While George Martin went to see Tommy Steele and didn't bother, it was Dick Rowe of Decca who went to the 2 Is and signed Tommy and he became the biggest British rock and roll star of the Fifties. I knew Dick and he told me that he had never said '"Guitar groups are on their way out" as Epstein said he did. In fact, it was to the contrary. It also wasn't Dick who turned down the Beatles, as he was accused of. Mike Smith had just joined his team which was to seek new talent and Mike auditioned two groups on the same day, the Beatles and Brian Poole & the Tremeloes. He wanted to sign them both up, but as he was new to the game, Dick said he could pick one act and Mike chose Brian Poole. This was possibly because they came from nearby Aldershot and he could get them into the studio within an hour, whereas the motorways weren't built at the time and it would have taken the Beatles eight hours to get down from Liverpool
Virginia and i were sitting behind Dick and George Harrison when they were judging a beat competition at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool and we heard George tell Dick that they'd just been down to London and heard a great group called the Rolling Stones, who were "almost as good as our own Roadrunners." Dick left the competition and rushed down to London to sign the Stones.
Dick told me he was writing his autobiography, but died before it was finished. I've been in touch with his son, but the manuscript no longer exists.