They say you'll always regret the things you don't do more than the things you do, and it has never been truer than for Decca Records who chose not to sign The Beatles in 1962. According to the Daily Mail, Decca even told the band that they had 'no future in showbusiness' and thought that 'guitar bands' were going out of style. Of course, these days we know that they couldn't have been more wrong, and now the demo tape that was given to Decca has resurfaced in an auction.
Not long after that audition the Beatles signed to EMI and went on to take over the world. Brian Epstein, the band's manager, reportedly kept onto the original tape from Decca and used it again in an audition with EMI. 40 years later, in 2002, the tape was sold to a 'prolific buyer of music memorabilia'. Along with the tape is a hand written song list of the 10 covers they performed for the tape, plus a photograph negative of Paul McCartney, Pete Best (who was later replaced by Ringo Starr), George Harrison, and John Lennon.
The tape, now appearing again at an auction in the Fame Bureau, "is totally unique and the sound quality is crystal clear." so says Ted Owen, an auctioneer at the Fame Bureau. "[The music on the tape[ has never officially been released... there are bootlegs of the recording out there but nobody has ever heard the original in its entirety... We have spoken to various experts and this is the best-quality recording of this session there is given that it is the master copy." The record is apparently very 'rock and roll' because "everybody who was trying to make a name for themselves were trying to replicate that style."
There have been other such epic blunders in the past which will have produced the same level of regret as Decca Records must have felt for the past 50 years. The various publishers who rejected J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter manuscript and 27 different publishers rejected Dr Seuss.