Up for Auction: Biggest Mistake in Music History

Beatles' demo tape hitting the block

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 23, 2012 8:41 AM CST | Updated Nov 25, 2012 12:55 PM CST

(Newser) – It's been called one of the biggest mistakes in music history: The Beatles auditioned for record label Decca on New Year's Day 1962 ... and the label passed on the band, signing a group called the Tremeloes instead. Now the demo tape recorded during the band's audition has resurfaced, and will go up for auction in London on Tuesday. The AFP reports that bootlegs of the tape exist, but few people have actually heard the "crystal clear" original, which features 10 covers and is hitting the block at an asking price of $48,000.

Absent from the recording is Ringo Starr (Pete Best was the drummer at the time), and the recording features the band's original name: the "Silver Beatles." The group ultimately signed with EMI, while Decca went on to have the wisdom to nab one big group: the Rolling Stones.

In this Aug. 13, 1965 file photo The Beatles, with John Lennon, George Harrison,Ringo Starr and  Paul McCartney, from left to right stand at the airport in London.
In this Aug. 13, 1965 file photo The Beatles, with John Lennon, George Harrison,Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, from left to right stand at the airport in London.   (AP Photo)
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