On Brian Epstein

Yesterday’s Washington Post had an article on Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles. He died of a drug overdose, forty years ago today.

He was thirty-three.

You read a book on the Beatles, and he’s there, in the background. Usually, it’s something salacious about his personal life — Brian was a homosexual in a time when it wasn’t a good idea to be gay — or about his atrocious business sense — he basically gave away merchandising rights, and the Beatles earned very little.

Brian Epstein may not have been a business genius, but he was a marketing genius. He discovered other bands. He had a stable. It wasn’t just the Beatles, and he helped to shape pop music in the 1960s. He shaped the culture.

And all before he was thirty-three.

That puts a lot of life into perspective.

The point of the Post‘s article is that he’s all but forgotten today. For this Beatle-fan, not today. Brian Epstein, you did good.


One thought on “On Brian Epstein

  1. Hi. Thank you for this.
    Actually, he was 32 ~ he died 3 weeks before his 33rd birthday.

    I could go into explanations defending his merchandising “blunders” ~ after all, in the UK it was almost an unknown thing to sell celebrity-related materials much, and so Brian’s attorneys and advisors, being British and unfamiliar with Yankee brutishness, encouraged him to treat that stuff as trivial ~ so he was business-raped by the Americans a few crucial times.

    How ironic it is that, after Brian died, three Beatles decided to have an American protect their interests ~ and this American proceeded to rip them off, too. But they should have seen it coming. Klein had been stalking them ever since he first saw them ~ and when the word of Brian’s death came over his car radio, he snapped his fingers and shouted, “I’VE GOT ‘EM!”

    I tend to run off at the keyboard, sorry.
    Basically I just wanted to thank you for this post ~ late, but I had just found it. I’m going to mention your blog in my LiveJournal.


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