Apple Corps advertises for new talent

Apple Music, the company set up by The Beatles to handle the musical side of their business interests, released an advertisement on 19 April 1968 requesting tapes from aspiring musicians.

The advertisements were carried in the national music press, including the New Musical Express and Melody Maker. The response was phenomenal, with only a tiny number of recordings actually listened to by Apple employees.

A picture of Alistair Taylor, Apple’s general manager, was positioned underneath the words “This man has talent…”

'This man has talent' advertisement, Apple Corps, 1968

The concept was designed by Paul McCartney. The costume was hired from a Soho company, and Taylor sang ‘When Irish Eyes Are Smiling’ during the photo shoot.

This man has talent…

One day he sang his songs to a tape recorder (borrowed from the man next door). In his neatest handwriting he wrote an explanatory note (giving his name and address) and, remembering to enclose a picture of himself, sent the tape, letter and photograph to apple music, 94 Baker Street, London, W.1. If you were thinking of doing the same thing yourself – do it now!

This man now owns a Bentley!

Although the response was overwhelming, not a single contract was signed as a result of The Beatles’ talent trawl.

Coinciding with this poster campaign that blanketed London and the provinces were identical half-page ads placed in the English musical trade papers. Two weeks after the first poster hit the streets over 400 tapes had accumulated in the small office at 94 Baker Street. All with notes saying, Listen to me first.

The Baker Street premises were able to function as a mailing address for the incoming musical tapes, but for the remainder of the sprouting tentacles of the empire an entire floor in an office building behind Oxford Street was rented in early February of 1968.

Last updated: 9 March 2023
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