The Beatles' Decca Audition Tape Set For Auction This Month
A tape purporting to be a "mono safety master" of the Beatles' failed 1962 Decca Records audition is set to go under the hammer on November 27th. UK auctioneer Fame Bureau will be selling off what it claims is Capitol Records' copy of the January 1st, 1962 Decca audition featuring Pete Best on drums. The Beatles were eventually signed to EMI Records in June 1962, with the lost Decca recording contract going to Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, who went on to score several substantial hits on their own. The Decca tape -- which is missing five of the songs the band played that day -- is expected to fetch around $30,000.
The 10-track tape consists of material from the long-bootlegged Decca audition: "Like Dreamers Do," "Money," "Take Good Care Of My Baby," "Sure To Fall," "Three Cool Cats, "Love Of The Loved," "Memphis," "Crying, Waiting, Hoping," "Till There Was You" and "Searchin.'"
Ted Owen of the Fame Bureau told Beatles Examiner that the pristine sounding tape is a copy of the original tape master Beatles manager Brian Epstein hawked around to British record labels in the winter and spring of 1962: "We've been told it's a safety master. It came out of Capitol Records in Los Angeles. The great thing for me is the quality."
There's been no word as to whether this is a copy of the audition that Apple had made for the Capitol label back in the '70s or whether its a more recent dub, compiled in the mid-'90s for The Beatles Anthology project.
Noted rock journalist Richie Unbterberger wrote at length about the group's legendary Decca audition in his recent book, The Unreleased Beatles: "Actually, in the book, I give that group of recordings a bigger entry than any other group. Because there's so much to write about and I felt that they had really never been appreciated properly -- as far as what it meant to the Beatles' evolution. When you listen to those tapes, they're obviously very nervous. That's something interesting, because no other recording after that did they sound nervous, they always sound really confident."