I thought this might be an existing thread but I can't find it.
So for forty years the story goes that Raymond Jones went into NEMS and asked Brian Epstein for a copy of My Bonnie which prompted him to go to The Cavern etc etc
Then in 2002 in the book Hello Goodbye - Alistair Taylor and The Beatles, Taylor 'reveals' for the first time in forty years that he invented Raymond Jones. Then in 2008, Spencer Leigh releases The Cavern book in which he has a direct quote from Raymond Jones explaining the original story. This quote is referenced at the back of the book saying that Raymond Jones now lives in Spain!!!
Come on, somebody is telling porkies here. It's all a massive worldwide, counterculture conspiracy clearly!!
Alistair i think says that he used the name of a regular NEMS customer in the book he did in the late 80/ early 90s called Yesterday. And i think i read somewhere that at a late 90s Penny Lane Festival Alistair declared himself to be Raymond Jones.
Perhaps they both were,
I've not read the Spencer Leigh book, did Raymond say he actually filled in an order request form? Because that's what Alistair claims to have done in the name of Raymond Jones in a bid to get Brian to order the records.
Either way the name Raymond Jones is to be saluted as we'd all be poorer spiritually (although possibly richer financially!) with out his name and the My bonnie record.
Beatle Week photo archive, hopefully gonna go all the way back to 1997 when i have time & patience for a scanner
Raymond Jones "I used to go to NEMS every Saturday and I would buy records by Carl Perkins and Fats Domino because I heard The Beatles playing their songs. My sister's ex-husband, who played with Mark Peters and the Cyclones, told me that The Beatles had made a record and so I went to NEMS to get it. Brian Epstein said to me, 'who are they?' and I said, 'They are the most fantastic group you will ever hear.' No one will take away from me that it was me who spoke to Brian Epstein and then he went to the Cavern to see for himself. I didn't make them famous, Brian Epstein made them famous, but things might have been different without me."
Seems quite an elaborate story for a lie and why six years after the Alistair Taylor book Hello Goodbye? Is this story in the other Taylor book Yesterday? I haven't read that. And why say he now lives in Spain???
Either way the whole episode is daft. As Bill Harry has stated, how could Brian Epstein not have heard of The Beatles prior to the Raymond Jones incident as Brian had a column in Merseybeat right from issue one of which The Beatles were all over the front page!
I believe Bill Harry is a member of this forum. Perhaps he could shed some light on this.
Last Edit: Sept 15, 2011 10:40:25 GMT by mrmustard
plus the members of the group were always in and out of NEMS listening to records and not buying them.
Sadly my copy of Yesterday is 100miles from me - it's probably in the same box at my parents as the Cavern Mecca programme (i've not forgotten - i've just not managed to find it when i've been home)
Although perhaps that's it.
Raymond went in and spoke to Brian, but Brian didn't follow it up until Alistair filled in the form or Alistair filled in the form for Raymond/Brian. 20+years later Alistair remembers filling in the form but can't remember where the name came from and thinks he must have made it up - why would a random Liverpool teenager in a shop full of Liverpool teenagers stick out in the mind? And having declared it once - he'd look foolish to go 'well er no actually that guy's Raymond'
Brian wouldn't want to be seen as being too curious and knowing of a bunch of rather good looking leather clad young guys on the front of a music publication he stocked. So he needed to say 'oh who are these you're talking about...' Plus Brian could spot a hit but wasn't a a fan of pop so perhaps he never really looked at the Merseybeats he stocked......
50 years later we'll never know the truth but it's fun to speculate.....
The other thing of course is that Mersey Beat published the story of the Beatles making a record, given their popularity and the proximity of NEMS to Mathew Street, surely there would have been plenty of people enquiring about the disc?
.........but then where did Spencer Leigh get an apparant direct quote from Raymond Jones? This isn't a quote from Alistair Taylor. I can't believe Spencer Leigh would just make this up and throw in that he now lives in Spain!