Today is Brian Epstein’s birthday. The Beatles manager was born in Liverpool on September 19, 1934.
Although there are conflicting accounts on how Epstein first learned of the Beatles, it is well established that he first saw the group perform on November 9, 1961, at the Cavern Club. At the time Epstein was well known in Liverpool as the manager of his family-owned record store, NEMS.
Epstein was impressed by what he saw and told assistant Alistair Taylor that he wanted to manage the group. Epstein met with the group a few times in December before an agreement was reached. He cleaned up their image by insisting that the group wear matching suits on stage. He also worked hard to get the group a recording contract, eventually landing the Beatles a five-year deal with EMI’s Parlophone label, which was run by producer George Martin.
The Beatles had an artist’s test at Abbey Road Studios on June 6, 1962, and on the following September 4 and 11 recorded the songs that would be released as their first single. (Details of these sessions have been covered in previous posts.)
On September 19, 1962, Brian turned 28 years old. He had been managing the Beatles for less than a year, but was confident success was just around the corner. EMI was preparing the release of the group’s first single, which would contain two original compositions written John and Paul, “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You.” The Beatles were playing one of their many concerts at the Cavern. It was a time of high expectations, which would soon be met thanks in large part to Epstein’s guidance and belief that the Beatles would one day be bigger than Elvis.
So today let’s raise a toast to Brian Epstein on the 50th anniversary of his 28th birthday.
THIS WEEK’S TRIVIA
Prior to reaching an agreement to become the Beatles manager, Brian Epstein contacted a Liverpool club owner who had previously promoted the band. Epstein wanted to be sure that the man was no longer managing the group. Who was this individual and what advice did he give Brian regarding the Beatles?
Prior to reaching an agreement to become the Beatles manager, Brian Epstein contacted Allan Williams, a Liverpool promoter who had previously handled the Beatles. Williams was the owner of the Jacaranda music club and had booked the Beatles to play in Hamburg, Germany. He assured Epstein that he no longer had anything to do with the Beatles and gave him the following advice: “Don’t touch them with a fooking barge pole, they will let you down.” Williams had severed ties with the group after they refused to pay him his commission for a series of club dates in Hamburg. Fortunately, Brian did not heed the warnings of Allan Williams.