Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Stones begin Rolling

It was a well-known story by May 1963- the Beatles, currently at Number One in the singles and Album charts, had actually been turned down by one of the countries most famous record labels in early 1962- Decca, run by Dick Rowe (left). But Dick redeemed his reputation in a very canny move on May 4th 1963 when, as Decca's head Artists and Repertoire man, he took up an invitation from a music magazine to be on the panel of judges at a 'Battle of the Bands' talent scouting competition held at the Philharmonic hall in Liverpool. Other judges included Alan A Freeman (not the DJ) of Pye records, and George Harrison, of The Beatles. George and Dick got chatting and Dick asked, unashamedly, "which of these local bands do you think I should sign?" George said " I dunno about these, but there's a group we saw in Richmond the other day called The Rolling Stones- I'd sign them if I were you." So, the very next day, May 5th 1963, Dick found himself watching The Rolling
Stones in Richmond; within a week, they were signed, and their long career had begun.  Mick Jagger remembered meeting The Beatles that first time; "We suddenly saw these four guys in identical long black coats- I thought, 'I don't care what it takes, I want one of those coats'! Then John and Paul went off into a corner and wrote us a song- I was nearly sick! I thought 'even if it means having to learn how to write songs, I've got to get one of those coats!'"

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