The Beatles' Decca Audition
On January 1st 1962, before The Beatles reached worldwide fame, they performed for Decca Records at an audition Brian Epstein secured them. The band consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best on drums.
"I secured them an audition at Decca on New Year's Day, 1962. They came to London and stayed at the Royal Hotel paying 27 shillings a night for bed and breakfest. They were poor and I wan't rich but we all celebrated with Rum, Scotch and Coke which was becoming a Beatle drink even then." - Brian Epstein
Despite a stellar audition however, the people at Decca decided not to give The Beatles a recording contract. This is seen as one of the biggest blunders in music history. They signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead; feeling that guitar groups were on the way out; how wrong they were.
"Well, the recording test came and went. The people that decide about these things at Decca said 'No'. Well, you can imagine I was more worried about what I was going to say to the boys, having built up their hopes. So I allowed myself a final 24 hours to exhaust the remaining disc companies and I booked into the Green Park Hotel. In the morning I took a cab to the EMI office block in Manchester Square, London, to meet the man who would within less than two years produce sixteen number one discs by my artists." - Brian Epstein
The Decca Audition has been widely bootlegged over the years, but has not yet seen an official release. The Beatles performed a diverse range of songs, including Paul McCartney's Love of the Loved, which was later given to Cilla Black. Several of the performances can be found on The Beatles' Anthology 1 album.