The One After 9:09 is a Mystery With A Backbeat. The birth of The Beatles is still shrouded in controversy—mystery, even. History tells us that on Saturday, October 28, 1961, around three o’clock in the afternoon, an eighteen-year-old boy, named Raymond Jones walked into NEMS record store in Whitechapel, Liverpool. Behind the counter, was twenty-seven year old, Brian Epstein, a director of the store.

“I’m looking for a special record,” said Jones. “It’s called ‘My Bonnie’. It’s from Hamburg, in Germany. Have you got a copy, please?” Epstein shook his head. “I’m afraid not. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve even heard of it. Who is the record by?” he asked. “It’s by a group called The Beatles” said Jones.

It’s a delightful story. Yet an increasing number of people insist the fabled meeting—that prompted Brian Epstein to seek out the then unknown Liverpool beat group, become their manager, and steer them on to worldwide fame and fortune—never took place and that Raymond Jones never existed.

What is incontestable is that it was Brian Epstein, himself, who first recounted the story in his autobiography A Cellarful of Noise—published in 1964. His influence on The Beatles was paramount and it’s very likely we would never have heard of the ‘Fab Four’ were it not for him and all he did for the group.

So, what did happen all those years ago? Why would Brian Epstein base the legend of The Beatles upon a lie? Especially, as Brian Epstein was in fear of his life at the time, as the queer-basher-turned-blackmailer he’d helped put away in prison three years earlier—and who’d threatened to murder him—was released the very same month he says he discovered The Beatles.

Add into the mix the fact Bill Harry—founder and editor of Mersey Beat—has long maintained that he told Brian Epstein about The Beatles months earlier—after NEMS had sold out of the first issue of Mersey Beat. And that Brian Epstein even offered to write a regular Record Releases column for Mersey Beat—which always featured photos of The Beatles.

Those issues alone were enough for me to question the ‘official version’ of events and in many ways were the genesis of the book. My intention from the start to hold as close as possible to the undisputed facts of Beatles’ history and fit the mystery story in and around as best I could.

Of necessity, I had to plot everything in advance so whenever The Beatles appear in the novel—dates, times, events—it’s all drawn directly from the vast library of books on the group published over the past 50 years.

My one conceit is to present Raymond Jones as a real person and have him help explore the mysteries and motives—the hopes, dreams, and fears—of all the key people involved in ‘the birth of The Beatles’.

My one hope is that readers enjoy The One After 909 as an intriguing historical mystery. At the very least it’s an excellent primer on the early days of The Beatles.The One After 9:09

Bill Harry—world authority on The Beatles—said about it: “A perfect blend of fact and fiction, a recreation of the Mersey scene as it happened, with the real people who made it happen, all placed in an exciting and enthralling mystery—an unmissable page turner. It could well be true if my belief in an alternate reality was ever proved in quantum theory!”

And you know that can’t be bad.

Tony Broadbent

The One After 9:09 – A Mystery With A Backbeat is published by Plain Sight Press –

The One After 9:09 ‘Special Features’ –

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