In the early 1960s, British pop music ruled the world. Even America had to admit defeat. But the British Invasion and Beatlemania almost never happened at all. During the previous 20 years, the music establishment based in London's Denmark Street had done its best to incorporate every new style of popular music and its performers into what it knew best - show business and the light entertainment industry. By the end of the 50s, rising affluence and new technologies meant that there was a new generation of post war kids, confident that the world was theirs for the taking. Yet they barely had their own soundtrack. Their imaginations had been captured by American rock and roll and rhythm and blues, but homegrown British pop was imitative, patronised by the Establishment and their first pop stars - Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde etc - who were happy to do what their elders told them. This was the world that obliged The Beatles to escape to Hamburg to learn their trade, that repeatedly passed on the band and finally and almost reluctantly signed them while replacing their leather jackets with crew necked suits.