Brian Epstein (19th September 1934 to 27th August 1967)

 

 

Brian was a businessman with broad interests though he was most famous for managing pop groups especially The Beatles. Despite his vertical ascent to a glittering life he was personally unfulfilled. Whether he struggled to handle life at the fifth Beatle is unknown but he was a troubled man and committed suicide at just 32 years old. As suicide is intensely private we’ll never know why he did it but before he died he was dealing with the grief of losing his own dad, he’d stayed at The Priory clinic for addiction to amphetamines, gambled recklessly and used rent boys.

 

Who knows what pushed him over the edge mentally. Days before his death he sat in on a Beatles recording session in London. He was staying at his house on Chapel Street, Belgravia. A friend who was going to stay him called him about collecting him from the train station and said Brian sounded groggy. Sometime after this he took six sleeping pills in his locked bedroom. His butler got no response at the door and the police were called. They found Brian dressed in on a single bed with various correspondence spread over the neighbouring bed. Officially his death was recorded as an accident: six pills was normal but lethal when mixed with alcohol.

 

The Beatles were in Bangor, Gwynedd at the time with the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh. They knew he was fragile and were shocked at his death but not surprised. A friend had once found a suicide note written by Brian ending “I can't take it any more" though he’d said it was after taking one pill too many. Not one The Beatles attended the funeral to avoid a media frenzy. George Harrison had given a friend a chrysanthemum to place the flower on Brian's coffin but flowers are forbidden at Jewish funerals and burials. The flower was, however, wrapped in a newspaper and tossed onto the coffin lid before being covered with dirt.

 

This house is just off Belgrave Square and a short walk from Buckingham Palace gardens. It was used for the press launch for the release of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.