by Bob Lusty
I remember those early days of The Beatles in 1962 when they came directly from Hamburg for a short UK tour. Included was our local Saturday night Dance Hall at Stroud Subscription Rooms where they appeared twice. On both occasions, I had a coffee and chat with them in a local cafe about their Polydor recording of “My Bonnie”. Mainly it was Paul and John who I spent time talking with because, like me, they loved American R’n’R and R&B music like Barrett Strong’s “Money”. I spent about an hour with them each time. Ringo was not with them yet, Pete Best was still their drummer.
They wanted to know what kind of music the Stroud dancers liked. I told them 50s R’n’R. Their first show on March 31st went down well. However, their second visit, on September 1st, was not so well received because they started singing their own material that was unknown to the R’n’R fans – this did not go down too well and they were booed and showered with one penny coins. That was the last time they visited Stroud.
Great days! I sold 49 copies of “My Bonnie” at those dances or in Lewis’s shop. One copy I bought myself, but that is another story.
Selling “My Bonnie”
At the time I worked in the Record Department of Rodney Lewis’s Electrical shop in Quietways. So I had advance knowledge of new record releases.
When I knew The Beatles were coming to Stroud and the German Polydor Record Company had just released their single “My Bonnie”, I took a big risk and ordered two boxes of 25 copies in each box. Rodney thought I was mad and told me I would not sell them all.
The boxes arrived from the wholesaler and I checked them and all looked in order as I thought. However, unknown to me, one box contained “My Bonnie” with the English spoken introduction by singer Tony Sheridan and the other box with the German introduction by Tony Sheridan, also they had the German catalogue number which I had not noticed. The record labels looked the same.
The German ones were sent to me by mistake as they were not for issue in the UK.
I showed them to The Beatles in the cafe, they could not believe I would sell them all. However, I sold them all on their first visit or in the shop. Rodney could not believe it either.
On their next visit a few people who had bought the record came up to me and asked why they had a copy with the German introduction and not the English one which was being played on the radio at the time.
Of course I did not know the answer until a few weeks later when I noticed the different catalogue numbers on the invoice sheet and that Polydor had made a mistake sending the German copies out. In fact, they should have not been in the UK at all.
At that time Polydor pressed records in both countries for general release, so I assume someone in Germany made the mistake in their packing department.
This has been in a couple of books about the Beatles.