John Lennon once said it felt weird going out without The Beatles‘ manager, Brian Epstein. It would be like “going somewhere without your trousers on.” The Beatles depended on Epstein heavily. After his untimely death in 1967, the band was left without their parental figure.
The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, helped them reach the top, but he was not business savvy
The Beatles met their future manager in 1961. Epstein and his family owned a record store in Liverpool. Two fans came in asking for the single “My Bonnie,” which The Beatles recorded in Hamburg, Germany as the backing group for Tony Sheridan.
He didn’t recognize the band’s name but learned they were from Liverpool too. They had a residency at The Cavern Club. He went down to see them.
What he saw impressed him. The Beatles weren’t much, but they knew how to perform for a crowd. Later, he approached the band and asked if they wanted a manager. They accepted, and Epstein put them in suits and fought for a record contract.
Once they got it, Epstein made a series of bad deals for the band. He wasn’t the best businessman. He started The Beatles’ publishing company, Northern Songs, with Dick James, who later stole The Beatles’ entire music catalog.
However, for the most part, Epstein was good for the four lads from Liverpool. He brought them to the top.
John Lennon said going somewhere without The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, was like ‘going somewhere without your trousers on’
For the most part, The Beatles had to run everything by Epstein, even if they wanted to get married. However, he was their father figure, and they loved him.
When they first heard the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi speak in London, he invited them to a 10-day retreat in Wales, where they could learn Transcendental Meditation. However, The Beatles had to ask their manager first.
In Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual And Musical Journey Of George Harrison, Joshua M. Greene wrote, “The group accepted his invitation and placed a call to Brian Epstein, hoping he would also come along. For five years the boys had never gone anywhere without their manager or someone appointed by him to look out for them.
“‘It’s like going somewhere without your trousers on,’ John said. Epstein declined, suggesting he might drive up toward the end of the retreat.”
That was the last time they heard from their manager.
The manager died of an accidental overdose of sleeping pills
While The Beatles were in Wales, they learned Epstein had died of an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.
George Harrison approached the Maharishi and asked what they should do. He said if they held on to Epstein, it would stop his soul from going on.
The Beatles returned to London immediately. They were, of course, sad about their father figure’s death but were also concerned about the band’s future. Brian had done everything for them.
“I knew that we were in trouble then,” John later recalled (per History). “I didn’t really have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music. I was scared. I thought, ‘We’ve ******* had it.'”
In Peter Jackson’s documentary, The Beatles: Get Back, which showed never-before-seen footage taken during the Let It Be film, Paul talked about losing Epstein. They weren’t getting along and couldn’t decide what to do next. George said ever since Epstein died, it was never the same.
Paul agreed that the band had become very negative since Epstein died.
“It’s discipline we lack,” Paul said. “We’ve never had discipline. We had a sort of slight, symbolic discipline. Like Mr. Espstein. You know, he sort of said, ‘Get suits on,’ and we did, you know. And so we were always fighting that discipline a bit.
“There really is no one there now to say, ‘Do it.’ Where is, there always used to be. Daddy’s gone away now, and we’re on our own at the holiday camp. I think we either go home or we do it. I think we’ve got a bit shy, you know?”
The Beatles didn’t survive much longer after Epstein’s death. He took them to the top, and they crumpled up without him.