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

 

 

Here I am at the grave of Brian Epstein known mainly for being the manager of The Beatles. I had to climb over a wall to get into the Jewish section of this sprawling graveyard. The main gate was closed with a big padlock. With a car honking its horn behind me I mounted a stone wall, climbed over the railing then dropped into thick foliage. I put my elbows out and pushed through dense bushes until there was no resistance. The graves stones all looked similar, black white, grey, all about the same size. I’d never seen many Goldbergs, Steinbergs, Goldmans and Bachmans. There was nobody there. Why was the cemetery closed and locked - don’t Jewish people visit graves at weekends?

                                   

Brian was from an affluent expelled from two schools for laziness and wanted to be a dress designer. His father strongly opposed this and instructed his son to "report for duty" at the family's furniture shop. However in December 1952, Brian was conscripted to do his national service and sent to in London. On returning to Liverpool he worked his way up the ladder of the expanding family shop business and became a direct of NEMS (North End Music Stores) which sold musical instruments.

 

He’d seen The Beatles in issues of Mersey Beat and posters but saw them one dinner time at Cavern Club on in November 1961. It all started here.  Brian went into the dressing room (described as being "as big as a broom cupboard") to chat to the group. Soon he arranged a meeting with them and was soon managing them. A contract was drawn up but because they were under 21, McCartney, Harrison and Best had to have the legal consent of their parents to enter into a contract.

 

Brian had no experience of managing groups but his swarthy manner had an influence on the fab four: they went from wearing jeans and leather jackets to suits and ties, played a set of songs in a certain order (than stop/start songs when they felt like it), stopped smoking, drinking or eating on stage. He also encouraged them to enact a synchronised bow at the end of their performances.

 

Even though Brian started charming and smarming the publicity wheel his group were still without a recording contract and didn’t have any hits. At this point nobody knew what a worldwide musical missile The Beatles would become. He travelled to London many times to visit record companies but Columbia, Pye, Philips, Oriole and Decca all said no thanks. EMI said yes and a 9-year deal was signed. At this point The Beatles were still performing in Hamburg and weren’t known outside Merseyside.

 

If you want to know more about his story the link is : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Epstein

 

 

 

 

 

Outside the house in London where Brian killed himself…