Beatles vs. Stones
become, as he put it,“a nasty little upstart tycoon shit.”
    Though of a very different temperament than Epstein, Oldhamwas also theatrically handsome, and he shared Brian’s love of fashion and haute couture .“He was the most concerned-about-clothes person I’ve ever met in my life to this day,” claimed an old business partner. “He was meticulous.” At age sixteen, after getting only three O-level passes, he strolled into Bazaar—the famous, youth-oriented boutique operated by Mary Quant—and sweet-talked his way into a job as an errand boy for £7 per week. His main responsibilities involved preparing tea, taking messages, and walking dogs, but sometimes he helped Quant dress the storefront windows, and she recalled“he had all the confidence in the world.” For Oldham, the experience was invaluable.“I will always thank Mary [and her business partners] for teaching me about fame, fashion, money, and how to have fun getting it done,” he said. Every evening after work, Andrew would venture over to Soho, where he held a second job waiting tables at a Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Though not musically gifted, he briefly tried to find an agent or a manager who thought he might be able to make it as a pop star. That didn’t go anywhere, though Oldham was able to conjure some bright-hued aliases for himself: he wanted to be known as either Chancery Lane or Sandy Beach.
    During this period, Oldham usually managed to constrain his dark side, but not always. His ex-wife Shelia Klein recalls the time when he’d enthusiastically arranged for her to visit a modeling agency. He helped her get styled by Vidal Sassoon, and had her professionally photographed, but then, on the morning of her appointment, his thinking made an abrupt U-turn.“He didn’t want me to be a model anymore,” Sheila remembered. “There was no discussion; he just locked me in the cupboard and wouldn’t let me out. That was the end of my modeling career. Andrew definitely was different. His way of handling a situation was very effective.”
    After a brief sojourn to the South of France, Oldham returned to London and found work in public relations. As a result he was able to meet Phil Spector, the legendary pop producer who, even then, strucka foreboding presence. Spector made an overwhelming impression on young Andrew. The two of them“were a nightmare together,” a friend recalled. “Andrew got hooked on Phil’s not behaving very well.” Riding together in darkly tinted limos and dining under the protection of bodyguards, Andrew plied Spector for advice about how to make it in the music industry.
    Another very important person Oldham met was Brian Epstein. They crossed paths in January 1963 at the taping of the Beatles’ second national television appearance, on ABC-TV’s hugely popular Thank Your Lucky Stars . “Brian merely stood watching his boys, yet his belief and their talent permeated the room,” Oldham recalled. In a conversation, Oldham persuaded Epstein to hire him as a London-based PR man for a monthly retainer of £25. Mostly, Oldham worked for two of Epstein’s recently acquired acts, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, but sometimes he helped drum up publicity for the Beatles in music weeklies, teen magazines, and daily papers. On one glorious occasion, he even got to chaperone the Beatles tosome radio shows and press interviews. Another time, he saw the Beatles play the Granada Theatre in Bedford, just as they were beginning their glide path to superstardom.“Onstage, you could not hear the Beatles for the roar of the crowd,” Oldham rhapsodized. “The noise that night hit me emotionally, like a blow to the chest. . . . When I looked at Brian, he had the same lump in his throat and tear in his eye as I.”
    Andrew craved these sorts of heady experiences, but it was a routine lunch that changed his life. Peter Jones, of the pop periodical Record Mirror , mentioned that one of his

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