Brian Epstein

Highly Appreciated

Brian Epstein  (19 September 1934 – 27 August 1967) was an English music entrepreneur, best known for managing the Beatles.  After being rejected by nearly all major recording companies in London, Epstein secured a meeting with George Martin, head of EMI’s Parlophone label.  The Beatles’ early success has been attributed to Epstein’s management style, and the band trusted him without hesitation.  Epstein’s death in 1967 marked the beginning of the group’s downfall and had a profound effect on each individual Beatle.  In 1997, Paul McCartney said, “If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”  (More from Wikipedia
The closest that the Poppees ever came to covering a Beatles song is when they recorded “Love of the Loved”, an obscure Lennon/McCartney song that the Beatles never recorded.  Instead, they passed it along to Cilla Black, a protegé of their manager Brian Epstein who had been a coat-check girl at the legendary Cavern Club, where the Beatles were honing their skills in 1961.
(December 2010)
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The Beatles are well known for honing their craft in the clubs of Hamburg, Germany in the very early 1960’s, as well as in their hometown of Liverpool.  Still, there was some question back then as to whether they could be successful selling records in a non–English-speaking country, so the Fab Four were cajoled by their manager Brian Epstein and their producer George Martin into recording German-language versions of two of their biggest hits, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” in January 1964.  “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” was later released on the band’s American album, Something New about six months later. 


(April 2013)


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Though only one of the big acts came from there, other 1960’s bands were based in Liverpool.  Gerry and the Pacemakers is likely the best known; like the Fab Fourthis band was managed by Brian Epstein, and their records were produced by George Martin.  Their American hits include “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” and “Ferry Cross the Mersey”, a reference to the Mersey River that runs by the city – in case you are wondering why there has always been so much “Mersey” talk surrounding the Beatles


(July 2013)


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The Beatles embarked on what would become their final American tour in August 1966; the animosity toward the band on that tour as a result of the “more popular than Jesus” controversy contributed to the decision by the Beatles to quit touring and become strictly a studio rock band.  From Wikipedia:  “According to [John] Lennon’s wife, Cynthia [Lennon], he was nervous and upset that he had made people angry simply by expressing his opinion.”  Their manager Brian Epstein first attempted to smooth things over by holding a press conference in New York City at the start of the tour, to no avail.  


Again, from Wikipedia:  “The Beatles attended a press conference in Chicago, IllinoisLennon did not want to apologize but was advised by [Brian] Epstein and [Beatles press officer Tony] Barrow that he should.  [John] Lennon quipped that ‘if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it’ but stressed that he was simply remarking on how other people viewed and popularized the band.”  


(September 2014)


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John Lennon believes that their experience with I Wanna Be Your Man was helpful in getting the songwriting team underway; as he related in the famous Playboy magazine interview in 1980 (a few months before his assassination):  “We were taken down to meet them at the club where they were playing in Richmond by Brian [Epstein] and some other guy.  They wanted a song and we went to see what kind of stuff they did.  Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards] heard we had an unfinished song – Paul [McCartney] just had this bit and we needed another verse or something.  We sort of played it roughly to them and they said, ‘Yeah, OK, that’s our style.’  But it was only really a lick, so Paul and I went off in the corner of the room and finished the song off while they were all still sitting there talking.  We came back, and that’s how Mick and Keith got inspired to write . . . because, ‘Jesus, look at that.  They just went in the corner and wrote it and came back!’  You know, right in front of their eyes we did it.  So we gave it to them.” 


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Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas had numerous hit songs, including several Lennon/McCartney songs in Britain (Billy J. Kramer was also managed by Brian Epstein) and a major U.S. hit, “Little Children” in March 1964.  They used “with” rather than “and” so as to keep separate identities for the singer and the band.  The Dakotas by themselves had a hit instrumental in the U.K. with “The Cruel Sea”; for its U.S. release, it was retitled “The Cruel Surf” and was later covered by the Ventures.  A curious song by the Dakotas called “7 Pounds of Potatoes” – “ . . . come between me and my love”, according to the lyrics – is included on English Freakbeat, Volume 2 (both the LP and the CD)


(May 2015)


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George Harrison had something to say about Yesterday as well:  “Blimey, he’s always talking about that song.  You’d think he was Beethoven or somebody!”.  Producer George Martin also talked about the song at a later date:  

“‘[Yesterday]’ wasn’t really a Beatles record and I discussed this with Brian Epstein:  ‘You know this is Paul’s song . . . shall we call it Paul McCartney?’  He said ‘No, whatever we do we are not splitting up the Beatles.’”


(June 2015)


Last edited: April 3, 2021