Brian Epstein Finally Recognized by
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Martin Lewis - instigator in 1998 of the worldwide campaign to have Brian Epstein inducted in the Hall of Fame - invited some friends who have supported this effort to express their feelings on the occasion of this belated, but very welcome recognition of Brian. All of these tributes were freshly written and sent to Martin as of April 2014.
Martin Lewis has written his own new tribute to Brian on the occasion of his induction into the Hall of Fame. His essay - which has been published by Huffington Post - includes a detailed history of the campaign to get Brian inducted.
It may be read here.
Sir George Martin
"I am delighted that my dear friend Brian Epstein has at long last been recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has posthumously received the Ahmet Ertegun Award For Lifetime Achievement. I immediately liked Brian when I first met him in 1962 and he greatly impressed me with his passion to make the Beatles succeed. It was that passion that encouraged me to meet the band, audition them and eventually to sign them.
Throughout his years as their manager, Brian's commitment to the Beatles was total, his belief in them absolute and his tragic passing left a gap that no one could fill. His contributions to their success and the other artists he managed were enormous and crucial. He was a rarity in the music industry. In the very real sense of the word, he was a gentleman.
In 1998 I was asked to write the introduction to the reissue of Brian's autobiography "A Cellarful Of Noise" and to be the first to sign a petition calling for Brian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I was happy to do those things then as an expression of my enduring affection and appreciation for a very special man and glad now that we've succeeded. God bless Brian."
"Brian Epstein is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And about time too! I had the deep honour and great fun of getting to know Brian well in those halcyon years from 1964 to 1967 when we all seemed to cram a year of living into every week. The very essence of Brian was that he was an incredibly sweet man who cared deeply about the Beatles and everyone in his orbit.
Even though he managed a dozen other artists alongside the Beatles, and produced films and concerts (including the pioneering series of progressive rock shows at his own Saville Theatre) he somehow also managed to find time to take special care of all his friends. He was not motivated by money but by a desire to make the dreams of his artists and pals come true. How rare and special that was. I fondly remember his many kindnesses to me and wonder how he managed to do it all. Sadly he was concerned more about his friends than himself and that contributed to his accidental death.
He was only 32 when he left us but in those few years leading up to August 1967 he was always by our sides. Since then he has always been in our hearts. In the decades following his passing there seemed to be a regrettable diminishing of industry, media and public recognition for his vital role. He became an under-sung hero. That's why in recent years I have been so pleased to join with friends such as George Martin, the late Derek Taylor, the late Ray Coleman, Peter Brown, Peter Asher, Martin Lewis and Steven Van Zandt in calling for the world to stand up and remember Brian.
Now at last comes this much-deserved accolade. And Brian's unique gifts that enabled the Beatles to change the world immeasurably for the better will now be permanently lauded in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside his beloved Beatles."
"It is so fitting that Brian Epstein is now joining John in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I know John would be pleased.
In 1971, John was asked about Brian and said this: "Brian was a beautiful guy. He was an intuitive, theatrical guy and he knew we had something. He presented us well."
At the point that Brian started managing the Beatles, in January 1962, John, Paul and George had been together for five years - yet had not become known outside Liverpool and Hamburg. Brian believed in them passionately and committed himself to fulfilling the dream that John had that the Beatles could become bigger than Elvis. Which seemed impossible at the time. But Brian's tireless efforts on their behalf helped make that dream come true.
And that helped provide John with the opportunity to then commit his life and work to peace. John never forgot the love that Brian had for the Beatles and his crucial role in that wonderful voyage. Now Brian is joining John in a home where his achievements, passion and grace will be cherished forever." - Yoko
Andrew Loog Oldham
"The Beatles changed our lives. Brian Epstein changed theirs.
He made it all possible. Brian told them who they could be and helped them become it. He persevered against all odds and got his lads a recording contract and that act changed all our lives for the better.
From a tiny Cavern to cavernous Shea Stadium in three super fast, incredible singalong years. From singing Love Me Do to four hundred kids in a tiny village in 1962 to singing All You Need Is Love to four hundred million souls simultaneously in the global village of 1967... The world was given a songbook it has never stopped singing and an idea as to what a life could be about.
If Brian had loved himself as much as he loved the Beatles, he may have still been with us today. But we do still have all that they did together. And that's a gift that will never stop giving.
It's now fifty years later - and America continues to welcome Brian and I back into its generous heart - this time in the shape of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as inductees. I know that Brian is already dashing around on behalf of both of us - making sure all the exhibits saluting other honorees are perfectly presented and the needs of all the visitors attended to. As usual for Brian, taking care of others before looking out for himself."
"Brian Epstein was a wonderful and true friend who happened to create a wholly new industry - a music business superstructure - around the artists to whom he was so dedicated. I was lucky to be along for that ride, and today's artists are lucky to work in the long shadow of foresight and creativity he cast."
Peter Brown, Brian Epstein and Tony Bramwell
"Brian was wonderful to work with. He always allowed me to try my hand at anything: staging... filming.. whatever! He would also do anything for the artistes! He broke all the old rules of the London manager/agent monopoly and became the blueprint for the music business of the future! I still miss having chats about what could be done next!"
(Pictured above are, from left-to-right, Peter Brown, Brian Epstein and Tony Bramwell, at the rehearsals for the live TV broadcast of "All You Need Is Love" - Sunday 25th June 1967 - EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London.)
"Brian Epstein single handedly changed what it meant to be a rock and roll manager. Before Brian and the Beatles, the assumption was that a pop group's career was destined to be short and their impact ephemeral.
Peter Asher with Paul McCartney in 1968
Just as the Beatles changed this whole notion with their brilliant music, so did Brian with his honesty, his belief, his commitment, his faith and his avoidance of the greed and short term thinking which was the norm. Before the Beatles, pop music was not supposed to be IMPORTANT - and before Brian no one treated the musicians that way either.
He was charming and articulate but in the end his ability to make others believe (as he did) that the Beatles were the best band in the world stemmed from his own absolute conviction that it was true. And fifty years later it is clearer than ever that he was absolutely right!
I was proud to know Brian - and when I became a manager myself I looked to his determination, loyalty and style for inspiration."