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Brian Epstein

UNTIMELY DEMISE Brian Epstein’s life was one of secrets that haunted him until his death at the age of 32

In February 1962, Brian Epstein travelled to London to hear the results of the Beatles’ demonstration test they had recorded a month earlier. The meeting with talent scout Dick Rowe was held in the Decca Records executive dining room on the South Bank. Feeling sure that the Beatles would be offered a contract, Epstein was devastated to receive a rejection. His response was typical: “You must be out of your mind,” he retorted. “These boys are going to explode. I am confident that one day they will be bigger than Elvis Presley.”

There was nothing bigger than Elvis Presley, and nothing less current, as far as A&R (Artists and Repertoire) men were concerned, than guitar groups. Despite the fact that the instrumentalonly group, the Shadows, regularly had top-ten records, the prevailing wind was for solo performers. The UK top ten for 3 February, for instance, contained eight solo singers and instrumentalists (such as Cli Richard, Chubby Checker and Billy Fury) and two jazz-band leaders (Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball).

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BBC History Revealed Magazine
February 2018

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