‘My novella, ‘Sorry, Boys, You Failed The Audition’, which is based on my radio play of the same name, is now available from Amazon. Seen through the eyes of Freda, the Beatles Fan Club secretary, it tells the story of what might have happened to the Beatles if they’d been turned down by George Martin at Parlophone in 1962.’- RC
Dr Winston O’Boogie: (29.7.19) ‘Just spent a rather enjoyable afternoon reading Ray Connolly’s latest book (or indeed novella) “Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition”. The story begins with the 1962 Beatles, Ringo intact and Pete already gone, waiting patiently at The Cavern Club for their manager Brian to return from London with the long awaited news that they have indeed secured a recording deal with Parlophone Records. Of course, as you might have guessed by the title of the book, in this version of events The Beatles fail the audition.
Such is Ray’s knowledge of his subject, added to the fact that I’ve almost certainly seen ‘A Hard Days Night’, ‘Help!’ and ‘Yellow Submarine’ along with the other movies more than most, that I could actually hear John, Paul, George & Ringo having Ray’s brand new conversations in my head! And great fun that was too.
As the narrative continues, enter stage left the star of the show, one Freda Kelly fan club secretary and very central to the way that this new story unfolds. Without giving too much detail away we follow Freda and her desire to keep The Beatles fans of Liverpool together at whatever cost. So as Brian Epstein walks away to run the family business, Neil & Mal return to their day jobs, Lennon becomes a beatnik, McCartney a teacher, Harrison a session guitarist and Starr above and beyond lucky! The Stones get famous, while Cilla continues warming up sausage rolls at The Cavern.
And as the Sixties unfold through their normal route of the dead President, the train robbery and the Profumo affair, those fabs that number four grow further apart. While the long suffering Freda does all she can to keep their names alive with the Liverpool Ex-Beatles fan club, 220 members, 35 pending!
It is as you’d expect a great story to get lost in, and one hell of a page turner, so if you enjoyed ‘That’ll Be The Day’ and ‘Stardust’ or indeed Ray’s recent book on John Lennon give it a look, you won’t be disappointed…. And the outcome will doubtless make you smile, it certainly did me.
J R UTTLEY (5.0 out of 5 stars)
‘I listened to the radio play last year and thought it brilliant. This novella tells the story more from the viewpoint of Freda, the fan club secretary who in the end cajoled the Beatles into coming together again, years after rejection, for them finally to pass George Martin’s audition. She is the main character hero of the book, and she’s granted a happy ending. I was just seventeen when Love Me Do was released in real life, so this is of my time and nearly my place. I’m not a Scouser, but am a proud Lancastrian. The other hero of the book is the humour and good nature of the North-West which shines through every word. I kept thinking to myself, “That’s my home.”‘
Nick Brown (4.0 out of 5 stars) 30.9.19
‘Mr C makes you consider how we are all part of The Beatles’ Universe. Praise be! Recommended.’
‘This is a difficult one for me because (like the film ‘Yesterday’), to contemplate a world where The Fabs *weren’t* woven in to my DNA when I was growing up would be just too sad…; However, it’s a credit to Mr Connolly that he handles the premise so well, with such detail and with a lot of love, that it makes a very entertaining read…If you know your Beatles’ history, you’ll know that (on a couple of occasions) we came very close to NOT being in The JPGR Universe…; *shudders*. I took this plane on a 4 hour flight and it shortened it to a 30 min flight. Great read.’
richard n bake (5.0 out of 5 stars) -11.2.20
Very close to no Beatles
‘Very good read but it shows how close the world came to no Beatles!! It was on a knife edge. All the threads from past to present came together nicely. Makes a good companion to the Good Old Freda DVD’
Paul Mitchell (5.0 out of 5 stars) 20.11.2019
‘This book is great fiction. If the Beatles hadn’t made it, what they would’ve done.
Ray Connolly’s radio play. Just brilliant how he integrated things that really happened when they were famous, into what could’ve happened if they weren’t.’ 10/10
Autumn (5.0 out of 5 stars) 4.8.2019
‘Whimsical and nostalgic. True to Liverpool and the voice of its its people at the end of the fifties and early sixties. Pure entertainment.’
Glass onion (5.0 out of 5 stars) 9.1.20
‘This book takes us somewhere else to a place that could easily have existed Very good book couldn’t put it down , a great imagination’
Timothy J. Haigh (5.0 out of 5 stars) 15.7.19
‘I loved this novella of alternate history. The Beatles don’t win that vital recording contract in 1962 so they give up their dreams of becoming the greatest show on Earth. But the book is so sweet-natured that instead of a nightmare (no Beatles! That’s my idea of a nightmare) there is still hope, especially for Freda, secretary of the Beatles Fan Club – a real person by the way – and through her our dreams are kept alive. There is a marvellous sense of place and time, and an uncanny recreation of Beatle banter. I picked the book up to check it out, planning to read one chapter to see what it was like, and ending up reading it in one sitting.’