Original NEMS Building To Be Torn Down Dec 21, 2011 2:22:18 GMT -5
Post by yerblues1968 on Dec 21, 2011 2:22:18 GMT -5
The NEMS is presently an Ann Summers Shop. The lawyer offices of Rex Makin are seen above
the former NEMS location.
EXCLUSIVE: PLACE WHERE BEATLES 'DISCOVERED' TO BE TORN DOWN
Written by Larry Neild
Published on Monday, December 20, 2011 at 2:55 PM.
Most Important Music Deal In History Struck 50 Years Ago In NEMS Building
THE building in Liverpool where the Beatles signed what has been described as the most important music contract of all time is to be demolished.John, Paul, George and their then drummer Pete Best signed up on January 24, 1962 with Epstein at the headquarters in Liverpool’s Whitechapel of family-owned NEMS.
It propelled the four lads from Liverpool into the four that shook the world and put the Mersey Sound and the city onto the global stage. In 2008, when the piece of paper was auctioned in London for £240,000, it was described as the most important music contract of all time. But the Whitechapel building was key to the fortunes of the Beatles in more ways than one, and, it could be argued, to the fundamental direction of pop music since. For it was in NEMS that the unknowns first came to Epstein's attention.
As popular legend has it, in 1961, Raymond Jones, a young fan from Liverpool, made a request to shop manager Epstein for a copy of the "My Bonnie" single which the Beatles had recorded in Hamburg, backing a singer called Tony Sheridan. Other requests followed.
It piqued the young and restless Epstein's interest enough for him to make that fateful lunchtime recce to the Cavern to see what all the fuss was about. All setting in motion the events that would lead him to become their manager.
The office where the deal was struck is now the HQ of another legendary Liverpool character: lawyer Rex Makin, a close friend of the Epstein family who at one time represented the Beatles. Makin was a guest at the opening of the shop, which sold records, in the late 1950s.
His law firm moved in more than 30 years ago.
The block which housed NEMS is to be demolished to make way for a new development, providing a home for US-owned fashion chain Forever 21.
NEMS stood for North End Music Stores, an offshoot from the family owned furnishing business started in bustling Walton Road, North Liverpool. The first city centre music store was in Great Charlotte Street, and as business expanded a second store in Whitechapel was opened, with Epstein in charge.
Beatle fans will see it as a repeat of the demolition, in the 1970s, of the original Cavern Club.
But there are no signs in the building or around Whitechapel to link it with the part it played in pop history.
The last remaining occupants of the block – including Rex Makin’s law firm - at the corner of Church Street, are preparing to vacate the site within days to allow for demolition work to start early in the new year.
Epstein’s first meeting with the Beatles took place in the office on December 3, 1961 when he proposed the idea of managing them.
Lennon, Harrison and Pete Best arrived late for the meeting. They had been drinking at the Grapes pub in Mathew Street. Paul did not attend.
There were further meetings at NEMS office leading to the historic signing in January, 1962. Being at that time McCartney, Harrison and Best were all under the age of 21, they had to have the legal consent of their parents to enter into a contract.
Lennon had just turned 21, which was as well as his guardian, his Aunt Mimi, had refused to sign a contract, fearing Epstein would drop the Beatles after a few months.
That five-year contract with Epstein gave their manager 25 per cent of their income. Best was to be replaced soon after by Ringo Starr.