The news Dec. 16 that Brian Epstein will be honored next year at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame was received with acclaim by some of those associated with him when asked for comments by Beatles Examiner.
“About time, too!,” exclaimed Tony Bramwell, former CEO of Apple Records and author of “Magical Mystery Tours: My Life With the Beatles.” “Brian was Brian. Without him The Beatles could possibly never made it out of Liverpool. It was his determination that moved the the whole phenomena into international success, There will no doubt be those know-it-alls who will criticize him, but they were not there. Brian was inventing the process of Super Manager without any blueprint to work from(!) and with a small organisation built up the Greatest Management/Agency in the world. He well deserves the recognition. I hope I'm invited to the ceremony!!!!!! But probably won't be!!!!!”
Beatles scholar Martin Lewis, who'll emcee the upcoming Fest for Beatles Fans in New York in February to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their arrival in New York, said, “I am thrilled and delighted that 15 years after the campaign was launched to have Brian Epstein honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame it is finally going to happen. Brian Epstein has long been the most under-sung hero across the Beatles' universe. First of all, to be crystal-clear, everything in the Beatles' world starts with their incredible talent. Without their genius for music there would have been nothing. But, as my dear friends Derek Taylor [RIP], Ray Coleman [RIP], George Martin and Andrew Loog Oldham all made clear to me over the years, without Brian Epstein's passionate belief in them and without his Herculean efforts, the Beatles' genius might well have gone undiscovered by the world.”
Lewis says it was Epstein's faith in the group that took them to international success.
“At the point that Brian encountered the Beatles in November 1961,” Lewis said, “the core trio of John, Paul and George had been together for nearly four years (since February 1958). Despite all their hard work and endeavors their fame had not spread beyond a few hundred devotees in Liverpool and Hamburg. It was Brian's unshakable belief in them that led to them reaching George Martin's ears and nurturing skills as a producer. It was Brian who tirelessly promoted them to the music industry, the media and the outside world. It was Brian's drive that secured them their unprecedented three consecutive appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show" in February 1964. It was Brian who finally convinced Capitol Records to sign them for America (after that company had rejected them on no less than four occasions).”
Lewis also said Epstein worked to expand the Beatles' talents, and later developed his own as the Beatles became more independent.
“And between 1961 and his tragic accidental death in August 1967, it was Brian who protected the Beatles from the inevitable industry pressures to simply repeat themselves musically as a sure-fire commercial choice. As the Beatles' progressed into deep and uncharted musical waters that might have lost them their original fan-base, far from fretting about this potential threat to his income, Brian took immense pride in their creative development and ensured that they had the freedom to develop their nascent talent into the full-blown genius that has been recognized and cherished for the past half-century.”
Lewis had been a champion for Epstein's induction and had been behind a website helping to make that happen.
“I attended the first three Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies in 1986, 1987 and 1988. It was at the 1988 ceremony at which the Beatles were inducted that I first discussed with my old mentor Derek Taylor the idea that Brian Epstein should be inducted into what was then called the 'Non-Performers' Section.' But Brian had died over 20 years earlier and we realized that there were very few people in his corner to argue the merits.
“Then, in a twelve-month period in 1996-1997,” he said, “we lost two of Brian's greatest champions - Derek Taylor and Ray Coleman. At that point, I realized that this was a responsibility that I had a duty to take on. In the years following the launch of the campaign I was told by many people that Brian was just too long gone to be remembered by the right people. But when George Martin accepted my invitation to write the introduction for the new edition of Brian's autobiography that I was curating in 1998, he also agreed to be the first signatory of the petition I launched on the BrianEpstein.com official website calling for Brian's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just as George Martin's signature in 1962 got the Beatles' career moving, I believe that his signature in 1998 eventually inspired the wonderful news we now have.”
Vivek Tiwary, author of the graphic novel and the script for the movie “The Fifth Beatle,” which begins shooting next year, said, “I am absolutely thrilled that 2014 will see Brian Epstein receive some of the recognition he has so long deserved as one of Rock and Roll's greats. And I think he would have been particularly pleased to be honored at the very same time as his friend and fellow visionary Andrew Loog Oldham. Congratulations, Brian and Andrew!"
Lewis adds, “In April 2014, as the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' US breakthrough that he was so instrumental in helping - some 47 years after the passing of this inspirational British, Jewish gay man who was such a key figure in the success of the Beatles, the world can finally say a 'Kaddish' for his soul and a hearty 'Mazeltov' to the man who brought the world the Beatles.”
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