Without the determination, magnetism, vision, good manners, respectable clothes and financial security of Brian Epstein, no one would ever have heard of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. In Liverpool, in December 1961, Brian Epstein met the Beatles in his small office and signed a management deal. The rest may be history, but it's a history that Epstein created, along with a blueprint for all pop groups since.
Out of the public eye, Epstein was flamboyant and charismatic. He drank, gambled compulsively and took drugs to excess. But people remember his wit, charm and capacity to inspire affection and loyalty. That's when he wasn't depressed, even suicidal. Epstein was Jewish in a society filled with anti-Semitism. He was homosexual at a time when it was a crime to be gay, and from his teenage days to the end of his life he suffered arrests, beatings and blackmail--all of which had to be kept secret.
In In My Life: The Brian Epstein Story, Debbie Geller tells the story of Epstein's complicated life through the reminiscences of his friends and family. Based on dozens of interviews--with Paul McCartney, George Martin and Marianne Faithfull, among others--plus many of Epstein's personal diaries, this book uncovers the truth behind the enigmatic young man who unintentionally caused a cultural revolution--and in the process destroyed himself.
Brian Epstein's death by drug overdose in 1967 cut short a career marked by scandalous secrets and phenomenal success. As manager, Epstein cleaned up the Beatles, gave them cute haircuts and promoted them tirelessly, telling anyone who would listen that they would be "bigger than Elvis" until, surprisingly, they were. Born to an upper-middle-class Jewish household and pushed into joining the family business, Epstein transformed his father's furniture store first into the best music store in Liverpool, then into a music empire. All the while, he struggled with loneliness and unhealthy relationships, forced to hide his homosexuality from the public and always insecure about the motivations of others. This new look at his life (the first since Ray Coleman's 1989 bio, The Man Who Made the Beatles) was culled largely from interviews presented in the award-winning BBC documentary The Brian Epstein Story, directed by Anthony Wall and produced by Geller. The interviewees include people who worked with Epstein, family members and musicians, including Gerry Marsden (of Gerry and the Pacemakers) and Paul McCartney, as well as Beatles producer George Martin and '60s Britpop scenester Marianne Faithfull. Also excerpted here is Epstein's 1964 autobiography, Cellarful of Noise, along with extracts from his unpublished diaries and writings. The anecdotes, presented without commentary in documentary-style quotations, present a complicated, intimate view of his life and the lives he affected. Persistent rumors, such as those suggesting a sexual relationship with John Lennon, are alternately denied and confirmed, leaving some mysteries while shedding light on Epstein's life as a whole. B&w photos.