THE ONE AFTER 9:09
A Mystery With A Backbeat—A Novel
'Rebel Without A Cause' meets 'A Hard Day's Night'
A DISAFFECTED LIVERPOOL TEENAGER BECOMES INVOLVED WITH THE BEATLES WHEN HE'S HIRED TO HELP PREVENT THE MURDER OF THE GROUP'S MANAGER, BRIAN EPSTEIN.
BACKGROUNDLiverpool 1961. A city about to explode with the sound of raw-edged rock 'n' roll—reborn. Beat groups outnumber street gangs. Gangs of Teddy Boys terrorise dance halls and clubs with flick-knives and bicycle-chains. Gangsters demand protection money and firebomb clubs that don't pay. But nothing can stop the beat. The beat goes on. The demand for drink, cigarettes, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll just keeps growing.
But The Beatles are going nowhere fast--and they know it. Liverpool's grown much too small. Hamburg has become a drag. It's the same old grind—day in, night out. The big question: Who can get them a recording contract down in London—get them to 'the toppermost of the poppermost'?
Only two men have vision enough to do it. Sam Leach—a pushy, local, rock 'n' roll mad promoter with towering dreams way beyond his means. And Brian Epstein—the sophisticated, urbane owner of a local record store.
A group of rival promoters are plotting to push Sam Leach out of the business for good. The man convicted of beating, robbing, and blackmailing Brian Epstein has not only vowed to kill him, but is about to be released from prison. Everyone, it seems, wants to spoil the party.
Into the swelling scene steps art student Raymond Jones, an angry young man desperate to find something—someone—to believe in after the death of his dad in a road accident. Picasso, Pollock, and de Kooning don't have the answers. Neither do Kerouac, Camus, or Sartre. So, just maybe, he'll find his salvation in rock 'n' roll.
PRE-TEXTHistory tells us that an 18-year-old boy named Raymond Jones, walked into a store in Liverpool, around three o'clock on Saturday, 28th October 1961, and asked Brian Epstein, head of the record department, for a disc called 'My Bonnie'. "I'm afraid not," said Epstein, shaking his head. "Who's the record by?"
"A group called The Beatles," said Jones.
The fabled meeting is said to be what first prompted Brian Epstein to seek out the then relatively unknown Liverpool beat group, become their manager, and steer them on to worldwide fame and fortune.
However, an increasing number of people now say the meeting never took place and that Raymond Jones never even existed.
What's incontestable is that it was Brian Epstein who first recounted the story in his autobiography—A Cellarful of Noise—published in 1964 at the very height of 'Beatlemania'.
Brian Epstein's influence on The Beatles was paramount and it's highly unlikely we would have ever heard of the 'Fab Four' were it not for him and all that he did for the group.
So what really did happen all those years ago? And why would Brian Epstein base the legend of The Beatles upon a lie?
Much of what follows is true...
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THE ONE AFTER 9:09
Plain Sight Press, September 2015