The Beatles' debut single Love Me Do was guaranteed entry into the UK chart thanks to naughty sales tactics employed by manager Brian Epstein, according to a new documentary.
BBC Four documentary Love Me Do: The Beatles ’62 will be broadcast this Sunday, October 7 at 10.00pm.
In it, Epstein’s friend and business associate Joe Flannery claims that the exec bought 10,000 copies of the single single-handedly to ensure its success.
Others appearing in the documentary, which celebrates 50 years since the release of the song in October, 1962, include Sir Peter Blake, Bob Harris, Gerry Marsden and the Beatles original drummer Pete Best, who was replaced by Ringo Starr.
Said Flannery: “He [Brian Epstein] went and he bought 10,000 copies of ‘Love Me Do’ and that was in his store room in Whitechapel, because I’d seen them, they were there, 10,000 copies.”
The film also features Billy Kinsley, who was in band The Merseybeats, which Epstein also managed.
Kinsley recalls: “He [Brian Epstein] found out that we were on tour, he’d look at our gigs, [and say] 'Oh we’re playing Sheffield' or 'We’re playing Manchester. OK will you just go in this record shop and pick up a few copies [of Love Me Do]? Don’t all go in at the same time.' Which we did. I like to think that we did help the Beatles get to number 17.”
Love Me Do: The Beatles ’62 also includes a rare interview with session drummer Andy White.
Now 82 and living in the US, White claims that after Pete Best was sacked and replaced by Ringo, he was asked by George Martin to replace Ringo as drummer on one of the many different recorded versions of Love Me Do.