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Beatles Decca Audition to Be Sold At Auction

The Beatles
Hulton Archives, Getty Images

It’s arguably the most famous failed audition in rock history, and it can be all yours. On Tuesday (Nov. 27), London’s Fame Bureau, which specializes in rock memorabilia, will auction off one of the tapes from the Beatles‘ 1962 tryout for Decca Records.

Recorded on January 1, 1962 with original drummer Pete Best, the tape was rejected by Dick Rowe of Decca, telling the band that “guitar groups were on their way out.” The Beatles signed with George Martin at EMI imprint Parlophone, four months later, and the Beatles would become the biggest band in Britain within a year. In his memoir, Martin would later defend Rowe, saying that he was at least willing to listen to the group, unlike the other labels that were rejecting the Beatles at the time. Rowe, perhaps to compensate for missing out on the Beatles, signed the Rolling Stones.

The two-track, 12″ mono tape up for sale contains 10 of the 15 songs recorded by the group that day. Three of them, ‘Searchin,” ‘Three Cool Cats’ and an early Lennon-McCartney composition, ‘Like Dreamers Do,’ appeared on the Beatles’ ‘Anthology 1′ set in 1995. Presumably the other five are on a different reel.

“It is totally unique and the sound quality is crystal clear,” Ted Owen of the Fame Bureau.told the Telegraph. “They are copying the American style, the style of artists like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. Those were the days of Rock and Roll and everybody who was trying to make a name for themselves were trying to replicate that style.”

The tape is epected to sell between £18,000 ($28,800) and £20,000 ($32,000).

Beatles 1962 Decca Audition Tape Track Listing

‘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’

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