In My Life: The Brian Epstein Story

Debbie Geller, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-26564-9
Brian Epstein's death by drug overdose in 1967 cut short a career marked by scandalous secrets and phenomenal success. As manager, Epstein cleaned up the Beatles, gave them cute haircuts and promoted them tirelessly, telling anyone who would listen that they would be ""bigger than Elvis"" until, surprisingly, they were. Born to an upper-middle-class Jewish household and pushed into joining the family business, Epstein transformed his father's furniture store first into the best music store in Liverpool, then into a music empire. All the while, he struggled with loneliness and unhealthy relationships, forced to hide his homosexuality from the public and always insecure about the motivations of others. This new look at his life (the first since Ray Coleman's 1989 bio, The Man Who Made the Beatles) was culled largely from interviews presented in the award-winning BBC documentary The Brian Epstein Story, directed by Anthony Wall and produced by Geller. The interviewees include people who worked with Epstein, family members and musicians, including Gerry Marsden (of Gerry and the Pacemakers) and Paul McCartney, as well as Beatles producer George Martin and '60s Britpop scenester Marianne Faithfull. Also excerpted here is Epstein's 1964 autobiography, Cellarful of Noise, along with extracts from his unpublished diaries and writings. The anecdotes, presented without commentary in documentary-style quotations, present a complicated, intimate view of his life and the lives he affected. Persistent rumors, such as those suggesting a sexual relationship with John Lennon, are alternately denied and confirmed, leaving some mysteries while shedding light on Epstein's life as a whole. B&w photos. (Dec.) Forecast: This title should get a small boost from the current wave of interest in all things Beatles, particularly from the bestselling Beatles Anthology. The BBC documentary on which this book is based has been featured at several gay and lesbian film festivals this year, which could also increase interest in the book.
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-312-28862-4
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4668-6594-5
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