.

Rejected Beatles Demo Tape Up for Auction

Bidding to start at $29,000 for 10-song 1962 audition

The Beatles in Sweden
Keystone/Getty Images
November 23, 2012 1:20 PM ET

The Beatles audition tape that was famously rejected by Decca will be put up for auction in London next week, Reuters reports. Recorded on New Year's Day, 1962 at Decca's North London studios, the 10-song demo features drummer Pete Best, who would later be replaced by Ringo Starr.

The band, listed as the Silver Beatles on the tape, played up to 15 tracks during the session, but only 10 were chosen to record. They had traveled from Liverpool to London the night before and got lost on the way, but they still made it for the session, which was paid for by manager Brian Epstein. Decca A&R representative Dick Rowe infamously turned down the Beatles, saying, "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr. Epstein." Instead he signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, who also auditioned that day; later, Rowe did make a big signing with the Rolling Stones.

Though bootleg versions of the performances exist, the back-up master tape to be sold is unique. "The most important thing about this is the quality," said Ted Owen of the Fame Bureau, an auction house focusing on pop memorabilia. "This quality we have never heard."

Bidding for the tape will start between $29,000 and $32,000. Because the Beatles own the copyright, a commercial release is highly unlikely.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com