Brian Epstein Dies

Brian Epstein Dies

August 27, 1967

Brian Epstein Dies

      As a teenage Beatle fan, the name Brian Epstein seemed to hover around the band's news. Who he was, what he was, what he did was not nearly as important as waiting for their next song or album and hearing about them.

The Beginning of Brian

      Brian Samuel Epstein was born on September 19, 1934. The Epstein family owned a furniture store and next to it was The North End Road Music Store [NEMS]. The Epsteins later expanded and took over NEMS.

      Brian started to work at the family furniture store when he was 16 and became a good salesman. He wanted to be an actor, though, and convinced his parents to let him join the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts to learn acting. 

      His aspirations did not meet the necessary skills and he returned to the family business. 

Brian Meets the Beatles

      Epstein's father put Brian in charge of a new NEMS store. Not only did the store have pianos and radios; it had records.  The store's record department was so successful that another NEMS store opened again with Brian in charge. 

      Epstein's store also sold Mersey Beat,  a magazine that covered the local music scene. He himself became interested in that scene and began to contribute a column to it in August 1961.

      Fortune smiled on this scene as Epstein's latest store was just around the corner from a local venue called The Cavern. He heard that a band called the Beatles were very popular and played there regularly.

      On November 9, 1961 he decided to see what all their fans' and the band's youthful ruckus was all about.

      From Epstein's autobiography: "I was immediately struck by their music, their beat, and their sense of humour on stage - and, even afterwards, when I met them, I was struck again by their personal charm. And it was there that, really, it all started."

Brian and the Beatles Come Together

       Beatles and Epstein agreed in principle that he would manage them a month later and on January 24, 1962 the five of them signed a contract. Well, technically, all but Brian signed. He reportedly said later he did not sign because, "...if they ever want to tear it up, they can hold me but I can't hold them."

Brian Epstein Dies

Brian + Beatles = Beatlemania

      During 1962, Epstein's guidance, perseverance, and unwavering belief in their talent pushed the Beatles through the media's gauntlet toward success. 
  • They signed a record contract on June 4.
  • Ringo replaced Pete Best on August 18
  • The four recorded together for the first time on September 4.
  • They released their first single (“Love Me Do”) on October 5.
  • On January 11, 1963 they released “Please Please Me”
  • “Please Please Me” reached #1 in the UK on February 22, 1963
  • In November the newspapers used the word Beatlemania.

Brian Epstein Dies

      From the Epstein site:  During the time Brian managed the Beatles...their career trajectory was meteoric. There was not a single reversal of fortune in the entire 5 3/4 years. Once he died the Beatles became embroiled in a tangle of conflicts, money squabbles and personal jealousies. They had lost the one man who united them and who was capable of resolving their differences.

      ...Brian [had taken] of every aspect of the Beatles' career. When he died the difference was immediately felt. While the Beatles continued to make magnificent music, their business affairs rapidly crumbled. Within two years of Brian's death the end of the Beatles was clearly in sight. By 1970 it was all over.
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Hey Jude

Hey Jude

Released August 26, 1968

Hey Jude

The Smile Orchestra.  Played with ukulele, melodika (pianica), piano and e-bass.

Iconic notes

     Some song's first notes are so embedded in our lives that hearing them immediately transport us to a place, a time, a person, an era.

     For me, the Beatles "Hey Jude" is one of those songs. Late in the summer of 1968, just before going away to college for the first time and leaving behind the tanned friendship-ringed beautiful girlfriend whose September letters only made me miss her more. "Don't make it bad."

John and Cynthia on the verge

     Just a year before in August 1967 the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had enchanted the Beatles. On their group trip to see him, John had left behind Cynthia struggling with luggage to keep up at the station. She missed the train and  had to get a car ride to the site.

     John Lennon had met Yoko Ono in November 1966 and they began a friendship that blossomed into a close relationship when the two recorded Two Virgins on May 19, 1968 while Cynthia was away on a vacation.

     Cynthia Lennon had discovered the two of them together after coming home early from that vacation.  They separated that month and John sued for divorce accusing Cynthia of adultery, an accusation she denied. 

     On August 22, 1968, Cynthia counter-sued. Lennon did not contest the divorce. It became official on November 8, 1968.

Hey Jules

     In June Paul McCartney  visited Cynthia and Julian Lennon. Though she was now separated, Paul and she had been friends since 1957 when Paul joined the Quarrymen and she was already John's girlfriend.  Paul thought of Julian and in the car on his way out wrote the lines, "Hey Jules [Julian], don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better." 

     Paul would later change the name to Jude.

     A month later, on July 26, Paul played it for the first time to John.  John loved it from the beginning.

Hey Jude

     The Beatles recorded the song over four days: July 2929-31 July, 1 August,

     According to the Beatles Bible site the personnel were:
  • Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass
  • John Lennon: backing vocals, acoustic guitar
  • George Harrison: backing vocals, electric guitar
  • Ringo Starr: backing vocals, drums, tambourine
  • Uncredited: 10 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos, 2 double basses, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 contrabassoon, 4 trumpets, 2 horns, 4 trombones, 1 percussion
     Apple released "Hey Jude" August  26 in the US [Aug 20 in the UK].  "Revolution" was the B-side.

      It reached number one on September 28 and stayed there for nine weeks, the longest time a Beatles single was at number one. It was also the longest-playing single to reach number one.

     "Hey Jude" was the 16th number-one hit for Beatles in America, They would eventually have 20, the most of any group.

4 September 1968

     The Beatles asked Michael Lindsay-Hogg to film a promotion for the song. He had done the same for "Paperback Writer" in 1966. The idea was to film it in front of a live audience, albeit, a selected one. 

     David Frost played the part of an MC and introduced the band as ""the greatest tea-room orchestra in the world"." The audience is not seen at first and the two-tiered  orchestra, seen during the playful introductions during which the Beatles also briefly play Elvis's "It's Now or Never."  Frost plays it straight and doesn't crack a smile.

     After the last chorus, the cameras pan back and suddenly the Beatles are surrounded by that unheard audience. Now, though, they clap along and sing the famous "Naa naa naa na na na naaa...."

     They settled on the idea of filming with a live, albeit controlled audience. In the film, the Beatles are first seen by themselves, performing the initial chorus and verses, and then are joined by the audience who appear as the last chorus concludes and coda begins; the audience sings and claps along with the Beatles through the song's conclusion. Hogg shot the film at Twickenham Film Studios on 4 September 1968, 


Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

August 25, 1967

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi “The Origin of Thought”

Swami Satchidananda

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

      When looking at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair's line up, it surprises or even confuses some to see someone named Swami Satchidananda in that line up. Even with the varied approach that Woodstock and most 1969 festivals took to create their events, having a swami was unusual.
      As is often the case with music and the 60s we can "blame" the Beatles.

Beatles Meet Meditation

     Though George Harrison had played the sitar on Rubber Soul's "Norwegian Wood" in 1965 it was not until 1966 when he and wife Pattie became interested in eastern philosophy during a six-week holiday in Bombay.  

     Back in England, Pattie continued to explore meditation and later attended a lecture on Transcendental Meditation in London. 

     In 1967 Pattie read that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi giving a lecture in London on August 24.

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

     In her 2007  book, Wonderful Tonight, Boyd said, I was desperate to go, and George said he would come too. Paul had already heard of him and was interested, and in the end we all went - George, John, Paul, Ringo, Jane and I. Maharishi was every bit as impressive as I thought he would be, and we were spellbound.

     "At the end we went to speak to him and he said we must go to Wales where he was running a ten-day summer conference of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement. It started in two days' time. We leapt at it."

John Runs Ahead of Cynthia

     On August 25, 1967, the Beatles, along with Pattie, her sister Jenny, Cynthia Lennon, Beatle friend Alexis Mardas ("Magic Alex"), Mick Jagger, and Marianne Faithfull traveled to Bangor, North Wales, left for a 10-day conference on Transcendental Meditation.
     Well not quite. Cynthia left the house with John, but at the railroad station John jumped out and ahead leaving Cynthia to follow with the luggage.

     Fans, passengers, and the press filled the station and Cynthia could not keep up. A policeman, unaware of "who" she was, kept her away and she missed the train.

     Beatles personal assistant, Neil Aspinall, gave her a car ride.  She wrote in her book, John:  "the incident seemed symbolic of what was happening to my marriage. John was on the train, speeding into the future, and I was left behind."

Bangor Beatle Bunks

     The Beatles arrived and found their rooms in a dormitory at Bangor College. Not quite what their life had become.

     That night, the group went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. Also no longer accustomed to carrying cash, they had none to pay for the dinner. 

     Luckily, George, perhaps from an old habit, took off his show and took out a 20 £ note.

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 

Beatles Meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 






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