The UK's Heritage Foundation announced in a press release March 20 that it will honor the Beatles manager Brian Epstein with a Blue Plaque at the historic site where Epstein's company NEMS occupied offices from the height of Beatlemania in 1964 until shortly after his death in 1967. The ceremony will be held at noon June 29 at Sutherland House, 5/6 Argyll Street, London W1, adjacent to the London Palladium.
The announcement was made at a press conference for “Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles,” the play about Brian Epstein which begins previews in London July 30 and opens Aug. 5 at Leicester Square Theatre in London after originally playing in Liverpool.
"It is totally fitting that Brian Epstein should be honoured in his 80th birthday year, and at one of the most prestigious show business locations in the world, right next door to the London Palladium, where his clients The Beatles, Cilla, Gerry and Billy J. all performed,” said David Stark on behalf of The Heritage Foundation. “I'm delighted that the current owners and managing agents of Sutherland House have given permission and their blessing for the plaque to be erected, and am sure it will give pleasure and be of enormous interest to the thousands of tourists and music aficionados who pass by the site each day, not realizing that this was the place where so much of the Fab Four's busy day-today schedule was meticulously planned by Brian and his staff.
“The Heritage Foundation is proud to honour the man who paved the way for so many others in the music business, and who is still recognised as being one of the most visionary, hard-working and totally honest managers of all time, without whom The Beatles phenomenon might never have happened." The event is expected to be attended by many of his contemporaries, friends, family members and others.
The Heritage Foundation has been unveiling blue plaques in the UK marking historic sites associated with stars of music, comedy, film and TV for 20 years. Some recent honorees include John Lennon and George Harrison (at the site of the old Apple building on Baker Street); Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees; Spike Milligan, comics Morecambe & Wise (on whose TV show the Beatles once appeared); record producer and songwriter Joe Meek; Peter Quaife of The Kinks and Keith Moon of The Who. It has also raised thousands of pounds for charity.
The Foundation's David Stark, a songwriter and musician and drummer/founder of the Trembling Wilburys tribute band, has worked in the music business since 1974 and was honored by Paul McCartney in 2006 as a “Companion of LIPA” (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) for his “outstanding contribution to the music industry.”
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