Brian Epstein - The Beatles' Manager

9 November 1961 - Brian Epstein Visits the Cavern Club to See The Beatles

Brian Epstein – “Can't Buy Me Love”: the highs and lows of The Beatles’ manager.

Brian's grandfather, Isaac Epstein, was born in Hodan, Lithuania, and came to England at the age of 19. He met his future wife - whose family came from Poland - in Liverpool, and they got married. Brian's father Harry was the third of six children. Brian was the eldest son of Harry and Malka Epstein - pronounced Epstine, not Epsteen, according to his family. Promoter Sid Bernstein - pronounced Bernsteen - recalled laughing with Brian about how their names were spelled the same but pronounced differently.

Brian was born in 4, Rodney Street (Liverpool) in the centre of Liverpool on 19 September 1934, and grew up in the family home of 197 Queens Drive (Belle Vale, Netherley and Childwall). After Brian found fame, he moved his parents away from his childhood home and out to a beautiful bungalow in Gateacre called Treetops (Woolton), though sadly Brian’s father Harry died just a few months before Brian. Queenie eventually moved into a flat in Crompton’s Court, near Calderstones Park. He would also visit his grandparents’ home in Anfield, now Epstein’s Guest House (Walton: Anfield Road), where he developed a friendship with Joe Flannery, later to become a Beatles promoter.Brian didn't enjoy school, and didn't settle in any of the many expensive fee-paying schools to which they sent him.

The schools Brian attended were:Prestatyn Nursery School, North WalesBeechenhurst College, Liverpool (Woolton)Southport College, LancashireCroxton Preparatory School, LiverpoolLiverpool College, Liverpool (Allerton)Wellesley School, Liverpool (Toxteth)Beaconsfield Jewish School, SussexClaysmore School, SomersetWrekin College, Shropshire.

Brian was labelled a problem child at Liverpool College, expelled for being lazy and having a lack of concentration, though his family always thought it was more likely anti-Semitism. He took on the responsibility of dressing the windows, and this became an art form in itself. He took on this role when he became manager of NEMS (Liverpool), and his window displays in their Whitechapel store were famous. It was here that he was able to announce that he had the record “My Bonnie”, and of course later that he had all the new record releases from The Beatles. Before then, Brian had made friends with an actor called Brian Bedford who persuaded Brian to audition for the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts. As with most things in his life, it didn't last, and he soon returned to Liverpool.

After successfully running the record department in the NEMS shop in Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool, Epstein's family decided to open a new shop: NEMS in Whitechapel (Liverpool).

Once they became famous, we didn't see the real ‘them’. Those that knew them in Liverpool and Hamburg had seen the real Beatles, exactly as John said; if you haven't seen The Beatles in their black leathers in Liverpool or Hamburg, you haven't seen the real Beatles. Those that had seen them understood.

This is an excerpt from the book, which you will need to read the full interview.

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