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(Credit: Joop van Bilsen / Anefo)

Music

The Beatles manager Brian Epstein honoured with a statue in Liverpool

The Liverpool Council has granted permission for a statue of Brian Epstein to be erected in The Beatles hometown. The statue comes 55 years from his death from an accidental overdose in 1967. 

Epstein managed The Beatles, and found himself as the one to ask original drummer Pete Best to leave the band. As a result, the band hired Ringo Starr, who enjoyed a camaraderie with the manager, as did George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist. Vocalist John Lennon went on holiday with Epstein in 1963 to Barcelona, an endeavour that formed the backbone of the 1991 feature, The Hours and Times. 

In his 2013 book Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years, Mark Lewisohn claims bassist Paul McCartney was a little more reluctant to accept Epstein at first but was eventually won over by the man’s foresight and business acumen. According to Jane Robbins, cousin to McCartney and one of the people who built the sculptor, the 79-year-old Beatle was deeply impressed by the edifice. 

“I don’t know if there was an actual a tear in his eye,” Robbins said, “But he was very moved to see the clay and that, I think, speaks volumes”. Robbins reckons that the statue opened up a collection of memories that have remained largely locked away for the last five decades. “When you get a likeness, people do often cry because that person isn’t around anymore.”

Robbins added: [Paul] said a few rude words but we were at a family party and I had the photos of the final clay on my phone. I showed him the photograph and he said ‘bleep, bleep, bleep Janie, that’s dead good like’. He spent several minutes looking at it and he was delighted.

“I don’t know if there was an actual a tear in his eye but he was very moved to see the clay and that, I think, speaks volumes.When you get a likeness, people do often cry because that person isn’t around anymore.”

Born on September 19th, 1934, Epstein grew up in a Jewish household. Studying theatre in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Epstein met luminaries Albert Finney and Peter O’Toole, but left the academy before completing his degree. 

He entered into sales, before happening upon The Beatles in the early 1960s. He is credited with “cleaning” up their image, having recommended that they trade their leather outfits for suits. Epstein arranged for the band to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, making the band’s name in America. 

Epstein was openly gay, at a time when homosexuality was considered a crime in England and suffered from turmoil in his personal life. He died in August 1967, just a few weeks shy of his 33rd birthday.