In the New Year of 1962, The Beatles were rejected by the Decca record company., who chose to sign London band Brian Poole & The Tremeloes instead.
The event took on an unusual relevance a few months later, in October of that year, when the Liverpool quartet began their absolute reign in contemporary popular music with the launch of Love me do, his first single. through the EMI seal.
Mike Smith is the name of the producer who missed the opportunity to get his hands on the group that was destined to change history for a few pounds and, although he had good arguments to discard The Beatles, the truth is that months later he accepted their lack of vision of the future and amended his mistake by signing his first contract to The Rolling Stones, at the suggestion of George Harrison.
When they arrived at Decca, the Loe Beatles had been playing The Cavern for 10 months.
Tight like in a sardine can
The audition took place in London and to get there for the first time in their lives from Liverpool the group members traveled crammed in a small car loaded with equipment for ten hours. The session lasted about an hour and, in it, the quartet that still had on drums with Pete Best he performed about 15 songs.
However, the repertoire chosen by manager Brian Epstein to demonstrate the versatility of the band was an incomprehensible hybrid and the performances lacked brillianceAs a result of the fatigue from the long trip and the intimidation that the members of the band felt in the face of Smith’s treatment.
The producer’s rejection would have been logical had it not been for the fact that, just ten months later, The Beatles began their dizzying path to absolute glory by releasing their first single through EMI. Love me do.
The test was carried out thanks to the efforts of Epstein who, with the prestige that the fact of owning one of the largest record stores in the United Kingdom gave him, convinced Smith to come over to The Cavern to witness a Beatles show.
Mike Smith (left) was shocked by the band’s live version, but was disappointed in their performance in the studio.
The backing of a good preview
The producer not only went to the Liverpool stronghold, but was also shocked by the vigorous and polished presentation of the quartet, which, at that point, had already had several years of experience on the most complex stages, such as their seasons in Hamburg, to name a few. example.
“It was very important to everyone. There we learned our performing arts, which songs worked, which ones didn’t, how to have a good relationship with the audience. Hamburg was like the toughest music school in the world“Pete Best himself said last November, in an exclusive interview with Télam on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Convinced that the audition would be nothing more than a formality, the four members of the band packed their equipment into the small car of their assistant Neil Aspinall and set out on their first trip to London on a frozen New Year’s Eve. But nevertheless, the driver confused the road and the journey took about ten hours.
Exhausted, the group members felt intimidated; first when Mike Smith was late and in bad shape after a long night of partying, and then when she criticized the band’s equipment and forced her to use the ones in the studio.
After Hamburg, The Cavern was the passage to the graduation of The Beatles in the handling of the scene.
A wrong repertoire
In the next hour, The Beatles caught up with a repertoire that mixed classic rocks, boleros, standards of the popular songbook and a few of his own compositions by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Thus, they happened Like Dreamers Do, Money, Till There Was You, The Sheik of Araby, To Know Her Is to Love Her, Take Good Care of My Baby, Memphis, Tennessee, Sure to Fall (In Love with You), Hello little girl, Three cool cats,Crying, Waiting, Hoping, Love of the loved, September in the Rain, Kiss Me a lot Y Searchin ‘.
The resulting tape -which for many years circulated in a pirate way under the title The Decca Tapes, until many of those cuts were officially published in the series Anthology, from 1995- shows a group that is disconnected, dull, lacking in personality, and lacking in ideas. Quite the opposite of what it was displaying live and the way it would be presented to the world in less than a year.
When having to choose between The Beatles and Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, the other group that auditioned that day, due to the little money that the company planned to allocate to finance a debuting band, Mike Smith decided on the second proposal, Especially since he lived in London and would not demand extra travel expenses.
Later stories, many of them fed by Barry Miles, official biographer of The Beatles, account for unfortunate phrases by the producer to justify his rejection.
Among them, those that affirm that he stated that guitar groups had “gone out of style” or those who claim that he released Brian Epstein: “If you are successful with the sale of records, Why don’t you focus on that and stop wasting your time with this band?“.
Just 10 months after the Decca rejection, The Beatles recorded Love Me Do, and they were beginning to write their big story. Photo AFP PHOTO
In the following months, The Beatles continued to be Liverpool’s most popular band that packed The Cavern on a daily basis. audience and secured a contract with EMI to release his first single, under the watchful eye of producer George Martin.
To do this, he first had to change Pete Best for Ringo Starr. The rest is history more than known. Probably, after that New Year in 1962, never again did any member of The Beatles hear a “no”.
Source: Télam / Hernani Natale
Reference from clarin