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How Beatles for Sale got its name
18 June 2013
4.04am
parlance
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From WogBlog:

In 1963, Margaret Gordon won a competition to name the next Beatles LP. Her winning suggestion of "Beatles For Sale" earned her a meeting with the group in Carlisle in November 1963. She brought with her some Beatles albums from a couple of friends who wanted them signed.

Have you guys heard this story before? That really surprised me. What a coup.

parlance

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18 June 2013
10.21am
meanmistermustard
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Just read that. Never heard it before and a bit of a surprise as i would have thought it would have been reported before somewhere in all the billions of beatle books and articles out there.

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18 June 2013
12.58pm
DrBeatle
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I wonder if that's completely true or not? It seems weird that, with EVERYTHING that's been written and dissected and analyzed about the band, this is only coming to light NOW, 50 years later? Color me skeptical...

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18 June 2013
2.30pm
HeyTrud
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Hmmm?  Never heard that story before either.  I'm a little skeptical too.  I wonder?

"....take a sad song & make it Meilleur"....

18 June 2013
2.45pm
DrBeatle
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I don't believe it. Especially as there's no real legit, concrete evidence beyond this lady's recollection (unless I missed something?). I do remember reading years ago that the band thought up the title because at that point they'd been working the point of exhaustion churning out records and touring and felt like they were "for sale" all the time. Can't remember where I read that, though.

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18 June 2013
10.02pm
Linde
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196...3?

Edit: Oh wait, didn't read the blog. Well I'm not buying it.

19 June 2013
5.50am
parlance
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I'm reserving judgement. If Mark Lewisohn's book is going to be as mind-blowing as he'd have us believe, then there's still new information to be found on The Beatles. It's not out of the realm of possibility this woman came up with a title that happened to fit how they were feeling at the time.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

19 June 2013
4.30pm
fabfouremily
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I thought I read somewhere what the inspiration was for the name, and it wasn't that. Does seem very strange that this has only cropped up now. And she got the date wrong.... ahdn_paul_01

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

19 June 2013
4.54pm
DrBeatle
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parlance said
I'm reserving judgement. If Mark Lewisohn's book is going to be as mind-blowing as he'd have us believe, then there's still new information to be found on The Beatles. It's not out of the realm of possibility this woman came up with a title that happened to fit how they were feeling at the time.

parlance

I agree that Lewisohn's book is sure to have some new revelations, but this one I will not believe at all unless he has it in his book.

 

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

19 June 2013
7.27pm
unknown
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fabfouremily said
I thought I read somewhere what the inspiration was for the name, and it wasn't that. Does seem very strange that this has only cropped up now. And she got the date wrong.... ahdn_paul_01

She didn't get the date wrong, read the blog.

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21 June 2013
12.36pm
fabfouremily
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Oh, sorry. I just read the section posted.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

24 June 2013
3.04pm
Joe
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Perhaps she suggested a name, they gave her a prize, then forgot all about the name and dredged it up again at the end of 1964 through their subconsciousness without making the connection. Who knows? The article doesn't actually say they committed to naming the album with whatever was selected (and AHDN followed next anyway). I bet there were loads of competitions at that time (Suggest a name for Ringo's baby! What car should John get after passing his test?) that didn't go anywhere.

It's a great story though.

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30 August 2013
12.34pm
trcanberra
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I'm still not sure that this is the answer - but the question has had me wondering for a while now :)

19 October 2013
6.35am
parlance
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Meet the Beatles for Real investigated further into the matter.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

19 October 2013
10.21pm
Linde
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Thanks for that! Haven't been on that website for ages! 

It's interesting, but I remain sceptical. She couldn't remember any of her entries, but coincidentally, she did remember that one. Of course! I'm not saying it's false or impossible, I just don't know whether to believe it. 

I wonder if Lewisohn will dig deeper on this matter.

It's also funny how there was never any doubt about how this name came about and how there never was a story, and now all of a sudden there is a lot of confusion

10 March 2014
6.11am
4or5Magicians
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DrBeatle said
I don't believe it. Especially as there's no real legit, concrete evidence beyond this lady's recollection (unless I missed something?). I do remember reading years ago that the band thought up the title because at that point they'd been working the point of exhaustion churning out records and touring and felt like they were "for sale" all the time. Can't remember where I read that, though.

I remember reading that somewhere as well, but can't find the quote. I thought it might be the liner notes in the 1987 cd, but no. Probably read it in a book somewhere, but I've read a few Beatles books over the years and they sort of start to mush together in my mind.

 

21 June 2014
10.19pm
Crinsk
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{new forum member here} oh this stuff gets me.a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

I concur, I once read or heard the very same thing: some girl had won a contest to name "an album" and got to meet them as a prize.  I cannot recall if it was a blog, an article, a book...  If it was a blog in recent times, the web has tons of BS plastered all over it.  In 50 years of no one knowing this tale, it sounds iffy.

@parlance, great link.  Nowhere do the Disc letters specifically note the contest and prize although that's pretty stock.  But according to the article, all she did was pick 6 songs, not a title.  If she decided to write, "Dear Beatles, I choose these 6 songs and I hereby name this EP 'Beatles For Sale'" and the contest didn't ask for a title (would the group even have seen/heard this letter??), or if she told them her idea when she met them, well, The Beatles could have later decided, "yeah, great, what a laugh, let's nick that title."  Technically, she freely gave them the name and with it the rights... 

Would this girl have gone around saying, "That's my title! I named it!" when the album came out??  Who would've believed her?  She would've had to have made a copy of the letter she sent to make something big of it.  So maybe she saw it as a battle she could never win.  Maybe she saved up her tale inside herself for decades.  Maybe, in this instant-media age, she thought it was a good time to get her story out.  People do that when they get old -- better tell their tale before they die!  She's not seeking compensation, right?  If the band used her title, well, perhaps it's one of those surreal stories that just happen in life and around The Beatles. 

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