From the Cavern to the Palladium
Among the many people taking notice of the Beatles was Brian Epstein, who ran a Liverpool record store and was a regular record columnist for Mersey Beat. Several teenagers had walked into his store requesting a record called “My Bonnie” by the Beatles, which Brian regretfully said he'd never heard. His interest piqued, Brian started going down to the Cavern Club to hear them play their lunchtime sessions. They immediately struck him. “There was quite clearly enormous excitement. They seemed to give off some sort of personal magnetism. I was fascinated by them,” he said later. Brian liked them so much that he quickly made a move to become their manager, and after very brief negotiations, he did just that.
Brian dedicated all of his energies to getting them better bookings, more money, and more fame. But most of all he wanted to get them into a recording studio. His trade had been record selling, and he knew the power of a successful single. He was incredibly well-organized, and had an obvious effect on the Beatles’ attitude. “Brian made it all seem real,” said John. “We were just in a daydream ‘til he came along.” They had a failed audition with Decca Records in January of 1962, but after winning a popularity poll in Mersey Beat, Brian sent them back to Germany, where they played in triumph at the Star Club, the biggest Hamburg club of its kind. The Beatles were very successful but needed a hit record to push their popularity over the top. Brian found his way to George Martin, a record producer at EMI Records in London. Martin listened to the Beatles tapes and liked what he heard, particularly “Paul's voice and George's guitar playing.” He agreed to give them an audition, and Brian hurriedly sent a telegram to the Beatles: CONGRATULATIONS, BOYS. EMI REQUEST RECORDING SESSION. PLEASE REHEARSE NEW MATERIAL.