New Beatles vs EMI theory

“Mersey Beat” 31 May, 1962.

On the front page of “Mersey Beat” in June 1962, there was an article about the Beatles’ Parlophone release – due out in July.

At the EMI A&R meeting for the July releases, George Martin announced that he had a new group called The Beatles. He was met with laughter. Then after he had played “Love Me Do”, he was met with criticism, especially about the drumming.

Martin decided against releasing the Beatles record. He called Brian Epstein and this is the phone call where Brian started crying and begging Martin to reconsider.

Brian made a deal to purchase the minimum amount of discs EMI would press for the initial release.

Martin agreed, but wanted to re-record the songs. In early August 1962, Brian had to explain to The Beatles what had happened to their July release. That set the wheels in motion to get rid of Pete Best.

It would also eliminate Mona Best and her involvement in managing The Beatles with Brian. That’s why the record came out in October instead of July.

The original June 1962 EMI contract was with John, Paul, George, and Pete. Brian always held Pete’s share in escrow and only paid Ringo a salary, because he knew Pete could sue and win 25% of the Beatles’ EMI income from the original 4 year deal.

This theory was posted by the founding editor of “Mersey Beat”, Bill Harry on his Facebook page, but it came to him as a message from James Scroggins. So, what do you think? It kind of makes a bit of sense. Liverpudlians seem to forever have claimed that the rumours of Epstein buying up huge quantities of “Love Me Do” to make an impressions on the charts was nonsense. Maybe so, but perhaps he had to buy a substantial amount of the first pressing just to close the deal with Martin & EMI? And this theory also takes care of the question about why Pete Best was sacked.

5 Responses

  1. georgefromhenley says:

    I think Mark has summed up the subject well enough – we don`t need another claim.

  2. Foxx says:

    I second that.

  3. LetEmOut says:

    Top article, as always, Rog.
    I don't third that.
    Write what you want, it's always a pleasure reading your posts.

  4. Unknown says:

    Lewisohn documents that the Beatles actually had to legally break up and then reform to protect from legal action from Pete. Nothing was held in escrow, and if Ringo was paid a salary, it was only for a short time, IIRC

  5. wogew says:

    Most of you are of course, correct. Lewisohn's book sorted out all those theories and documented what actually happened. It's worth noting that many of the living people who figure in the story about the early days of the Beatles' story haven't actually gone to the trouble of reading "Tune In", and sadly, Bill Harry is one of those. The book put a lid of what many of them are mis-recalling. You'll remember that a long time ago, Lewisohn laid out all his documentation for George Martin to see, and Martin was dumbfounded because the line of events didn't match up with what has been his recollection of the story for all these years. Tricks of the mind. And let's not forget: Some times the many colourful theories about this era are better stories than what actually happened.

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