The Beatles’ Original Manager Still Loses Sleep Over Selling Their Contract
The head of Decca Records famously rejected the Beatles in 1962, telling manager Brian Epstein that “guitar groups are on the way out.” But he wasn’t the only one who missed out on a chance to be a part of the band’s astonishing success. That list includes the Beatles’ original manager, Alan Williams, who sold his contract to Epstein for the modern-day equivalent of $400 — a decision that he says still haunts him.“I still lose sleep over it 50 years later. No one could have guessed the Beatles would become so famous,” Williams told the Daily Record during a recent interview. “At that time there were 300 groups in Liverpool, who were as good or better.”
Williams washed his hands of the band after they failed to pay him his cut — which worked out to $14 – from the early Hamburg shows that helped start their career. “I remember watching them doing a performance before the Queen about a year later and throwing a cushion at the TV,” he admits now.
Still, Williams says he’s made peace with his decision. “I no longer have regrets,” he claims. “I am glad to have been there in the ’60s at the start of it all.”