Without the determination, magnetism, vision, good manners, respectable clothes, and financial security of Brian Epstein, no one would ever have heard of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. In Liverpool, in December 1961, Brian Epstein met the Beatles in his small office and signed a management deal. The rest may be history, but it’s a history that Epstein created, along with a blueprint for all pop groups since.
Out of the public eye, Epstein was flamboyant and charismatic. He drank, gambled compulsively, and took drugs to excess. But people remember his wit, charm, and capacity to inspire affection and loyalty. That’s when he wasn’t depressed, or even suicidal. Epstein was Jewish in a society filled with anti-Semitism. He was homosexual at a time when it was a crime to be gay, and from his teenage days to the end of his life he suffered arrests, beatings, and blackmail—all of which had to be kept secret.
This book tells the story of Epstein’s complicated life through the reminiscences of his friends and family. Based on dozens of interviews—with Paul McCartney, George Martin, and Marianne Faithfull, among others—plus many of Epstein’s personal diaries, this book uncovers the truth behind the enigmatic young man who unintentionally caused a cultural revolution, and in the process destroyed himself.
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With hundreds of Beatles books already available, there is inevitably a sinking feeling when yet another comes along to chronicle the rise of the world's most extraordinary entertainment phenomenon.
So, it's all the more to Debbie Geller's credit that she brings fresh perspective to a familiar tale with this collection of transcripts, culled from 1998's two-part BBC documentary. As well as obtaining access to Epstein's unpublished correspondence, Geller has rounded-up an impressive array of former chauffeurs, attorneys, employees, and ex-Beatles to tell their tales of the shy salesman who chanced upon a scruffy quartet in a Liverpool cellar, and went on to help them conquer the world. Particularly illuminating are the details of Epstein's business deals: "I think ... Brian did good deals," Paul McCartney says. "He looked to his dad for business advice, and his dad really knew how to run a furniture store in Liverpool. This was a little bigger than that!"
Back then, the full impact of the Beatles was impossible to foresee--but, when it finally did come, it was immense and immediate. A month before he died, at only 34, Epstein wrote of his beloved charges: "The boys have gone to Greece to buy an island. I think it's a dotty idea, but they're no longer children and must have their own sweet way." Had Epstein lived, one can only speculate how different things might have been for the Beatles, and the world. --Patrick Humphries, Amazon.co.ukAbout the Author:
Debbie Geller lives in New York City and is a freelance television producer and writer.
Anthony Wall has been the series producer of the Arena documentary series since 1985. He lives in London and is an award-winning director and producer of television and radio.
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Book Description St. Martin's Griffin, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M031228862X
Book Description St. Martin's Griffin, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11031228862X