Brian Epstein – manager of the Beatles
Brian Epstein was the music world’s best-known impresario, manager of the Beatles.
Brian Samuel Epstein was born on September 19, 1934 in Liverpool into a middle-class background.
While on National Service, Epstein underwent cruel (though at the time compulsory) army psychiatric treatment for his homosexuality.
He spent three terms at London’s RADA before returning to a more modest retail position at his father’s Liverpool furniture business. Later Brian opened a record section in the music department, which proved a big success. So, the young entrepreneur soon opened his own separate branch, North East Music Stores, later an enormous music-business empire. On 9 November 1961 Epstein met The Beatles in The Cavern Club.
This meeting was the start of the most famous story in popular music. The group received almost no money for performances, records and licensing in the early days. But Epstein had soon become more than a manager, he oversaw The Beatles’ image, clothes, publicity and overall professionalism as the group began to make serious progress. The Beatles agreed for Epstein to take 25 per cent of their earnings, which would have placed him among the wealthiest Svengalis in the world.
His contract with the group due to end in 1967, Epstein had put The Beatles on at several US stadia, culminating with Candlestick Park in August 1966.
After the decision of The Beatles to stop touring, Epstein summed up the whole chapter in his life. However, he was not going to curtail his activities. Brian’s company was turned into a huge organization that worked with many famous musicians of his time.
In the last two years of life, due to constant difficulties at work, Brian had become dependent on sleeping pills. He suffered from insomnia, constant irritability.
Epstein gave his last ever interview to the Melody Maker three weeks before he died. On August 27, 1967 Epstein’s lifeless body was found on the bed at his Belgravia home. There were bottles of pills but there was no suicide note. He was thirty-two years old. A small service in Liverpool was not attended by the devastated Beatles. The best-known impresario was buried at the Liverpool Long Lane cemetery.