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The Brian Epstein Story Paperback – 20 Nov 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (20 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571201563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571201563
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 778,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Ray Coleman was the first to write about the life of the Beatles' Svengali, in his typically thorough 1989 biography Brian Epstein; and with an estimated total of 400 Beatle books already available, there is inevitably a sinking feeling when yet another comes along to chronicle the rise of the world's most extraordinary entertainment phenomenon.

So it is all the more to Debbie Geller's credit that she brings fresh perspective to a familiar tale with this collection of transcripts, culled from 1998's two-part BBC documentary. As well as obtaining access to Epstein's unpublished correspondence, she has rounded-up an impressive array of former chauffeurs, attorneys, employees and ex-Beatles to tell their tales of the shy salesman who chanced upon a scruffy quartet in a Liverpool cellar and went on to help them conquer the world. Particularly illuminating are the details of Epstein's business deals: "I think...Brian did good deals", Paul McCartney says, "he looked to his dad for business advice, and his dad really knew how to run a furniture store in Liverpool. This was a little bigger than that!"

Back then, the full impact of The Beatles was impossible to foresee--but, when it did finally come, it was immense and immediate. A month before he died, aged only 34, Epstein wrote of his beloved charges: "The boys have gone to Greece to buy an island. I think it's a dotty idea but they're no longer children and must have their own sweet way". Had he lived, one can only speculate how different things might have been for The Beatles, and the world. --Patrick Humphries --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The Brian Epstein Story, by Debbie Geller, provides an entertaining and definitive snapshot of the manager of the Beatles - and 'If anyone was the fifth Beatle it was Brian', as Paul McCartney said - through the reminiscences of his friends and family, including the likes of George Martin and Marianne Faithfull.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book written by Debbie Geller & edited by Jon Savage is a FaberBooks/BBCArena co-production based upon the airing of a special of the same name on BBC2 that aired over Xmas and Boxing Days, 1998. The book appears to be much of the dialogue we heard in the 150 minute broadcast and many of the "outtakes " that never made it to air due to editing towards timeslot constrictions. (Unlike the A&E (USA tv network version) that butchered the the original down to 45 minutes & commercials). Previously, the most complete book about Brian Epstein besides his own auto biography "Cellarful of Noise", was "The Man who made the Beatles " by insider Ray Coleman who also wrote the exceptional 2 volume "John Lennon" biographies. The book offers a few early excerpts of Brian's diaries, and some new clues regarding how Epstein coped with his internalized homophobia over his own homosexuality in a time in the UK when it was illegal to be gay. Details glossed over in the past dealing with Epsteins prescription drug and alcohol addictions are finally out in the open, as are his unfortunate history with rehabilitation clinics and suicide attempts which occurred in the year long spiral toward his accidental death August bank holiday weekend, 1967. A companion book definitely, to the far superior Epstein & Coleman works. ( Perhaps now the remaining Beatles will release " Cellarful of Noise - The Audiobook " which Brian Epstein recorded with George Martin in studio around the time it was released foreshadowing AudioBooks by at least a decade!
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Format: Paperback
The lovely Brian Samuel Epstein (1934-1967) - the charismatic, flamboyant, troubled and suave manager of The Beatles - would have been touched that, over forty years after his sudden death at the age of 32, people are still interested in him and the phenomenal success he experienced in his lifetime. Each year a steady trickle of devoted fans - who are usually also dedicated fans of The Beatles, too - make the pilgrimage to his grave in the Jewish Cemetery in the Fazakerley area of Liverpool (in unglamorous suroundings opposite a factory in the heart of a huge industrial estate).

Epstein was perhaps not only a victim of his own "incautious self-overdose" (as the coroner recorded at his inquest), but also of his time: The number of people dying from fatal accidents caused by overdoses of barbiturates - often mixed with alcohol - rose from 49 in England and Wales in 1945 to more than 800 in 1962 (according to The London Observer at the time). Part of the sadness of his death in the late summer of 1967 is that he did not live to experience the post-Stonewall era, during which it became possible to live out homosexuality more openly and with less danger or threat of recrimination.

Geller's book - which is actually a series of transcripts from interviews used in the BBC documentary of the same name which aired in 1998 - benefits from access to Epstein's unpublished diaries and correspondence. She has also interviewed Paul McCartney on Epstein ("There was no question in our minds that if we were to be managed by anyone it would be by Brian") as well as Lonnie Trimble, his home-help ("People couldn't really get close to Brian, because he didn't let them"), and the New York attorney Nat Weiss, Epstein's best friend (who is open about Epstein's dependency on uppers and downers).
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Format: Paperback
The book takes a format which I'm not usually a fan of - uninterrupted and unappraised quotes - but it works excellently in this context, in examining a man about whom there are so many myths and legends. It doesn't attempt to judge or assess any of the tall stories, but allows the words of the players to speak for themselves. It also trips along speedily and with real verve.
It's a real diamond for anyone looking for an insight into the managers' side of the Beatles story, with emphasis too on Epstein's other business interests, but without becoming too dry and dull.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed thus rare insight into the life of Brian Epstein, one of the all-time greats of the British pop music industry. His early death left a great void in the lives of many people and one only has to read this book to see how loved he was by those who knew or worked with him.
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