Part two of the documentary on Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Epstein was lured into the world of gambling, sex and drugs and in 1967 he was found dead.
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This programme contains some strong language.
Although it's 1.00pm at home, Grandstand begins six hours earlier.
The time now is just after 7.00am
and I'm on the observation platform at London airport.
By February 1964, Brian Epstein had steered The Beatles to glory on both sides of the Atlantic.
Not only were they number one in the US Top 20,
on their first visit there they'd achieved the highest TV audience ever on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Back home, Epstein's stable of stars had occupied the top position in the charts
for 37 weeks in 1963.
In a year, he'd gone from running a record department in his father's store,
to being one of the world's most successful impresarios.
When he returned to Britain, he was still living at his parents' home in Liverpool.
# She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
# She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah,
# With a love like that
# You know you should be glad...#
COMMENTATOR: This is the music Liverpool has sent around the world.
# I think it's only fair
# If I should hurt you, too
# Apologise to her
# Because she loves you
# And you know that can't be bad...#
INTERVIEWER: The Mersey Sound, a phrase you don't like,
was coined because of the crop of groups coming from Liverpool.
-It was a peg to hang it on.
The Liverpool area seemed to give it some strength.
But you've moved to London. Is that a mistake?
It's a pity. I've moved with great reluctance,
because I like Liverpool and its people, obviously.
I probably owe the city quite a lot.
REPORTER: How much to do get? What's your percentage?
Well, it's fairly well known in broad terms that I take 25%.
Some people accuse you of taking more than that.
People say you might have 60% of them,
and 85% of your other artists.
Well, I don't. I make no difference between any of the artists.
They all have similar contracts.
# Little children, you'd better tell on me
# I'm telling you, little children
# You'd better tell what you see...#
REPORTER: What about the staff to support this?
Well, it varies slightly, because we've just moved to London.
We're gathering new staff, but it's approximately 25.
-What sort of size of empire do you have?
-We have seven acts.
I call them acts, because five of those are groups
and two are soloists. That's Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas.
Gerry and the Pacemakers, Tommy Quickly,
The Fourmost, Cilla Black and Sounds Incorporated.
Let's talk about your family. What sort of family is your family?
Middle class background, perhaps a little better.
Shop - you know, retail stores.
Old, established. It was started by my grandfather.
Principally in furniture. When I left school, at the age of 16,
I had ambitions to be a dress designer and an actor, but my family weren't keen on this.
I allowed myself to be swayed into the business.
Were you into music at school?
'I was taught the violin and was interested in classical music.
'I went to a lot of concerts in Liverpool.'
-Do you think that modern pop is good music?
-I don't know about good. But it's an art form anyway.
-An art form? You pitch it as high as that?
INTERVIEWER: Would you be here without Brian Epstein?
-No. Nobody wanted to know about Liverpudlians,
until Brian Epstein came on the scene.
It was a handicap if you were one, because of the accent.
How's he changed you?
Erm... You'd have to ask my parents and friends. I can't see any change.
But I know I'm more temperamental now.
# Anyone who had a heart
# Would take me in his arms and love me too
-# Who, couldn't be another heart that hurt me
# Like you hurt me and be so untrue
# Anyone who had a heart
# Would simply take me in his arms
# And always love me
# Why won't you? #
I think he wanted to live in one of the more exclusive residential areas.
You know, he was newly rich.
At the time, Brian was very very into modern erm...
architecture and modern furniture.
This suited perfectly, because it was a brand new building
and considered rather splendid in those days,
of erm...the early '60s.
Now, I looked at it recently, it doesn't look too splendid at all.
George and Ringo, who were bachelors, had no homes.
He found them accommodation in the same building.
They looked to Brian to help them find somewhere and he found this.
-He has enormous respect for them.
They are called "the boys". His other acts are "my other artists".
The boys called him Eppy. He respects them and their music,
unlike a lot of managers who make a fortune out of their clients and, I think, despise them.
What about taste? Is he interested in the effect he's having in this worldwide mania?
I think it's hard for him to affect The Beatles, as far as taste goes.
They admire him, because he's got some.
They like the fact he has a Bentley, a Jaguar and a coloured servant.
They like the riches and the glamour that his life has
and the fact that he talks differently from them.
The fact that he's well off anyway, they like,
and the fact that he's used to wearing a dinner jacket. They think he's a cut above.
Every morning, Mr Epstein had the same thing for breakfast.
He liked it, er...
with the segments separated.
He didn't even have sugar with it.
He always sort of... had a white shirt and a dark suit...
..and black shoes. Always black shoes.
The tea was just ordinary tea bags. Nothing grand.
I think he had two spoons of sugar.
Every day, come rain or shine, breakfast consisted of the same thing.
Grapefruit and tea, until the cows came home.
He said I was his "personal man".
But I mean, he wasn't...
He'd never had anybody as a servant for himself.
He was learning.
Because we hear that Epstein came from this well-to-do family...
But if you looked at his apartment during the day, it was all G-plan.
Let's go to Hullabaloo, London. Mr Brian Epstein!
Hello again from London Hullabaloo.
This week, it is my pleasure to introduce a beautiful girl
who recently a name for herself - Marianne Faithfull.
I know we looked at them as being very provincial, very straight
and sort of a little bit behind London people,
which is very patronising and not really true. Brian crossed the line.
He was quite a lot in the grown-up world,
but also able to play with us.
# I'll send away all my false pride
# And I'll forsake all of my life
# Yes, I'll be as true as true can be
# If you'll come and stay with me...#
'I think that what Brian Epstein realised
'was that we were almost a new form.'
In some ways, the actual artists - and I consider myself one of them...
There wasn't much that had gone before that was quite like me or John Lennon or Mick Jagger.
The only person who was like Mick - I remember discussing with Brian -
was somebody like Nijinski or Nureyev or Valentino, maybe.
But still, it was a not much understood form, yet.
But Brian understood all that.
He was a grown-up and we needed a few people like that.
How long is it since you laid the first track on As Tears Go By?
-About six months ago.
-What was the story behind it?
I met Andrew Oldham.
He asked me to make a record, as he thought my face would sell.
-What did you think?
-Fine. Perhaps I have.
-Had you sung before?
-Not at all?'
He was going on a hunch and an idea
and he was very afraid of being shot down in flames, of being unmasked.
If you think about the period,
of England at this time and being gay, and being powerful,
and being rich, and having a vision -
it was all quite a combustible and dangerous mix that could go up in flames any minute.
But amid all the gaiety and glamour,
how ruthless does Epstein find the business?
-INTERVIEWER: How ruthless do you think you've got to be?
Not very. It may be a fault of mine that I'm not ruthless enough.
Do you feel that you exploit teenagers?
I develop teenage talent, not exploit it.
# Goes on day after day
# Torn in every way
# So ferry across the Mersey
# Because this land's the place I love
# And here I'll stay
# They rush everywhere...#
Brian wasn't an ordinary man.
He got fascinated by things and ran with them 100%.
Brian and I always went on holiday together.
The first big holiday we took,
since he became a rich impresario, was in the spring of '64,
when we went to Spain for the bullfights.
A lot of these matadors came from poverty-stricken families
and were found and developed by these powerful managers.
He was very knowledgeable about bullfighters, since he managed the only English one, Henry Higgins.
I think his fascination with bullfighting and bullfighters was the danger of it.
Brian was always fascinated by dangerous situations.
It's almost as if danger was a turn on for him.
he used to talk about this instant confrontation with danger and death,
right before his eyes.
Brian was a man of many moods.
As many people who met him, if you interview each of them,
you will get an impression of a multi-faceted person.
Bullfighters to him were what The Beatles were to many music fans.
They were his idols.
I suppose bullfighting isn't that surprising. It's a spectacle.
It's grandiose. It attracts a lot of other highly intellectual and interesting people.
We saw Ken Tynan there, who we knew from London,
who introduced us to Orson Welles and they were part of this group,
who went from bullring to bullring, all around Spain.
They were fascinated to meet him and we became part of them.
It was great fun for Brian to be hanging out with those people,
who respected him as a known quantity.
He'd become famous. They respected him.
He'd turned the entertainment world around.
For the address of Elvis Presley.
5451...and it's Colonel Parker?
Fine. Thank you very much indeed. Bye-bye.
Write a cable there. "Mr Presley, stop.
"Boys and myself, er...
"Regards and best wishes."
BOB DYLAN: # Ramona, come closer
# Shut softly your watery eyes
# The pangs of your sadness will pass as your senses will rise...#
Were you timid about going into new technical areas without a great deal of experience?
Not really, because one studies quite a lot, from an outsider's point of view
and I managed The Beatles and the others without any experience.
WABC is the...the er... broadcasting station.
< Yes. The ABC network.
< It's one of the three big ones in America.
I gave erm...an interview to them...
-'Brian was also getting adjusted to an American mentality.
'As he became more involved with the US,
'he became more open, professionally and personally.
'He felt like a liberated person.'
-< There's nothing like this in England?
You can't call into a programme for a conversation.
Because the boys have been speaking on the telephone and listening to it on the set.
PAUL McCARTNEY: We were in New York
and Bob Dylan came to visit with a couple of people, friends of his
and they were the people who had the party.
-Hello, WI 10-10!
-'That was the first night we all smoked pot.'
The manager's name is Mr Brian Epstein.
George and I were on this bed and Brian was lying grandly, as he would.
He was very grand. Brian's... Oh!
This was Brian's expression. "What do you think?" "Oh!"
You knew exactly what he meant.
So he's lying on the bed, beautifully dressed.
I have this image of him with tiny butt, like an old tramp,
trying to be graceful with this terrible little fag end.
We all got stoned and we're giggling. It was giggling time.
We're giggling uncontrollably and Brian was looking at himself, going "Jew". Hysterical.
# You wouldn't read my letter if I wrote you
# You ask me not to call you on the phone...#
McCARTNEY: We would go to a late-night drinking club.
There were often all men there, but we didn't go, "Ooh, it's all men."
It was just that happened to be the nature of the club.
-There was a bar called Kelly's Bar on 45th Street
between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, which was a famous servicemen's bar.
Just across the street from Kelly's was the Peppermint Lounge.
There was another country-and-western place - The Wagon Wheel.
We used to go there. That was a rough and wild place and Brian liked that too.
Brian was always attracted to a, sort of, crass macho person.
A hard hat construction worker type.
# You gave up the only one that ever loved you
# And went back to the wild side of life. #
He told me about the fact that he had to move his business to London,
that he had to expand a great deal.
There was a lot of work to do. He didn't like office work.
He did like to have around him people he knew.
He said there were lots of people in London who would love to work for The Beatles' management.
He was leery of a lot of people's motives, so I agreed to work for him.
I knew nothing about pop music,
the music or entertainment business. I didn't like pop music.
At the time I joined NEMS, there were a lot of outstanding problems, matters, concerns.
One of the most difficult items was that concerning the merchandising of Beatles related objects.
Wigs, pens, guitars, heaven knows what and it transpired, I found out,
that manufacturers had approached Brian and asked him for the rights
to manufacture and sell Beatles related objects.
The deal which they had done with Brian
was for them to do the licensing, collect the income
and pay NEMS, for the account of The Beatles, 10% of the proceeds.
Looking at it now, and then, this was extraordinary. It should've been reversed.
The Beatles should've got 90% and the licensors,
who were in fact no more than agents, should have got a small agency commission.
Brian realised it was a bad deal and he only got 10% for The Beatles
from all these enormous payments being made.
The effect of...this...
..unhappy experience on Brian was to depress him very considerably.
McCARTNEY: To give him his due, we did not know about those things.
British people at that time didn't know about that stuff.
I think the problems arose in as much as he was from Liverpool.
He had the theatricality, but he hadn't done this before.
I think some of the deals that he got us were great for the time, but not as it turned out.
I can say, "He could've done that," but no-one knew about that then.
It was very early days.
We were making it up as we went along. Everything.
What Brian did in business, what we did in our social lives, was all...
We did it as we went along.
Brian and I would be in the office during the day and he had the NEMS company to run.
At night, we would have dinner and then go to clubs.
You couldn't go just anywhere, because they'd be mobbed.
They were very small, incredibly small.
The first one I remember was The Ad Lib, then there was The Scotch.
Later, there was The Cromwellian. They were very exclusive.
You had to be a Rolling Stone or a Beatle or some such person.
MAN READS: "It was best to arrive at midnight.
"If you were one of the chosen few, you'd be let in to join the cast of gossip-column fantasy.
"Business rumours abounded in The Scotch.
"We learnt how little Epstein got for The Beatles,
"how a manager was threatened for wooing a group,
"and who gave whom the clap."
As a manager, you had to aspire to be Brian, manager of the biggest success ever.
There was this innate jealousy of not being as big as he was.
Therefore, to have dinner with him and get second-hand the experience and all you wanted to ask.
Everybody wanted to ask what it's like being The Beatles or their manager.
Do you ever envy The Beatles?
-What DON'T you envy about them?
Er... Well, obviously, I couldn't do what they do.
It's not my job.
Stress has been on being gay or fancying John Lennon,
but it was more being a loner and then part of a group. That was it.
That brought him into a broader group. He wanted to be one of them.
That's what he could never have.
Just once, he stood at the back with the girls at an American concert
and he screamed with the girls.
He said it was what he always wanted to do.
He'd spent his whole life being restrained.
He became the mad fan he wanted to be.
I thought he was a very nice, sweet man,
who was very lonely.
He was lonely because he couldn't find a partner.
The only partners he could find were the ones that he had to pick up.
He had two affairs that I knew of.
One was an actor called Michael and it was wonderful.
Then he had this lover boy that he picked up in California
and brought back from their second tour of America.
This was Dizz Gillespie.
Dizz looked a bit like Gene Pitney.
A clean-cut sort of young man.
As far as I was concerned,
it was a nice time, because Epstein was playing host.
-All the time I knew him, I don't think he had any long-term relationship.
I think, partly, it could've been he wasn't comfortable being gay
and therefore, I suppose that led to an unsuccessful relationship.
The inability to have one, because it was not an ideal way to live.
Subconscious as it may have been, I don't think that was unusual.
he wanted me to cook dinner for his mother and father.
He and Dizz were there, so I went out and did the usual thing.
Grapefruit, large Dover soles, veg and a simple pudding.
And we were...halfway through the meal when Dizz stood up...
and said something nasty to Epstein and walked out the flat,
whereupon Queenie and Harry were sitting there dumbfounded, not knowing what to do.
Then Epstein left the flat, leaving me and Harry and Queenie there and...
they decided to get their coats, because there wasn't going to be a complete meal that evening.
As they got ready to leave the flat, Queenie said to me, "Lonnie, look after my son."
ANNOUNCER: The number one showman of the world and most importantly,
-a truly great American. Mr Ed Sullivan!
-Thank you, Ted!
DEAFENING CROWD NOISE
Now, ladies and gentlemen...
honoured by their country, decorated by their Queen...
..and loved here in America. Here are The Beatles!
It was always "the boys". Brian always referred to "the boys".
And always the security right - have you taken care of this?
Planning in advance for their safety.
The stage was right there, behind the pitcher's mound on second base.
I was standing right about there... when the boys came out...
with Brian, as proud as he could be.
They rushed out...
to incredible screams, to the stage.
# It's been a hard day's night
# And I've been working like a dog
# It's been a hard day's night
# I should be sleeping like a log
# But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
# Make me feel all right...#
SCREAMING DROWNS OUT MUSIC
-In terms of popular music, The Beatles express a cross quality
of happiness and tragedy.
This is what great entertainment is made up of.
# ..a hard day's night
# I should be sleeping like a log...#
I'm very much a Beatle fan. I realise I've always been like this.
I felt, probably, everything that any erm...male Beatles fan has ever felt.
All the things I've liked is what the fans like.
And more, because of the personal relationship
and the marvellous quality in their music and general manner is that they, in fact,
do original things as they go along. Their songs are new.
So are their performances, in different, small, subtle ways.
# I had a hard day's night...#
PAUL McCARTNEY: We can't read music.
But what we do, we do by ear. We just picked it up and put it down.
We don't bother to analyse it, because it's not worth it.
# You make me feel all right
# You know I feel all right
# You know I feel all right. #
-Brian was in unchartered waters.
When Brian came to America, there were no groups to fill stadiums or Madison Square Garden.
We had Elvis, in a limited sense...
Brian created a lot of these things.
The idea of touring stadiums
and large arenas and organising all these things was new.
So Brian was breaking new ground. It became THE manager image.
To this day, Brian is the image everyone aspires to.
It was the first of the ballpark concerts.
The world totally - of show business - totally turned around,
just as it did a year before at Carnegie Hall.
It changed show business.
# Sometimes a man might want to cry
# Sometimes a man might want to die
# He wonders why he's standing all alone
# It's because he's got no love to call his own...#
A typical day for me was to get to work at ten, go up to the office.
As I passed his bedroom, there were often notes left for me.
They could be anything from "Wake me at three"...
Three o'clock in the afternoon. They could be...
some money in an envelope. "Please bank my happiness."
He may have gone to a club, gambling.
The downstairs... Downstairs was the staff quarters.
His housekeeper and her husband lived here.
You went up stairs to the sitting room. Behind that was the study.
The second floor was his suite.
You went in through his dressing room, then into his bedroom.
Then through there to his bathroom, which was unique. All white.
The whole of one wall was El Cordobes. It was very imposing.
Then the rest of the top floor was two rooms knocked into one.
It was the office by day, the play room by night.
It was where he had his memorabilia
and his present from Elvis that Elvis and Tom gave him.
It was just full of Brian's treasures.
It was where people went at night to play and at the weekend, I put my typewriter under my desk.
BILLY J KRAMER: I would see Brian on important occasions.
If it was my birthday, he'd show up.
He'd always show up with a gift and take me out to dinner.
When you asked if he changed, I don't think so.
I think people changed towards him.
Let's face it, he had a difficult life.
People say he made a fortune, but there was a lot of pressure.
He was in charge of a lot of people.
I got annoyed with Brian spending more time with The Beatles.
I'd say, "How come you've gone a week with The Beatles and one day with me?"
He'd say, "Gerry, these four guys are the biggest stars.
"You're a little light bulb."
I used to get jealous, but I realised in the end,
Brian was right. He had to give them more time.
It's the capacity to take a risk voluntarily
that is quite rare and, I think, to be admired.
We all run endemic risks when we cross roads, don't we?
But some people seek risks and take risks voluntarily.
I think this is a spirit that is to be admired.
It built the prosperity England enjoys today.
But gambling is what you make of it.
It can be squalid or romantic.
Brian and I looked for other places, the more exclusive gambling clubs.
The most interesting one at that time was the one John Aspinall ran in Berkeley Square,
which was the Clairmont Club.
That was very chic and I think we're just about to go past it.
It's above Annabel's, which is world renowned.
I think we're coming up to it here, now.
This is the Clairmont Club. Just here.
With the blue door.
Lord Lucan was there quite often.
There were high stakes. It was big drama.
-INTERVIEWER: Are you, in your opinion, a particularly good businessman?
-As a businessman, fair.
I've got a business background
and probably a reasonable business brain.
I'm no sort of genius.
What are your defects? Why aren't you better than you think you are?
I'm probably...sort of...
too conscious of ideas, rather than erm...
finance behind ideas.
# Here I stand
# Head in hand
# Turn my face to the wall...#
Soon, there were so many acts vying for his attention.
Of course, every act went to NEMS expecting to be treated like The Beatles.
Consequently, there were many acts that didn't happen.
# Each and every day
# I can see them laugh at me
# And I hear them say...#
Brian was ambitious for his business
and he wanted to diversify a great deal,
hence his acquisition of the Savile Theatre, which we all had high hopes for.
A number of the artists were not very successful, either.
All these were counterbalanced by the continuing success of The Beatles
and Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers, who were high earners and very popular performers.
MARIANNE FAITHFULL: He may not have been the world's greatest businessman.
He may well have made mistakes. He probably did. Not that I care.
I couldn't care less about licensing T-shirt deals.
It just isn't interesting.
I don't think it's bad to not be good at that thing.
He obviously wasn't very good at that, so you could pick holes in Brian Epstein, if you wanted to.
..to me...had a sort of golden...
I could see he had this golden future, which wasn't going to be just managing The Beatles and Cilla.
He was in the English impresario tradition.
I can't remember all their names, but Binky Beaumont comes to mind and all those kind of guys.
He fits into the Noel Coward genre.
He really was in that great actor/manager tradition, actually
and his greatest moment, for me, was the Savile Theatre.
It didn't last very long and everybody's forgotten about it.
INTERVIEWER: Were you any good as an actor?
Not at the time. I like to think I may have been.
Has it left you with a distaste for or a real taste for theatre?
-A real taste for theatre.
I would like so much to produce and...
..dare I say it...act in a play.
What sort of plays?
Possibly something by Chekhov or a modern straight drama.
What sort of dramatist?
Osborne. Something that one knows about.
Managing, managing artists - what does a manager do for the artist?
Let's assume The Beatles. Four bright boys - why couldn't they cope with this?
They wouldn't be bothered to do so, as they are.
-Would they be where they are now without you?
-No, I don't think so.
They were playing around the clubs in Liverpool and having great fun.
I don't think they would have bothered to do anything about it or do it right,
because there's so much work involved in what we call the management,
or the organisation, of The Beatles that they couldn't do it themselves.
Do they need YOU as a manager or could anybody manage them who knew the technical side?
I don't think that anybody could manage them,
because I don't think The Beatles would BE managed by anyone else.
-Is it this personal relationship -
-I shouldn't say that.
I think that it's true.
That was the beginning of the horrendous tours of 1966.
That was us arriving at Munich airport, Germany, in June, I think, 1966.
Everything had become difficult.
There'd been Germany, which we'd done on the train, which hadn't been easy.
It was all that kind of business of hiding away in rooms with sealed...doors,
with wet towels, so nobody could smell the marijuana being smoked.
And then we went to Japan, where there was an attempt on their lives
and this right-wing group promised they would be assassinated at this time.
This was immediately followed by the Philippines,
where the awful Mrs Marcos invited us to lunch
and it was Brian's policy not to go to official functions.
She turned it round as if it was a stab at the Philippine people. There was a riot.
I think our lives were in danger.
It was very bad.
There were five sort of real big funny-looking fellas,
with guns and the rest of the gear.
They just had arranged... It was so obvious they'd arranged
to give us the worse time possible before we arrived at the airport.
Brian, literally, was so ill with nerves and horror and feeling it was his fault.
On the plane from Delhi to London, he came out in hives all over his skin.
So bad that the pilot radioed ahead and an ambulance met us at the airport.
INTERVIEWER: Will you change The Beatles' itinerary
to avoid areas where radio stations burn their records and pictures?
If any of the promoters were so concerned
and wished the concert to be cancelled, I wouldn't stop them.
AMERICAN MAN: The Beatles made a statement that they're better than Jesus himself.
The Ku Klux Klan, being a religious order, will come out to The Coliseum.
I will have 50 men in robes and some in the stadium.
McCARTNEY: We'd had enough of it, with the trouble we ran into.
I finally agreed with the other guys. I thought we'd tour forever.
I realised it was getting to be a problem.
-Brian said this would be the last time The Beatles would perform together.
He said, "They will never tour again."
We didn't go to the last concert.
On that day, erm...
'Dizz showed up miraculously. This is after two years.
'Brian assured me - I mean - that he's changed and he's there because he loves Brian.
'That evening, when I went to get my briefcase,
'it was gone, so was Brian's briefcase and so was Dizz gone. That depressed Brian.
'That accounts for his first major depression.'
That was the beginning of him... of his loss of self-confidence.
Starting that January, '67, Brian began to go downhill.
And that was the era that er... That was the acid era.
He was taking so many drugs. Amphetamines, which fuck you up
and leave you deeply depressed and then you take uppers and so forth.
So the combination of the amphetamines, the LSD, the hash -
who knew what, in fact, was causing what?
AMERICAN DJ: We are very happy to welcome Brian Epstein of England.
It's a delight to have you on the show.
-Welcome to America.
-And all that kind of jazz.
A year's difference - it has been great in many fields.
How has it changed as far as your own thinking...
Has there been a change for you?
It's changed because today it takes a long time to break through with anything important.
Nothing that's important breaks through quickly, except...
In England - many of your listeners won't know about Jimi Hendrix,
who is nothing to do with me.
But you can take, for example, Jimi and he's broken through big now.
I suppose to the general public in England, it looks like an overnight success,
but no star or...success is born overnight.
Of course, when I first came over here with Billy Kramer,
I only knew two people in New York.
And...really, it was beyond everything then.
Because I didn't... know what was going on.
One acted sensibly, with common sense...
..as much as anything else, but the success
with the records was so unbelievable...
and the acceptance of the boys... was so great...
that one didn't quite know what was going on.
I sold records over a counter in a Liverpool store for a long time.
Six years, I think.
It was only because I was getting bored with doing that,
because I could almost anticipate demand,
that I went away for a little while, to Spain, actually... and came back...
and... then The Beatles thing happened,
but that was a long time ago. That was 1961.
It took a long time to break through.
JOANNE PETERSON: I felt he was having more and more trouble coping.
Not with The Beatles, they were never a problem for him to cope with.
It was the general pressures of life.
The Beatles never got put on hold.
He never didn't carry out his duties where The Beatles were concerned. That was the love of Brian's life.
The Beatles were his life.
He couldn't conceive life without them. That became a problem for him.
When we did finish touring,
I suppose, Brian felt his role was decreasing.
That was a sadness to him. I think that was what was happening.
We started to feel we didn't need much management - we're now making Sgt. Pepper.
Brian kept out. He kept out of our face in the studio.
We actually wanted him to visit more.
He was very... "No. I won't interrupt. I'm just...two seconds. Got to go."
-I did worry about that man.
Sometimes he'd talk. He'd ask about my kids and say how lucky I was.
That seemed to be one of his things...I think loneliness.
For all his standing in the crowd, he was lonely.
He was very shy. Most of the blase bit was acting.
He was a very shy man.
Other times he'd be very morose and he wouldn't say a bloody word.
I rushed round to the house.
I can't remember, it was late at night, and broke the door down.
Outside the house was the Bentley Continental which is not conducive to carrying bodies around in.
I rolled him up in a blanket, threw him over my shoulder
and got him into the car.
We rushed him up to Putney Heath.
Peter Brown was worried that someone might see. Who'd see at that time, wrapped in a blanket!
They pumped him out.
He was moaning and crying. I was watching them pump him out.
MARIANNE FAITHFULL: The drugs already there were hard to handle.
Being on acid was not the easiest place to live.
But we managed.
-He wasn't mainstream. He had no middle-class values.
He was the Pied Piper of any new...any new attitude.
-He wanted to get out of the day-to-day activity which he knew he wasn't any good at any more.
He didn't have the fire and the depression was getting deeper.
The thing was to eliminate the business
of having to look after the other groups, managing them, agenting for them and so forth.
ROBERT STIGWOOD: He just wanted to change his life.
He wanted to retire from the music business
and actually manage bullfighters in Spain.
He wanted me to become joint-managing director of NEMS
and look after everything there - except The Beatles.
He gave me an option, I think it was for six months.
If I paid him, er..£500,000, then the controlling shares -
it was 51% because his brother and a few others were involved -
they'd be transferred to me and my company.
I would control the company - including The Beatles.
PAUL McCARTNEY: There was no question for us that if we were to be managed, it would be by Brian.
He said, "Robert Stigwood wants to buy you." We said, "Oh, yeah?"
He said, "We're having a meeting with him and one of his people." We said, "We're not keen, Brian."
We waited till the meeting. They were talking about the conditions.
We said, "We're not going to be sold to ANYONE.
"You can continue to manage us. We're not going to be sold."
We said, "If you do actually manage to pull this off,
"we can promise you one thing, we will record God Save The Queen for every single record we make
"and we'll sing it out of tune!
"That is a promise. If this guy buys us, that's what he's buying."
MUSIC: "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles
# Love, love, love
# Love, love, love
# Love, love, love...#
# Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
# It's easy
# All you need is love... #
-By June, he was beginning to emerge from depression.
He had more positive moments than depressive moments.
At that time, he was in a very creative mode.
Brian was always concerned about doing something bigger and better than anyone had ever done.
He arranged for the worldwide broadcast of All You Need Is Love.
This was to be the biggest TV show in history.
The Beatles were seen live by 400 million people around the world.
#..Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
# It's easy
# All you need is love
# All you need is love. #
'24 Chapel Street, London SW1. August 23rd, 1967.
'Dear Nat, just got yours this 21st. Sunday and Monday I'd like to take a yacht trip
'on similar lines to that which we took last year
'when I came to the States in connection with Jesus Christ.
'Maybe we could have all manner of pretty, mortal persons aboard.
'I hope I'm not asking for too many things, but I want this to be a good trip for us both.
'Love, flowers, bells, be happy and look forward to the future.
'With love, Brian.'
This was the last letter that Brian had written me. It was written three days before he died.
This is also the letter that was introduced at the inquest in London,
as evidence the Brian Epstein did not commit suicide but that his death was accidental.
At the time of the August Bank Holiday in 1967,
Brian invited Peter Brown and myself to stay with him in his house in Sussex.
We joined him on Friday.
-His mother stayed, about ten days, at Chapel Street.
He adored his mother and she adored him.
This was not long after his father had died. That was one reason why he wanted to look after her.
After she went back, he felt like playing and what was offered was a weekend in the country.
JOANNE PETERSON: At 4pm we walked down the stairs of Chapel Street and he was in a very relaxed mood.
He seemed very sunny.
He said, "Have a good weekend. I hope it's an enjoyable weekend."
He got in the car and as he pulled away, he turned and waved and smiled.
That was the last time I saw Brian alive.
-There was an idea of some young men who would come for the weekend
and would be fun to have around.
They kept saying that they were coming and then didn't come.
Brian, in his agitated state, was confronted
with the fact that there was this long weekend yawning ahead with no apparent entertainment arriving
and all he was stuck with was two of his oldest friends.
GEOFFREY ELLIS: Brian decided that he would go up to London.
-He assured me that he was going to be all right.
Nobody knows for sure, I don't think, what happened that evening.
He called me the next afternoon, late afternoon, in very, rather, woozy speech.
for not coming back and for maybe letting us worry.
Although we knew he was in the house as I'd spoken to the staff.
He was going to stay in London for another night.
He was relaxing at home in bed and so Peter Brown and I were left again to our own devices in the house.
JOANNE PETERSON: On the Sunday, I got a call from Antonio and Maria,
they were the housekeeper and butler.
Antonio said that he was very concerned that Brian had come back from Sussex on Friday.
His car hadn't moved since Saturday, and it was now Sunday lunchtime.
He was very concerned about Brian.
I got to Chapel Street, I had a key and let myself in.
I knocked on the door and called out his name. I called, "Answer the door! Are you there?"
I then called down to Sussex and spoke to Peter Brown.
I asked, "Why did Brian come back?"
He said that Brian was bored. I said, "I'm very concerned. Brian hasn't been out of his room since Saturday.
"I'm going to have them break the doors down."
Then I tried Doctor Cowan. He was away.
I called Peter back. He suggested I call his doctor, John Galway.
I called him and said that I was concerned about Brian and could he come over. He said he would.
I called some other people.
I found Alistair. I asked him to come to the house.
John Galway arrived. Antonio and John broke the door down.
I could just see part of Brian in the bed.
ALISTAIR TAYLOR: Joanne opened the door and pointed at the stairs.
As I was halfway up, I heard splintering wood.
The doctor was looking at Brian.
Brian just looked asleep.
The room looked so normal. There was a plate of biscuits on the bed,
some correspondence, typical of Brian.
A half bottle of bitter lemon. No sign of any alcohol.
On the bedside-table there were eight pill bottles - prescribed drugs.
They were all half full.
I searched the room for anything incriminating and I found one joint in a draw.
JOANNE PETERSON: Harry had died six weeks before.
Queenie came and stayed with Brian.
He was very attentive, he was very caring about his mother - that she had lost Harry.
He very much cared about her grief and all the rest of it.
So, the idea that he would kill himself six weeks after Harry died, and that he would do that to Queenie
just didn't seem possible.
If it was suicide, I can't imagine why he would have done that.
Queenie lost her son and her husband within six weeks.
RINGO STARR: We were in Wales with Maharishi, we'd just gone down.
I don't know. Somebody came up to us.
The press were there cos we'd gone down with this strange Indian.
They said, "Brian's dead."
We were...I was...
..stunned and we all were.
The Maharishi, we went in to him, "What? He's dead."
He was saying, "Forget it. Be happy."
REPORTER: I understand that Maharishi conferred with you. What advice did he give you?
He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have about him, to keep them happy.
Because any thoughts we have will travel to him, wherever he is.
-REPORTER: Had he met Mr Epstein?
-No, but he was looking forward to it.
REPORTER: What were your feelings?
RINGO STARR: The feeling that anyone has when someone close to them dies.
A little hysterical.
The other feeling is, "What the fuck? What can I do?"
I knew that we were in trouble then.
I didn't have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music.
I was scared.
I thought, "We've fucking had it now."
MUSIC: Johnny Remember Me by John Leyton
# When the mists are rising and the rain is falling
# And the wind is blowing cold across the m-o-o-r
# I hear the voice of my darling
# The girl I loved and lost a year ago
# Johnny, remember me
# Well it's hard to believe
# I know that I hear her singing in the sign of the wind
# Blowing on the tree-tops
# Johnny, remember me
# Yes, I'll always remember
# Till the day I die
# I'll hear you cry
# Johnny, remember me. #
It's my memory of him in his polka-dotted scarf at the back of the crowd, very proud of "his boys".
No-one else was going to stack up against Brian, in my mind.
They couldn't have the flair, the wit, the intelligence that Brain had.
They would be money-managers. Brian was far more than that.
It gave people the opportunity to make approaches, but they were destined not to work.
Brian was just too good.
# Some other guy now
# Has taken my love away from me
# Oh now, some other guy now
# Has taken away my sweet desire, oh now
# Some other guy now...#
Subtitles by BBC Subtitling 1998
Part two of the documentary on Beatles manager Brian Epstein. By the mid 60s, Epstein was lured into the world of gambling, sex and drugs and in 1967 he was found dead in his London mansion at the age of 32.