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Beatles almost didn’t happen

Monday, November 25, 2013

Are some people destined for success, or is the whole idea of destiny a myth, a comforting tale that we tell ourselves? When artists or political leaders become household names, are they just lucky?

You might think that the Beatles, probably the most successful popular musicians in the last 50 years, were bound to succeed. But an astonishing new book, "Tune In," by Mark Lewisohn, suggests otherwise. Without explicitly saying so, Lewisohn’s narrative raises the possibility that without breaks, coincidences and a lot of luck, none of us would have ever heard of the Beatles. As Lewisohn describes in detail, the young group became quite popular in local clubs in Liverpool, yet they struggled to attract wider attention. Lacking a manager, and with only modest prospects, they apparently came close to splitting up in 1961, fearing they weren’t going anywhere. Eventually they asked two young secretaries, who were helping to run their Liverpool fan club, to manage the group. But the secretaries found it hard to get them bookings. The group’s initial break came when Brian Epstein, the 27-year-old manager of a Liverpool record store, happened to come hear them at a lunchtime session at a local club. Epstein was immediately hooked.

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Source: Winnipeg Free Press

Photo Credit: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

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