Rare tape going under the hammer this week
michael baggs
14:10 23rd November 2012

A rejected Beatles audition tape is up for auction this week, and is expected to fetch between £18-20,000.

The tape is of the Beatles' audition session for the record label Decca and while bootleg versions of the session do exist, this is the only 'master' tape - and the sound quality is reportedly significantly higher.

Ted Owen - of The Fame Bureau, which is an auction house specialising in pop culture items - spoke to Reuters about how rare the tape is.

He said, "The most important thing about this is the quality. There are bootlegs out there, horrible bootlegs -- some are at the wrong speed, others are crackily and taken from a cassette off an acetate (disc).

"This quality we have never heard."

The tape is labelled as 'The Silver Beatles', which was their original name, and features Pete Best on drums before he was replaced by Ringo Starr. The auction includes a black and white photo of the band, which was to be used for the record sleeve, and a handwritten track list.

The Beatles at a press conference in New York, 1967.

The now infamous session was paid for by the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, and the band were reportedly rejected by Dick Rowe, who was Decca's senior A&R representative.

He is now known as the man who turned down the Beatles, and is quoted as saying, "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr. Epstein."

However, Rowe did sign the Rolling Stones.

Listen to one of the bootleg copies of the session below:

Most expensive music memorabilia sold at auction ever