92 Facts About Brian Epstein


Brian Samuel Epstein was a British music entrepreneur who managed the Beatles from 1962 until his death in 1967.

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Brian Epstein was born into a family of successful retailers in Liverpool, who put him in charge of their music shop, where he displayed a gift for talent-spotting.

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Brian Epstein first met the Beatles in 1961 at a lunchtime concert at Liverpool's Cavern Club.

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Brian Epstein attempted to get the Beatles a recording contract, eventually securing a deal with EMI's Parlophone label.

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Brian Epstein accompanied them to the United States, where he was besieged by merchandising offers, but had signed away 90 percent of the rights in advance.

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Brian Epstein was born on 19 September 1934 in 4 Rodney Street, Liverpool.

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Brian Epstein's parents moved him from one boarding school to another, including Clayesmore School in Dorset, Liverpool College, and a Jewish school in Kent.

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Brian Epstein spent two years at Wrekin College in Wellington, Shropshire, where he was taught the violin.

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At Wrekin, Brian Epstein suffered from the strict culture, possibly in part as a result of his suppressed homosexuality.

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Brian Epstein fell in love with the arts, particularly theatre, and it was his one consistently successful school subject.

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Shortly before his 16th birthday he sent a long letter to his father stating that he wanted to become a dress designer, but Harry Brian Epstein was adamantly opposed, and after serving a six months' apprenticeship at another company his son finally had to "report for duty" at the family's furniture shop on a £5 per week wage.

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In December 1952, Brian Epstein was conscripted to do his national service as a data entry clerk into the Royal Army Service Corps, and was posted to the Albany Street Barracks near Regent's Park in London in spring 1953, where he was often reprimanded for not collecting his army pay.

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Brian Epstein used this posting to explore London's high culture for the first time and visited local relatives.

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Brian Epstein did not want his parents to find out, so he worked as a department store clerk until he had earned enough money to buy a train ticket back to Liverpool.

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On returning home he confessed his homosexuality to a psychiatrist—a friend of the Brian Epstein family—who suggested to Harry Brian Epstein that his son should leave Liverpool as soon as possible.

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Brian Epstein revealed that he would have liked to produce a theatre play, or even act, "in something by Chekhov", or a "straight drama" by John Osborne.

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Brian Epstein's assailant was sentenced to serve 2 years in jail, and Epstein was not charged.

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Brian Epstein worked "day and night" at the store to make it a success, and it became one of the biggest musical retail outlets in Northern England.

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Brian Epstein often walked across the road to the Lewis's department store where Peter Brown was employed.

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Brian Epstein watched Brown's sales technique and was impressed enough to lure him to work for NEMS with the offer of a higher salary and a commission on sales.

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Brian Epstein first noticed the Beatles in issues of Mersey Beat and on numerous posters around Liverpool created by his commercial artist associate Tony Booth, before he asked Mersey Beat editor Bill Harry who they were.

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Harry had previously convinced Brian Epstein to sell the magazine at NEMS, with the Beatles featured on the front page of its second issue.

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The Beatles had recorded the "My Bonnie" single with Tony Sheridan in Germany, and some months after its release Brian Epstein asked his personal assistant Alistair Taylor about it in NEMS.

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Brian Epstein asked Harry to arrange for Brian Epstein and his assistant Taylor to watch the Beatles perform.

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Best and his mother—Mona Best, owner of the Casbah Coffee Club—were impressed with Brian Epstein's professional image as were the other Beatles, because he was a businessman, wore expensive suits, and owned a large car.

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Brian Epstein then formed a management company, NEMS Enterprises, telling his parents that managing the group was only a part-time occupation and would not interfere with the family business.

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Brian Epstein later told Taylor, "Well, if they ever want to tear it up, they can hold me but I can't hold them".

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The Beatles argued for a smaller percentage, but Brian Epstein pointed out that he had been paying their expenses for months without receiving anything in return.

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On 1 October 1962, four days before the release of "Love Me Do", Brian Epstein signed Lennon and McCartney to a three-year NEMS publishing contract.

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In 1963, Brian Epstein advised the creation of Northern Songs, a publishing company that would control the copyrights of all Lennon–McCartney compositions recorded between 1963 and 1973.

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Brian Epstein had no prior experience of artist management, yet he had a strong influence on the band's early dress code and stage demeanour.

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McCartney was the first to agree with Brian Epstein's suggestions, believing that they reflected Brian Epstein's RADA training.

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The Beatles later found out that Brian Epstein had paid Decca producer Tony Meehan to produce the studio recordings.

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Brian Epstein left the meeting optimistic, but Martin "wasn't knocked out at all" by the "lousy tape".

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Brian Epstein later renegotiated EMI's royalty rate and, on 27 January 1967 the Beatles signed a new nine-year contract with EMI.

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Brian Epstein was aware the Beatles had discussed replacing Pete but hoped it would not happen, and he was not fond at this point of Starr.

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Brian Epstein agonised about the decision, asking the Cavern's disc jockey Bob Wooler if it were a good idea.

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Brian Epstein thus had to secure paid work for Best if he was to leave the group.

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Brian Epstein consulted a lawyer, who informed him that the Beatles could not simply expel Best under the terms of their contract; they could only legally disband and then re-form with Starr.

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Brian Epstein planned to have Best become the drummer for the Merseybeats as an alternative that would satisfy his commitment to provide Best work.

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Brian Epstein searched for drummers who could temporarily fill in for Best until Starr was available to join the Beatles, such as Joe Brown's drummer, Bobby Graham.

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Brian Epstein offered the position to Johnny Hutchinson of the Big Three, a group that Epstein managed at that time as well.

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Brian Epstein called Best and Neil Aspinall to his office on Whitechapel Street, where he informed Best that the Beatles would replace him with Starr.

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Brian Epstein pressured them to continue touring, but they steadfastly refused.

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Brian Epstein once offered all four Beatles a fixed wage of £50 a week for life .

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The group declined Brian Epstein's offer, believing that they were worth much more than £50 a week.

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The Beatles were constantly in demand by concert promoters, and Brian Epstein took advantage of the situation to avoid paying some taxes by accepting "hidden" fees on the night of a performance, which he always kept in a brown paper bag.

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Brian Epstein sent his roster of artists on "package tours" around the UK, a common practice at the time.

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Brian Epstein once revealed that even though he was entitled to be reimbursed by acts for expenses incurred, he paid for his own flights to and from the United States, as he did not see himself as being part of a touring group.

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Brian Epstein unintentionally snubbed the nation's first lady Imelda Marcos when presented with an invitation to a breakfast party.

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Brian Epstein had politely declined on behalf of the group, as it was their policy never to accept such official invitations.

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The Beatles and their entourage were ejected from their hotel on the same day and given a police escort to the airport, even though Brian Epstein had publicly apologised for the misunderstanding in a televised statement, which was not seen or heard because of static.

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Brian Epstein added the Vic Lewis Organisation to NEMS in 1966, and later brought impresario Robert Stigwood in as a manager.

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Brian Epstein once offered to sell the control of NEMS to Stigwood, without telling any of his artists about the offer.

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When Beatlemania swept the UK in November 1963, Brian Epstein was besieged by novelty-goods companies desperate to use the Beatles name on plastic guitars, drums, disc racks, badges, belts and other merchandise.

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Brian Epstein refused to allow the Beatles to endorse any product directly, but through NEMS Enterprises he granted discretionary licences to companies who were able to produce good-quality products at a fair price, even though many companies were already selling products without a licence.

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Brian Epstein asked chartered accountant James Trevor Isherwood to set up a company to collect Lennon and McCartney's PRS payments—called Lenmac—which he did on 12 May 1964.

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All of Brian Epstein's expenses were deducted from his artists' gross income, including office rental, staff wages, travel, telephone costs, and entertaining expenses.

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The Beatles' PRS income increased rapidly, so Brian Epstein asked Isherwood to devise a way of avoiding the tax that Lennon and McCartney would owe.

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Brian Epstein suggested to Epstein that during the flotation Lennon and McCartney should move to houses near Isherwood's own in Esher.

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Brian Epstein promoted new works by writers such as Arnold Wesker in productions that occasionally fell foul of the Lord Chamberlain for including "obscene" content or nudity.

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In 1966 Brian Epstein reinvented it as a music venue featuring various US acts.

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On 20 February 1967 Brian Epstein sacked the manager of the theatre, Michael Bullock, for lowering the safety curtain the previous day shortly before the end of a Chuck Berry concert that Brian Epstein was attending with Lennon and Starr.

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Brian Epstein hosted a regular part of the US television show Hullabaloo, filming his appearances in the UK.

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When Lennon married Cynthia Powell, on 23 August 1962, Brian Epstein served as best man and paid for the couple's celebratory lunch afterwards.

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Brian Epstein's homosexuality was not publicly known until some years after his death, although it had been an open secret among his friends and business associates.

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Brian Epstein wore the uniform when cruising the bars of London, but was arrested one night at the Army and Navy Club in Piccadilly by the military police for impersonating an officer.

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Brian Epstein later stated that his first homosexual experience was when he returned to Liverpool after being discharged.

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Brian Epstein spent a year studying acting at RADA, but dropped out shortly after his arrest for "persistent importuning" outside a men's public toilet in Swiss Cottage, London.

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Brian Epstein went on holiday to places such as Amsterdam, Torremolinos and Barcelona or Manchester at weekends, as the attitude towards homosexuals there was more tolerant than in Liverpool, even though Liverpool did have several gay bars.

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Brian Epstein explained his use of the drug as the only means of staying awake at night during numerous concert tours.

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In 1964, Peter Brown suspected that Brian Epstein was taking too many pills, as he would often cough at parties, which Brown realised was Brian Epstein's way of secretly putting pills into his mouth without anyone noticing.

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Brian Epstein later became heavily involved in the 1960s drug scene.

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Pepper was being recorded, Brian Epstein spent time on holiday, or at the Priory Clinic in Putney, where he tried unsuccessfully to curb his drug use.

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Brian Epstein added his name to an advertisement that appeared in The Times on 24 July 1967, which called for the legalisation of cannabis, the release of all prisoners imprisoned because of possession, and research into marijuana's medical uses.

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Brian Epstein immediately asked to play, as he was known for his love of gambling.

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Brian Epstein once saw Epstein put a Dunhill lighter worth £100 on the table, then lose it during a game of cards.

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Brian Epstein often lost thousands of pounds by playing baccarat or chemin de fer, but would stay at Curzon House the whole evening, eating an expensive meal and drinking fine wines.

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Brian Epstein attended a traditional shiva in Liverpool after his father died, having just come out of the Priory Clinic where he had been trying to cure his acute insomnia and addiction to amphetamines.

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Brown thought that Brian Epstein sounded "very groggy" and suggested he take a train back down to the nearest railway station, in Uckfield, instead of driving under the influence of Tuinal.

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Brian Epstein replied that he would eat something, read his mail, and watch Juke Box Jury before phoning Brown to tell him which train to meet.

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Brian Epstein died of an overdose of Carbrital, a hypnotic preparation combining the barbiturate pentobarbital with the bromide carbromal, in his locked bedroom on 27 August 1967.

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Brian Epstein was discovered after his butler who, having been unable to rouse Epstein via his locked bedroom door, called Epstein's PA, Joanne Petersen.

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Brian Epstein attended and failing to rouse Epstein called his doctor who, along with the butler, broke down the door and found Epstein in his bed, appearing to be asleep, a book opened near his hand and some digestive biscuits on the nightstand.

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Brian Epstein was found on a single bed, dressed in pyjamas, with various correspondence spread over a second single bed.

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When confronted with the notes, Brian Epstein told Brown that he would be grateful if Brown did not tell anyone, and that he was sorry he had made Brown worry.

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Brian Epstein explained that when he wrote the note and composed the will he had simply taken one pill too many, and that he had no intention of overdosing, promising to be more careful in the future.

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The coroner, Gavin Thurston, told the Westminster inquest that Brian Epstein's death was caused by an overdose of Carbrital and ruled it as an accidental death.

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The pathologist, Dr Donald Teare, stated that Brian Epstein had been taking bromide in the form of Carbrital for some time, and that the barbiturate level in Brian Epstein's blood was a "low fatal level".

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The service at the graveside was held by Rabbi Dr Norman Solomon, who said, disparagingly, that Brian Epstein was "a symbol of the malaise of our generation".

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Brian Epstein was once asked about the future of the Beatles and their "fresh honesty", which the interviewer thought could be "corrupted by time".

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On 27 August 2022, the 55th anniversary of his death, a bronze statue of Brian Epstein was unveiled near the former site of his family's NEMS record shop in Liverpool.

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