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View Full Version : Tony Barrow on Beatles Audition Tape


DoctorRobert
May 23, 2001, 01:34 PM
I talked to Tony Barrow today in preparation for an interview on my radio show, 21st Century Radio, to promote his spoken word CD “John, Paul, George, Ringo... and Me!” and among other interesting tidbits he shared the following:

It is a myth that The Beatles were turned down by all the record companies in England before George Martin finally saw the light at EMI. The truth is that it was not fresh auditions that were turned down, but one miserable audition tape they made under unfavorable circumstances for Decca Records. Tony Barrow worked for Decca at the time and helped Brian Epstein arrange for an audition for The Beatles there. He remembered the tape Epstein had brought him of a recording of a Beatles performance at the Cavern. Barrow remembers hearing the obvious enthusiasm of the crowd for the performers, but said otherwise all you could hear was a beat in the background. It was impossible to distinguish any music or the vocalist. Since Epstein and NEMS were good customers of Decca, however, it was decided to give them the audition. Barrow related several circumstances that worked against them that day. First of all the driving conditions were a lot less favorable than they are today, and the drive down from Liverpool was long and tiring for the boys. It was New Year’s Day so when they arrived at the Decca studios there was no one there to meet them, it was a cold building, and no one had been there since Christmas. The Beatles were used to the receptions they were getting at The Cavern, and this was far from it. And then to top it off, Brian Epstein had poorly advised them that since Decca was a mature label, he didn’t think their American rock and roll music and their Little Richard covers that were so popular at the Cavern would go down well for Decca, so instead they performed the more traditional standards and ballads, etc. Of course, they were turned down by Decca, but it’s an important point to know that it was THIS tape of a tired, discouraged Beatles playing ballads that Brian Epstein then hawked around to the other record companies (who also turned it down). I don’t know about you, but I always had the image that it was The Beatles themselves schlepping around to the various labels and auditioning fresh for each one, and I was always very surprised that they were rejected so many times.

Tony Barrow was the Beatles Press Officer from “Love Me Do” through the “Magical Mystery Tour” and says he recorded this CD for the people who were not around during Beatlemania, so they can hear first hand about what was happening around the Fab Four. As he says, “I was there when they met Elvis, I was there in San Francisco in Candlestick Park for their last concert, for the assassination threats in Tokyo, Manila, and the Bible Belt. I helped counsel an emotionally devastated John Lennon before the most frightening press conference of this life, where he was to apologize for what was a very valid social statement at that time that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.”


Great CD! Order it at http://www.bandline.net. Listen for our Tony Barrow interview on Sunday May 27, 2001 at 8:30 PM Eastern at http://www.21stCenturyRadio.com.

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Jerry
May 23, 2001, 02:13 PM
Welcome to our forum Doctor. I personally think the Decca audition was a pretty good performance. I mean, the range of material they performed was about as wide as you could get with a rock band. Have you ever heard the entire performance? Only a few songs were included on the Anthology release, but there are several more worth listening to. I think we'll see the entire set released officially at some point down the line. It's too good to leave unreleased.

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Webmaster - BeatleLinks.net (http://www.beatlelinks.net)

jtal909
May 23, 2001, 03:39 PM
Jerry, which ones were on the anthology?

applenathy
May 23, 2001, 03:39 PM
Yeah, I think it's great. http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/thumbsup.gif It's the only bootleg I own.

jtal- On the Anthology were:
Searchin'
Three Cool Cats
The Sheik of Araby
Like Dreamers Do
Hello Little Girl http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/smile.gif

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"Possession is nine-tenths of the problem."-Dr. Winston O'Boogie

[This Message Has Been Edited By applenathy On May 23, 2001 03:41 PM]

Legs
May 23, 2001, 04:05 PM
Hello Doctor!Yes I always thought that the Beatles did more auditions at different record labels, till I read that Brian Epstein just was going around with that tape of the Decca audition.

For some time 12 of the 15 Decca songs were oficially released, small labels could get a license to release the 12 song not written by the beatles themselves. With a new law, they can't even release the 12 non beatle songs.Ofcourse when something doesn't get released oficialy there are always bootlegs.

"Love of the loved" is the third Beatle penned song not released on Anthology 1 and along with "Like Dreamers Do" and
"Hello Little Girl" it's actually real good.

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"I've periods when I'm drunk and periods when I'm sober, I always do ten things at once, so I have been drunk for ten years.This is the second year I'm sober." - "Legs" Larry Smith. 1983

DoctorRobert
May 23, 2001, 04:36 PM
That's cool. Learning this I'm going to dig out my Anthology CDs and listen for these tracks. I didn't remember that it included songs from the very tape Tony was talking about today. Thanks!

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May 23, 2001, 05:21 PM
Welcome again Dr Robert! Nice to have you on board. http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/grin.gif

Jerry
May 23, 2001, 07:09 PM
Here's the perfect link for this topic. I'm not sure if the MP3s still work, but it's worth a try...
http://www.beatlelinks.net/cgi-bin/links/jump.cgi?ID=800

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Webmaster - BeatleLinks.net (http://www.beatlelinks.net)

DoctorRobert
May 23, 2001, 08:03 PM
Thanks, Jerry. Well, the mp3's seemed to download fine, but I can't figure out how to play them (told you I was an Internet novice). They are saving as "Napster" documents and won't open with my Music Match software. So, http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/confused.gif thanks for the tip, but no luck yet.

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bearkat77
May 23, 2001, 08:44 PM
Welcome to Beatlelinks, Doctor. I see some docs still make house calls.http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/wink.gif If you're having problems with MP3s, I suggest you get the latest version of RealPlayer. Mine play just fine on it.

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http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/cat.gif

Bearkat77's Beatlemaniac Page (http://bearkat77.www9.50megs.com)

DoctorRobert
May 23, 2001, 09:06 PM
Hey you're right! Listening to Love of the Loved right now. Thanks bearkat! http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/viking.gif (I don't know what that smilie is supposed to imply, but I like the way it looks)

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May 24, 2001, 09:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By DoctorRobert:
http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/viking.gif (I don't know what that smilie is supposed to imply, but I like the way it looks)

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think it means you're horny. http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/eyebrows.gif

May 24, 2001, 09:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By bearkat77:
If you're having problems with MP3s, I suggest you get the latest version of RealPlayer. Mine play just fine on it.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Another great way to listen to MP3's is through Winamp (available from http://www.winamp.com )http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/grin.gif


[This Message Has Been Edited By Nowhere Man On May 24, 2001 07:30 PM]

DoctorRobert
May 24, 2001, 09:45 AM
Ohhh... thanks for telling me. Maybe I should try this one http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/alien1.gif

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Legs
May 24, 2001, 02:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By DoctorRobert:
Ohhh... thanks for telling me. Maybe I should try this one http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/alien1.gif

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
No now your horny and looking for an alien. http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/laugh3.gif

Sorry, seriously "Love of the loved" is a great song isn't it, sounds better to me then " Love me do".




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"I've periods when I'm drunk and periods when I'm sober, I always do ten things at once, so I have been drunk for ten years.This is the second year I'm sober." - "Legs" Larry Smith. 1983

DoctorRobert
May 24, 2001, 04:03 PM
Yes, it is nice. I downloaded that one first since it said it was the only Lennon/McCartney song listed there. I think I'm partial to "Love Me Do" though. http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/rocknroll.gif

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bearkat77
May 24, 2001, 07:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By DoctorRobert:
Hey you're right! Listening to Love of the Loved right now. Thanks bearkat! http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/viking.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're quite welcome, Doc. Haven't tried Winamp, so that's why I didn't mention it.

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http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/cat.gif

Bearkat77's Beatlemaniac Page (http://bearkat77.www9.50megs.com)

May 25, 2001, 12:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By bearkat77:
You're quite welcome, Doc. Haven't tried Winamp, so that's why I didn't mention it.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Winamp is great, you can sort all your songs very easily and everything... I guess you won't really see till you try it, but I'd highly recommend it. http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/grin.gif