Rob Sheffield on the Beatles’ breakup and Peter Jackson’s upcoming film

By |2020-09-10T10:56:56-07:00September 2, 2020|Allen Klein, Breakup, Brian Epstein, Documentaries, Film, Let It Be|

This piece by Rob Sheffield (whose most recent book is Dreaming The Beatles) just came out in Rolling Stone. Sheffield uses the lens of the new Peter Jackson documentary due out next August and put together from the same sessions that yielded Let It Be to consider, again, just why the Beatles came apart as and when they did. There's nothing especially new in Sheffield's analysis, but he deserves credit for making some good points trenchantly. Peter Jackson, of "Lord of the Rings" fame. Sheffield summarizes the situation thus: "In the end, it’s really a story about four friends trying to hold [...]

Craig Brown’s “One Two Three Four”

By |2020-08-13T09:21:58-07:00August 13, 2020|Allen Klein, books, Brian Epstein, Mark Lewisohn, Reviews, Uncategorized|

Is it possible to write anything fresh and interesting about the Beatles in 2020? Improbably, Craig Brown has managed to pull off this feat in One Two Three Four: The Beatles In Time. It helps enormously that Brown departs from the marching-in-strict-chronological order structure used, understandably enough, in many accounts of the band. Brown is the author of 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, as well as multiple parodies, and he brings a light (but not lightweight) touch to the proceedings. He's willing to go down rabbit holes after interesting tidbits, to summarize long-drawn-out situations simply, and to share his own investment in [...]

Rest in Peace, Brian Epstein

By |2017-08-31T12:47:49-07:00August 27, 2017|Brian Epstein|

Brian Epstein, photographed by David Bailey, 1964 Chris Carter's ever-excellent "Breakfast With the Beatles" reminded me that today is the 50th anniversary of the death of Brian Epstein, the original Beatles obsessive. I've written a lot about Brian on this here site, as my own journey through showbiz has proven how important support people are to any showbiz success story. Brian was uncommonly intelligent, honest and decent in a business not known for these traits; what's more, he genuinely loved the Beatles, as a group and as individuals, and would do anything to protect them. He was an essential man. [...]

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Cilla Black Sings Alfie

By |2015-08-05T11:43:52-07:00August 5, 2015|Brian Epstein|

Attached to an email from the indefatigable "Fifth Beatle" (a graphic novelization of the life of Brian Epstein -- now being published in Japan!), was this wonderful clip from 1965. In it the dearly departed sings "Alfie" the theme song from the Michael Caine classic. ...which you should see, if you haven't. (Kate and I will be watching "The Ipcress File" on TCM this Thursday, speaking of. Caine impressions to follow.)

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Cilla Black, 1943-2015

By |2015-08-03T14:06:24-07:00August 3, 2015|Brian Epstein, Liverpool, Obituaries|

Entertainer Cilla Black, whose career was championed by Brian Epstein and who was a close associate of the Beatles in the 1960s, died yesterday at her home in Spain. Thanks to veteran Hey Dullblog commenter Hologram Sam for passing on the information to us first. Black and McCartney in the studio, 1968 Black (whose birth name was Priscilla White) came a long way from her start as a coat check girl at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. She had two number one hits in 1964, "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "You're My World." But her first single, in 1963, [...]

1967 Brian Epstein Interview with Murray the K

By |2014-07-27T18:57:57-07:00July 27, 2014|1967, Brian Epstein| Taking a moment on this lazy Sunday to pass along a mildly interesting recording I found last night: the infamous 1967 Brian Epstein interview with WOR-FM's Murray Kaufman ("Murray the K") from March 1967. Brian was in the US announcing the addition of Robert Stigwood (and Stigwood's acts The Cream and The Who) to his company NEMS. The coolest bit comes at the 15:00 mark, where Brian mentions turning "Sgt. Pepper" into a TV show. Is this what became "Magical Mystery Tour"? Could be -- according to this page, MMT began in April, shortly after this interview. Of course we know [...]

Brian Epstein Marriage Tidbit

By |2015-01-01T15:33:15-08:00May 9, 2014|Brian Epstein|

Mrs. Brian Epstein? (or Mrs. Lionel Bart? or Mrs. John Lennon?) MIKE GERBER • Happy to report that The Fifth Beatle, Vivek J. Tiwary's graphic novel about Brian Epstein, continues to carve out a bit of space in the culture. Here is an interesting interview with Tiwary. Apparently Tiwary's a strong supporter of marriage equality, and the book is affiliated with Freedom to Marry; in the course of discussing marriage equality, Tiwary says the following: There’s a line in the book, during a television interview where Brian’s being asked about the Beatles’ romantic lives, and Brian said “I think Beatles [...]

Critics at Large reviews “The Fifth Beatle”

By |2014-03-08T11:09:37-08:00March 8, 2014|alternate history, biography, books, Brian Epstein, Reviews|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  While the world waits for the sunrise, and Hey Dullblog for the opinion of honorary Brian Epstein Fan Club president Mike Gerber, take a look at David Kidney’s review of the fantastic-seeming graphic novel The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by writer Vivek Tiwary and artists Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker. Posted over at my “other” blog outlet, Critics at Large, Kidney’s review gives enough flavor of the visual and textual of the book to get you wondering how much you’d be willing to spend on one of its numerous permutations:  Standard; Deluxe; Super Deluxe Limited Edition, signed; [...]

The Fifth Beatle graphic novel

By |2013-09-06T08:25:36-07:00September 5, 2013|books, Brian Epstein|

MIKE GERBER • In keeping with our recent spate of blather on Brian Epstein, I wanted to alert Greater Dullblogania about something that I am certainly getting for Christmas (with the Lewisohn book, it's looking mighty Beatle-y this Noel). It's a new graphic novel about Brian called "The Fifth Beatle." They've got a snazzy website, and a book trailer, which I'm pasting below.

What if Brian Epstein Lived?

By |2019-08-12T23:47:52-07:00August 22, 2013|1967, Brian Epstein|

TOO COOL CATS: George Martin and Brian Epstein, undated. (Before we begin: Any readers not familiar with the details of Beatles manager Brian Epstein's life might wish to watch this 1998 BBC documentary, "The Brian Epstein Story." It's the best potted history of the man.) MIKE GERBER • Commenter Annie said this in a recent comment: Question: George Martin is quite adamant in his ’78 book that the Beatles were definitely going to cut Brian loose. What do we think about that? I haven't read All You Need Is Ears, and it's not at the library down the street, so [...]

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