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The Beatles wrote songs for themselves but also a huge number of other bands and musicians. From Michael Jackson to Elton John, the songwriters worked with them all, meaning their catalogue outside of Lennon-McCartney is significant. But one performer, Mike Berry, was reportedly one of the few who turned down a song from the band.
The Beatles’ songwriters were mainly Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
As time went on, however, the performers began working with others, with John famously writing alongside Sir Elton John.
Sir Paul wrote many songs with Michael Jackson, while George Harrison wrote with legends such as Eric Clapton, as well as becoming part of the Travelling Wilburys supergroup, featuring Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty, to name a few.
However, there was one performer who reportedly turned down John’s offer of a song, despite his band growing in fame.
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According to The Beatles expert Paul Endacott, director of Tours and Events and Music Heritage London, this man had only one response for the young songwriter.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Paul opened up on who this man was, Are You Being Served? star Mike Berry.
He said: “I suppose one of the funniest story which I have a laugh with Mike Berry about, was when Brian Epstein called Mike Berry and The Outlaws in.
“The Outlaws comprised of, well, their bass player was Chas Hodges, from Chas and Dave. And they were fantastic musicians.”
Brian Epstein was the manager of The Beatles whose death was one of the key catalysts for the band’s demise, as well as growing tensions in the group.
However, Mike Berry and The Outlaws were playing at the Cavern Club in south London, where a new, young band The Beatles were also hoping to play.
Paul continued: “Brian Epstein thought a lot of them. And Brian told The Beatles to keep in with Mike Berry because he was on television and he had a recording contract.
“So John Lennon offered to write Mike Berry a couple of songs. And Mike said, ‘What?’
“John said: ‘Well, my name is John Lennon and I’m in a band called The Beatles.’
“‘And Mike said, ‘What a stupid name for a band!’”
Needless to say, Mike did not accept the song from John, which later became one of the things he, according to Paul, left him kicking himself.
Paul added: “Mike says at the end of his, you know when he mentions that story, he says, ‘I’m going to stand at the exit of this room now and I’m going to give everyone the option of kicking the arm.”
He said, while Mike regretted turning John down, he and his band did not think much of The Beatles, though Mike thought they could ‘harmonise really well.’
Some people at that time did not turn John down, however, with Paul adding that The Rolling Stones took John up on his offer of a song or two.
He added: “When you think about all the songs that John Lennon had written, he had a lot that he gave out to other people.
“You know, The Beatles gave The Stones a song to record, you know, so they were confirmed… he’s [Mike] kicking himself ever since obviously.
“But he did say, The Beatles at the time when he went into Brian Epstein’s office and listened to the demo tapes, The Outlaws turned around to each other and said, ‘A bit s***t musicians. But, harmonies are fantastic.’
“And one of the things that Mike always said was they could sing, and the money is in the high notes.”
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