London's Royal Society of Arts has placed a "Blue Plaque" on the original site of the Beatles' London office, on Argyll Street next to the London Palladium.
Here are comments from Paul, Ringo, George Martin and others who provided comments that were read at Sunday's commemoration ceremony:
I know Brian would have been very proud to
think that he had earned a Blue Plaque in the West End of London. He
played a very important role in guiding the career of us Beatles and
more than that he was a lovely man whose friendship we all valued and
who I will always remember with great fondness.
Love from Paul McCartney.
He started like we
did. He didn't know the game, neither did we, really. We knew how to
play, and he tidied us up and moved us on. He ran a record shop in his
father's furniture company, heard about us, or heard about them, I
wasn't even with them then; he went down to the Cavern and decided to be a manager. And he was very good.
Love and peace. Ringo
Epstein and I were very good friends from the word go, and we liked
each other a lot. We sort of ran The Beatles together but he left the
music to me and gave me enormous encouragement. The Beatles were number
one in Brian's life, as they were in mine. He was a charming man who we
lost far too soon, but will always be remembered with affection and
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. 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.
BILLY J. KRAMER:
enthusiasm and unwavering belief in The Beatles, myself and his other
artists made it impossible for the world to not sit up and take notice.
Over the years, I felt that his huge contribution to the music industry
had been totally overlooked, but, finally, ceremonies such as this,
along with his recent long-overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall
Of Fame, give Brian Epstein the recognition he deserves. Here it is 50
years later and The Beatles are still the biggest phenomenon that the
world has every known, and I attribute a great deal of that to Brian. I
was very proud to have him as my manager, mentor and friend.
GERRY MARSDEN: (Gerry & The Pacemakers)
liked Brian very dearly and appreciated the good things he'd taught me
about how to deal with people, he was a great help to me in growing up. A
year after his death, three of his acts had achieved precisely what he
said they would: The Beatles were bigger than Elvis, Cilla was on her way to becoming a very successful TV personality, and I had made it to the West End for a musical (Charlie Girl). He was a great man who crammed a lot into a short life, and made a lot of people very happy.
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. John never forgot the love that Brian
had for The Beatles and his crucial role in that wonderful voyage
ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM: (Former Rolling Stones Manager)
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. 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.
Brian was a
wonderful person and a wonderful manager who did so much for me and all
his acts, nothing was ever too much trouble for him. He always took
special care of me as the only female artist on the roster and made sure
that everything was right, and for that I'll be eternally grateful.
He'll always have a special place in my heart and I'm so pleased for him
Thank you Brian, love Cilla.
TONY BRAMWELL: (NEMS promotion executive)
put it bluntly, without Brian the Mersey Beat phenomenon would not have
escaped Liverpool. He was the one who could see further than across the
Mersey and by his own energy and determination mastered The Beatles'
career and moved the whole thing into an international industry.
GEOFFREY ELLIS: (Managing Director of Epstein's company NEMS)
whole world of popular music owes a great deal to Brian Epstein, with
his innovative and personal approach to the many aspects of management,
which ensured the success of not only those under his direct guidance
but of artists managed by others.
TONY BARROW: (Beatles publicist)
was always amazingly faithful to the stars he chose to promote, and the
style and scope of management he offered has remained a shining example
to the rest of the industry.
Here's what George had to say to Kenny Everett in July '69 (so, prior to Abbey Road's release, when the sole "stereo-only" UK Beatles release was the latest single, "The Ballad Of John And Yoko"):
Q: Does it annoy you that most people listen to your stuff on transistors and little tiny record players?
G: Uh... well, it doesn't annoy me, but it's a pity, because they miss it, y'know. They miss most of the, uh, hard work we put in, y'know, getting lovely sounds on things, and... 'specially stereo. Because even if people have stereo players, not many have really good equipment, or the famous stereo earphones that you so often talk about.