The Angel Appears

Stories differ about exactly how their personal angel of mercy came to them, and even his own account is questionable. True, he owned a prestigious record store in Liverpool called NEMS (North End Music Stores) in Whitechapel, a section of Liverpool. It’s also true that he, too, felt that he was on a road to nowhere. It may or may not be true that on October 28, 1961, a young man named Raymond Jones entered his record store and asked him if he had a record called “My Bonnie” by a group called the Beatles. After a few other requests, the store owner was intrigued, made a series of inquiries, and discovered where he could find this strangely named group.

Whatever the case, November 9th 1961 is a day that we can hold as sacrosanct. It’s the day that Brian Epstein first walked into the Cavern Club and saw the Beatles. He saw a crowd of kids cheering for their leather-clad, untidy heroes. They didn’t look right to him, but they sure sounded good. And he fell in love with them, especially that one named John.

He came back many times to hear them play. He was a man with well-developed theatrical instincts and began to imagine what he could do with the group. He finally decided that he wanted to manage them. He sought advice from his lawyer who told him to forget about the whole idea. He sought advice from his family who gave the same sage advice. And so, on December 6th he met with the Beatles who agreed to hire him as their manager (the actual contract was signed on January 24th of 1962).

And he began pouring all of his energy into getting them known in London.

It wasn’t long before Epstein’s machinations attracted the attention of the head of Decca Records, Dick Rowe. A representative was sent to watch the Beatles at the Cavern and through a contract was not signed, an audition was set up at Decca Records’ studio. In London! The date: January 1st, 1962.