Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Beatle Bull Market

February 12, 1963

A nice story from "The Man Who Made the Beatles", a biography of Brian Epstein by Ray Coleman.

A promoter in the town of Sheffield in Yorkshire named Peter Stringfellow, decides that, based on popular demand, he must have the Beatles at his local club.  He gets in touch with Brian Epstein who tells him the price, on the strength of a sucessful record in the charts, is £50.  Stringfellow can't believe Epstein expects that kind of money, so he passes.  He reconsiders and phones Epstein back up a couple of days later to accept the offer, but the price has by then gone up to £65.  Outrageous!  Does this ponce think he's managing Elvis or something?!

A couple more days pass.  Stringfellow thinks it out again and calls, but the going rate is now up to £100.  He can't possibly do that! So he and Brian compromise and agree over the phone on £85, still a king's ransom, but he has got the Beatles and changes the venue to a local ballroom, the Azena, to accommodate a larger number of punters. It's all done via phone and no contract is signed until just before the Beatles hit the stage.  Of course, a good time is had by all and afterwards they move on to the next venue back in Lancashire.

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