The Roving I,” which he wrote for the local pop newspaper, Mersey Beat.

Prior to Lennon and McCartney’s holiday, The Beatles had been playing the Aintree Institute every Saturday night, with Wooler as compère. While they were away, Wooler was working at the Aintree Institute as a disk jockey on Saturday nights. He persuaded a reluctant Harrison to lend him the record, which he intended playing to promote the Beatles’ return to the venue on the 28th October, 1961. So it was that The Beatles’ first single was first played in public in the UK at the Aintree Institute by Bob Wooler on Saturday, 14 October 1961. Wooler promised Harrison that he would return the record when The Beatles played at Hambleton Hall the following evening, but instead he hung on to the record, playing it at every available opportunity and urging people to order the disc from their local record shop. As The Beatles friend, Wooler was hoping that a British record company could be persuaded to release the single.

Among the crowd when Wooler played the record at Hambleton Hall on Friday, 27 October 1961 was an 18 year old boy from Huyton named Raymond Jones. The following day, Jones did exactly as Wooler had instructed, and went into NEMS record store, at 12-14 Whitechapel, Liverpool to order a copy of the single. He was served by 27-year old store manager Brian Epstein.[2]

According to Epstein in his autobiography, A Cellarful of Noise, he had never heard of The Beatles before Jones asked for the record. This is not entirely true.  Like Bob Wooler, Epstein wrote for Mersey Beat, in this case a record review column called “Stop The World – And Listen To Everything In It”.[3] Bill Harry, the editor of Mersey Beat, had shared a flat with John Lennon in Gambier Terrace, and attended Liverpool College of Art with Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe. As such, The Beatles were given heavy exposure within the pages of Harry's newspaper, which was sold in Epstein's shop and which Epstein must have read.

The line up for Jim Gretty's charity show at the
Albany Cinema, Northway, Maghull
Epstein had been initially surprised by Mersey Beat's revelation that there was such a burgeoning rock 'n' roll scene right on his doorstep that he had not previously been aware of. Sales of Mersey Beat in NEMS were going through the roof, and Epstein began calling Harry two or three times a week to discuss the Liverpool scene. A vague idea began to germinate in his mind that he might manage one of these bands.

He approached Jim Gretty, a salesman and guitar teacher at Hessey's Music Store, a few doors down from NEMS, and quizzed him about local bands. Gretty listed Gerry Marsden, The Fourmost, The Beatles and Rory Storm as the best, and invited Epstein along to a variety show he had organised at the Albany Cinema in Maghull on the afternoon 15 October 1961, in aid of the local branch of the St.John Ambulance Brigade.

The Beatles appeared tenth on a sixteen act bill, kicking off the second half of the show following the interval. Epstein sat in the audience alongside the local mayor, councillors and various civic dignitaries. Gretty had managed to secure well known local comedian Ken Dodd to top the bill. Dodd remembers:
I got there about 3p.m., and there was chaos. People were walking out because some idiots on stage were making the most terrible row. I said to the producer, "You've got to get these fellers off, they're killing the show." They got them off, and while I was changing, one of these idiots came in and said, "Somebody told me that if we gave you our card, you might be able to get us a few bookings." I threw the card away. Later on, when I worked with The Beatles, Paul McCartney said, "We've worked with you before, Doddy." I replied, "No, you've never worked with me, lad." He said "Yes, we have, at the Albany, Maghull." I asked him "That noise wasn't you, was it?" and he said, "Yeah, we were rubbish, weren't we?" to which I replied, "You certainly were. I had you thrown off."
(Source: The Beatles in Liverpool: The Stories, the Scene, and the Path to Stardom Spencer Leigh, Omnibus Press, 2012 (p76))
It was not a good advert for The Beatles. They were unsuitable for both the other acts and for the audience. Nevertheless, Epstein went back to Gretty the following Monday, telling him, "Jim, I like those Beatles. I'd like to manage them."[4]

Posters for Operation Big Beat
were prominently displayed at NEMS
for at least a week before Raymond
Jones came into the store.
By the time Raymond Jones came into NEMS looking for The Beatles' single, Epstein could not have failed to be aware of them. The Beatles were regular customers, and local promoter Sam Leach had arranged for NEMS to advertise and sell tickets to Operation Big Beat, a promotion that he was putting on at the Tower Ballroom on Friday 10 November 1961. Posters featuring The Beatles as the band at the top of the bill were plastered all over NEMS.[5]

NEMS advertised itself as “The Finest Record Selection in the North”. Epstein had a policy that no customer request should ever be turned down. If a record was not in stock then it would be ordered. My Bonnie, being a German release, naturally was not in stock, and it was left to Epstein's assistant, Alistair Taylor, to track it down. The Monday after Jones had requested the record, two girls also came in looking for it. The Beatles' record was certainly not listed in the industry publication, Record Retailer. Although Epstein by now was well aware of The Beatles, he was not aware that their single had not been released in their name, but was instead credited to Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers.

Following up on the idea that had now been at the back of his mind for some months, Epstein contacted Bill Harry at Mersey Beat, and arranged a visit to the Cavern. He figured that the best way to track down the record was to ask The Beatles themselves. So it was that, on the lunchtime of Thursday 9th November 1961, Brian Epstein and Alistair Taylor walked into the Cavern Club, dressed in their smart business suits. Any attempt at anonymity was lost when Bob Wooler announced Epstein's presence over the PA.
Alistair Taylor: There was this very scruffy band onstage in black leather and black T-shirts. They were fooling about and they weren't very good musicians. But it was the most phenomenal experience I've ever gone through. They were incredible! They just had charisma. Lots of artists have charisma, but they had Ingredient X. You could literally feel the sound hitting you, pounding against your chest.
(Source: The Beatles: An Oral History David Pritchard & Alan Lysaght, Hyperion, 1998 (p83))
At the interval, Epstein and Taylor went round to the band room. The first person they met was George Harrison, who enquired, "What brings Mr Epstein here?"

What brought Mr Epstein to the Cavern was to find out about the record that The Beatles had released. Epstein explained about the demand for their record, got the answers that he was looking for, heard Wooler play the record, then left.[6] Epstein and Taylor went to lunch, where Epstein explained to Taylor that he was toying with the idea of managing The Beatles. A new company would have to set up to manage their affairs, and he offered Taylor a two and a half percent stake, which Taylor turned down, figuring he would be better off drawing a salary from the company.

A box of 25 copies of My Bonnie were duly ordered from Polydor in Germany. All 25 sold out in around half an hour, and Epstein ordered a further 250. Realising the popularity of The Beatles, and concerned at the import costs, Taylor contacted Polydor in London, to try to organise a UK pressing of the single, but to no avail.

Epstein saw The Beatles play several time over the course of November, and in the meantime quizzed his contacts in the record industry about the relationship between groups and managers. He even visited The Blue Angel Club and spoke to The Beatles' former manager, Allan Williams, who had arranged their Hamburg trips for them, and to whom The Beatles still owed commision. Williams' advice was "don't touch The Beatles with a bargepole".[7]

Eventually, a formal meeting was arranged to take place at NEMS at 4:30pm on Sunday 3 December 1961. The Beatles had been playing The Casbah Coffee Club that lunchtime. They had arranged to go via The Cavern to pick up Bob Wooler, who they trusted implicitly to advise them in their meeting with Epstein. Arriving late after they took a detour via The Grapes, they found Epstein waiting on the darkened ground floor of NEMS. Epstein, a stickler for punctuality, was annoyed. but hid it well, asking what Wooler was doing there. "This is me dad," Lennon replied.

Epstein put it to The Beatles that he would like to be their manager. However, they would not commit themselves at this point, and Epstein left them to think it over for a few days. In the meantime, he spoke to the Epstein family solicitor, E Rex Makin, looking for some legal advice on the sort of contract he might offer The Beatles. Makin had known Epstein for his whole life, and was sceptical about the idea, convinced the he would lose interest before too long.

But Epstein was not to be discouraged. He met with The Beatles again on Wednesday 6 December at NEMS, and put his conditions to The Beatles. He would require 25% of their gross fees each week. In return, he would organise all of their bookings. He also stated that they would never play for less than £15 per date, except for the lunchtime sessions at The Cavern, for which he would double their fee from £5 to £10. Finally, he played his trump card. He would negotiate their withdrawal from their recording contract with Bert Kaempfert, and use his influence to get The Beatles a recording contract with a major British recording company.[8]

After a brief but awkward silence while The Beatles contemplated Brian's proposal, McCartney asked if Epstein would influence the music that they played. Epstein assured him that it would not. After another short silence, Lennon spoke up on behalf of the group.

"Right then, Brian. Manage us."

Another meeting was held at The Casbah Coffee Club, in the basement of Pete Best's home, on Sunday 10 December, 1961. Epstein presented them with a contract that he had drawn up. It is a measure of the man that he had sourced a typical management contract, and had been so disgusted by its mean and exploitative content that he had created his own much fairer version instead. All four Beatles agreed in principle to the contract, subject to Epstein putting his side of the bargain into action.

The management contract was eventually signed by all four Beatles in the NEMS office after their lunchtime session at The Cavern on Wednesday 24 January 1962, by which time Epstein had secured them an audition with Decca Records (see The Decca Audition). Epstein himself didn't sign until October 1962, by which time The Beatles were set to release their debut UK single for Parlophone.

[1] The Beatles: An Oral History David Pritchard & Alan Lysaght - p72-73 
[2] Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation Philip Norman - p125 
[3] The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia  Bill Harry - p762 
[4] The Beatles: An Oral History David Pritchard & Alan Lysaght - Page 77 
[5] The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia  Bill Harry - p384 
[6] The Complete Beatles Chronicle  Mark Lewisohn - Page 35 
[7] Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation Philip Norman - p130 
[8] The Complete Beatles Chronicle  Mark Lewisohn - Page 36 

Monday 12 August 2013

Love Of The Loved

Composer: John Lennon / Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney bass (Hofner 500/1 bass), LeadVocal
John Lennon rhythm guitar (Rickenbacker 325 guitar),
George Harrison lead guitar (Gretsch Duo Jet guitar), Backing Vocal
Pete Best drums (blue Premier kit with 26" kick drum)

Mike Smith: Producer
Peter Attwood: Engineer

Recorded: Monday 1 January 1962, Decca Studios, 165 Broadhurst Gardens, London
Recording Medium: Two Track

UK Release: 1979 (LP: The Decca Tapes [Circuit Records LK 4438-1])
US Release: November 1977 (B Single / Memphis, Tennessee [Deccagone PRO-1102])

Running Time:
  • Mono Mix: 1:55

Available on:
(Source: Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald, Vintage 2005, and Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio, Andy Babuick, Backbeat Books 2002)
According to his first steady girlfriend, Dot Rhone, Love Of The Loved was written for her by McCartney at some point towards the end of 1959. McCartney himself has not publicly stated if the song was written with any particular person in mind,[1] although he does remember coming up with it late one night, playing his Zenith guitar as he walked home.[2]

It was the twelfth song recorded by The Beatles at their audition for Decca Records. It was later recorded by Cilla Black on Wednesday 28 August 1963, produced by George Martin.[3] It was released as her debut single (Parlophone R5065) on Friday 27 September 1963. It entered the UK singles chart on Thursday 17 October 1963, spending 6 weeks on the chart and peaking at number 35.[4]

In her 2004 autobiography, Black was to comment:
I'd heard the song many times in the Cavern and I was ever so disappointed when I got into the studio and heard this jazzy brass sound.
(Source: What's It All About? Cilla Black, Ebury Press, 2004 )

The song does not appear on Anthology 1, having been vetoed by McCartney for unknown reasons. It had featured in The Beatles' live act between 1960 and 1962,[5] but did not become a regular feature of their act until December 1961, only a month before the Decca Audition, and even then, they only played it to their loyal audience at the Cavern. They had had reservations about including any original material in their act, and it was only at the insistence of Brian Epstein that they dug out this and a few other Lennon-McCartney originals - notably Hello Little Girl (Lennon's, from 1957) and Like Dreamers Do (McCartney's, from 1959). Epstein felt that including their own material would set them apart from the myriad of other bands all hoping to make the Big Time by bashing out the same American hits.[6]

[1] Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years Mark Lewisohn - p246 note ?
[2] Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years Mark Lewisohn - p217 ?
[5] The Complete Beatles Chronicle  Mark Lewisohn - p363 ?
[6] Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years Mark Lewisohn - p533 ?

Saturday 10 August 2013

Sure To Fall (In Love With You)

Composer: Carl Perkins / Bill Cantrell / Quinton Claunch

Paul McCartney bass (Hofner 500/1 bass), Lead Vocal
John Lennon rhythm guitar (Rickenbacker 325 guitar)
George Harrison lead guitar (Gretsch Duo Jet guitar)
Pete Best drums (blue Premier kit with 26" kick drum)

Mike Smith: Producer
Peter Attwood: Engineer

Recorded: Monday 1 January 1962, Decca Studios, 165 Broadhurst Gardens, London
Recording Medium: Two Track

UK Release: December 1979 (LP: The Decca Tapes [Circuit Records LK 4438-1])
US Release: November 1977 (A Single / Money [Deccagone PRO-1104])

Running Time:
  • Mono Mix: 2:05

Available on:
(Source: Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald, Vintage 2005, and Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio, Andy Babuick, Backbeat Books 2002)
Carl Perkins Sure To Fall (In Love With You) was the eighth song recorded by The Beatles at their audition with Decca records.

Written by Carl Perkins with Sun producers Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch, the song was originally recorded by Perkins in December 1955, but it was not released until 1957, when it appeared on the Sun LP Dance Album of Carl Perkins.

It had appeared in The Beatles set (and The Quarrymen) since 1957, but was dropped in 1962 as they concentrated on songs they had already released themselves. However, they performed it a total of four times for the BBC during 1963 and 1964.

Memphis, Tennessee

Composer: Chuck Berry

John Lennon rhythm guitar (Rickenbacker 325 guitar), Lead Vocal
Paul McCartney bass (Hofner 500/1 bass)
George Harrison lead guitar (Gretsch Duo Jet guitar)
Pete Best drums (blue Premier kit with 26" kick drum)

Mike Smith: Producer
Peter Attwood: Engineer

Recorded: Monday 1 January 1962, Decca Studios, 165 Broadhurst Gardens, London
Recording Medium: Two Track

UK Release: December 1979 (LP: The Decca Tapes [Circuit Records LK 4438-1])
US Release: November 1977 (A Single  / Love Of The Loved [Deccagone PRO-1102])

Running Time:
  • Mono Mix: 2:22

Available on:
(Source: Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald, Vintage 2005, and Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio, Andy Babuick, Backbeat Books 2002)
Memphis, Tennessee was written by Chuck Berry and originally released in June 1959 as the B-side to his single Back In The USA - itself later parodied by The Beatles in Back In The USSR in 1968.

It was the seventh song recorded by The Beatles at their audition for Decca. The song had been in The Beatles' act since 1960, but would be dropped in 1962, as they concentrated on songs they released themselves. They did, however, record it five times for the BBC in 1963.

Paul McCartney: "Chuck Berry was another massive influence with Johnny B. Goode. We'd go up to John's bedroom with his little record player and listen to Chuck Berry records, trying to learn them. I remember learning Memphis, Tennessee up there."
(Source: The Beatles Anthology The Beatles, Cassell & Co (2000) )
The Beatles' version bounces along quite nicely, with a good vocal by Lennon. Harrison's guitar solo too is well played - however, he plays badly towards the end of the song. Best, switching to brushes for this song, is buried in the mix.

Friday 9 August 2013

Commercial Release of The Beatles Decca Audition

Following The Beatles’ failed audition for Decca Records, Brian Epstein asked for the tape, since Decca would have no use for it without the artists being signed to a contract. He was given a copy of the audition on two ten-inch reels. Between them, these contained the fifteen tracks recorded by The Beatles on 1st January 1962.  Epstein hawked these around London, eventually landing The Beatles a recording contract with Parlophone Records. In the years since then, Epstein’s copy has gone missing. When Apple were compiling the Anthology albums in the mid 1990’s, they had to ask collectors for copies of the audition from bootlegs.

Around 11th April 1962, The Beatles gave a tape containing eight of the tracks to Astrid Kirchherr, their friend from Hamburg, and who was also the fiancé of former Beatles’ bass player, Stuart Sutcliffe. The tape was probably intended for Sutcliffe, who, unknown to The Beatles, had died of a brain haemorrhage the previous day. Kirchherr gave the tape to a friend of hers a year later.

Tracks released on the 1973 bootleg LS Bumblebee
were mostly lifted from the Let It Be sessions, although it
did include an extended version of
 Love of the Loved.
It was the first time that a track from the Decca audition
was released. The title track, thought to be The Beatles,
was actually by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
The first time a recording from Decca audition surfaced was in 1973, when the album L.S. Bumblebee was released. This included an extended but poor quality version of Love of the Loved. At the time, this was thought to be a demo version of the song made for Cilla Black, who had released the song as her debut single in September 1963. It was not until the remaining Decca tracks appeared a few years later that it became clear that this was the Decca version. Where the bootleggers got their copy is not known, but the poor quality would suggest that Kirchherr's tape may have been the source.

In 2012, this tape, purporting to be the original Decca
master tape, was sold at auction for £35,000. However, it contains
only 10 songs (
Like Dreamers Do, Money, Take Good Care Of My
Baby, Three Cool Cats, Sure To Fall, Love Of The Loved,
Memphis, Cryin', Waitin', Hopin', Till There Was You and
Searchin'). A handwritten note stuck to the cover gives the
number BSR-1111, the catalogue number of Backstage
Records 1982 bootleg,
Like Dreamers Do.
The Decca master remained in their studio for at least a couple of years after the session, but Decca had no policy for holding onto audition recordings, so the original 2-track tape was probably re-used. Nevertheless, Mike Savage, the engineer who had recorded them made copies of the audition after the Beatles career took off, which he would play alongside the audition tape of Brian Poole and The Tremeloes, recorded the same day, to illustrate why The Tremeloes were signed and The Beatles were rejected. Decca tried to release the audition officially many years later, using Savage’s copy as a source, but was blocked from doing so by legal proceedings brought about by Apple.

How the tapes came to be in the public domain is open to debate. One story goes that in late 1976 or early 1977, an unknown journalist from the UK approached Decca seeking permission to review the audition for a music paper feature. Surprisingly, Decca agreed to lend the tapes to the journalist. Before returning the tapes, the journalist arranged for a copy to be made.

The Deccagone single release of 
Like Dreamers Do/Searchin'.
Another source suggests that one of Epstein’s assistants acquired Epstein’s two original ten-inch reels after his death. These were later sold on to collectors for an unknown sum of money. This would certainly explain why Apple does not have Epstein’s copy in their possession.

Possibly both versions of the tale are true. What is known is that two copies of the Decca Tapes were sold to private collectors in the late seventies.

One went to Joe Pope, who acquired the tape (given the timing, probably the version made surreptitiously by the journalist) for $5000. Pope ran the Beatles fanzine, Strawberry Fields Forever, from his store in Boston. He had the tape professionally mastered, then released fourteen of the tracks, omitting Take Good Care Of My Baby, as a series of seven 45rpm singles between April 1977 and February 1979 on his own Deccagone label. These were pressed on coloured vinyl and sold through his fanzine. The world finally had some idea of why Decca Records had turned The Beatles down.

Circuit Records' The Decca Tapes was
released in mock stereo, and with
the audio running too fast
Misterclaudel's Historical Decca Audition
Tape contains both known versions
of the recordings.
The entire audition, including Take Good Care Of My Baby, was subsequently released on an LP, The Decca Tapes, issued by Circuit Records in December 1979. This was sourced from the second copy – probably the Epstein tapes. Unfortunately, some of the tracks suffered from tape dropouts. Circuit chose to release the recordings in fake stereo and with the audio running too fast.

Angry that Circuit had stolen his thunder, Pope immediately released his own LP, The Deccagones. This compiled the fourteen tracks he had previously released as singles, plus Take Good Care Of My Baby.

The recordings have been issued many times in the years since, but all have been sourced either from Joe Pope’s Deccagone releases, or from Circuit Records The Decca Tapes. On 10 March 2009, Japanese label Misterclaudel released both the Deccagone and the Circuit versions on a CD named Historical Decca Audition Tape.

Decca Audition Bootleg Releases
An Incomplete List
SingleThree Cool Cats / Hello Little GirlDeccagonePRO 1100April 1977
The Sheik of Araby / September In The Rain
DeccagonePRO 1101August 1977
SingleMemphis, Tennessee / Love Of The LovedDeccagonePRO 1102November 1977
SingleSearchin' / Like Dreamers DoDeccagonePRO 1103November 1977
AlbumThe Deccagone SessionsSmilin' Ears7701December 1977
SingleSure To Fall / MoneyDeccagonePRO 1104February 1978
SingleCrying, Waiting, Hoping / Till There Was YouDeccagonePRO 1105October 1978
SingleTo Know Him Is To Love Him / Besame MuchoDeccagonePRO 1106February 1979
AlbumThe Decca TapesCircuitLK 4438-1December 1979
AlbumThe DeccagonesDeccagoneNoneDecember 1979
AlbumDawn Of The Silver BeatlesPAC RecordsUDL 233316 April 1981
AlbumLightning Strikes TwicePAC RecordsUDL 238216 April 1981
AlbumLike Dreamers DoBackstage RecordsBSR 1111May 1982
AlbumThe Complete Silver BeatlesAudio Fidelity Enterprises /
Audio Fidelity
AFELP 1047September 1982
AlbumThe Complete Silver BeatlesAudio Fidelity Enterprises /
Audio Rarities
AR 2452October 1982
AlbumThe Silver Beatles Vol.1Audio Fidelity Enterprises /
PHX 352October 1982
AlbumThe Silver Beatles Vol.2Audio Fidelity Enterprises /
PHXC 353October 1982
AlbumThe Audition TapesBreakaway RecordsBWY 72December 1983
AlbumRaw EnergyRomance RecordsSB-18Spring 1988
AlbumThe Silver BeatlesTeichikuTECP-302191990
AlbumLost Decca SessionsRecall RecordsRR0700072008
AlbumHistorical Decca Audition TapeMisterclaudelMCCD11910 March 2009

Note:- Much of the information here has been collated from postings on this forum. Other sources are Bill Harry's The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia , John C.Winn's Way Beyond Compare , and Richie Unterberger's The Unreleased Beatles .

Sunday 28 July 2013

To Know Her Is To Love Her (Decca Audition Version)

Composer: Phil Spector

John Lennon rhythm guitar (Rickenbacker 325 guitar), Lead Vocal
Paul McCartney bass (Hofner 500/1 bass), Backing Vocal
George Harrison lead guitar (Gretsch Duo Jet guitar), Backing Vocal
Pete Best drums (blue Premier kit with 26" kick drum)

Mike Smith: Producer
Peter Attwood: Engineer

Recorded: Monday 1 January 1962, Decca Studios, 165 Broadhurst Gardens, London
Recording Medium: Two Track

UK Release: December 1979 (LP: The Decca Tapes [Circuit Records LK 4438-1])
US Release: February 1979 (A Single (titled "To Know Him Is To Love Him") / Besame Mucho [Deccagone PRO-1106])

Running Time:
  • Mono Mix: 2:37

Available on:
(Source: Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald, Vintage 2005, and Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio, Andy Babuick, Backbeat Books 2002)
To Know Her Is To Love Her was written by Phil Spector and recorded by his band The Teddy Bears in 1958 as To Know Him Is To Love Him. Released in September 1958, the song went to number one. The lyric was inspired by the words on Spector's father's tombstone: "To Know Him Was To Love Him."

It was the fifth song recorded by The Beatles at their audition for Decca Records. The Beatles would later go on to record the song for the BBC on 16 July 1963 for Pop Go The Beatles. This version is faster, but much less accomplished than the BBC version. McCartney credits this song as the origin of The Beatles' trademark three-part harmony vocals:
Paul McCartney: "'To know know know is to love love love,' that was the first three-part we ever did. We learned that in my Dad's house in Liverpool."
(Source: The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions Mark Lewisohn, Hamlyn Publishing (1988) )
John Lennon would later record his own version of the song (with Phil Spector himself producing) for his Rock and Roll album in 1973, but it remained unreleased until it was included on his posthumous compilation, Menlove Avenue.