Auditioning for Auntie

Auditioning for Auntie


Guess who is being described here: “Pretentious material, self-written, sung in an entirely dull fashion without any feeling and precious little musical ability. Thin, piercing voice with no emotional appeal.” It’s notes on Elton John’s first audition for the BBC and one of many incredible rejections — and discoveries — in Auntie’s archives.


Pete Paphides delves in the BBC archive to reveal audition processes for aspiring bands and artists to gain radio exposure in the 1950s and 60s, among them the Rolling Stones, Elton John, the Who and Pink Floyd. Plus, musicians including Peter Hammill of Van der Graaf Generator, Judy Dyble of Fairport Convention and Alvin Stardust discuss their recollections of these sessions.