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Andy Qunta… Our Factory band got a letter from RSO with almost the exact wording a few years earlier! Didn’t slow our progress either, although our success has been a shade less than that of U2 so far!
Pete Prescott… I had the very same letter from them. I think every band in England did. I had a stack of similarly worded letters from every company I sent a tape to. I was told that in between taking calls the receptionist’s used to take the tapes out and put them in new jiffy bags and send them back to the bands/ songwriters who sent them. No one heard them. I believe some companies said were swamped with them. The few P.R. guys I met told tales of long sessions getting pissed in pubs and not being “arsed” to go through piles of mainly shit demo’s. I used to set the tape on the second song in. It pretty much always came in exactly the and position. I rarely found it in a different position. I read that to prove a point some acts sent a tape of the Beatles or the Stones in and still got the same letter. It was just how things were. You had to sing in as many pubs in London as you could in the hope you would get spotted. Still look back on those years as some of the best times. I founda some list of bands at a pub in London from an advert in the Melody Maker and Factory was on one and Stallion was on another. We were all at it ! Great Times. How many amazing bands were passed over I wonder ?
Phil Gill… Pete, Stallion was at least given studio time by EMI, but they passed on us because they wanted a punk band.
Andy Qunta… Pete, I was working in a field, picking blackberries, and Robin Gibb’s mother-in-law was the other side of the bush. She heard me talking about Factory, and offered to give our tape to Robin. He passed it to his record company, RSO. We still got that standard letter!
Graham Bradley… P Hewson, was also lead singer for chicory tip but not this P Hewson of U2
Mark Randall… In ‘80 my band, The Screens, were turned down by the owner of Safari Records sheepdog. After listening to the first song on our tape; the chap turned the cassette player off, turned to his dog that was stretched out on the floor, and asked it “Well, what did YOU think of it?” The dog padded over to the owner and placed a paw on his knee. The A&R chap said, “Yes ( insert dog’s name) – my thoughts exactly. Sorry lads but We’ll have to pass on this one”
Alan Esdaile… When I worked in London, I was round CBS records and the office I went in, had home made cassettes piled high, floor to ceiling with many unopened packets. The guy said they get hundreds a week and it’s impossible to listen to everything and most don’t get heard. Before the cassette era it was either reel to reel tapes or demo records, which were more costly to produce.
Dave Nattress… Great stories chaps, but what absolute injustice. As Pete said, and he is SOME singer, a case for being in the right place at the right time – just an incredible amount of good luck needed!!