On This day – Epstein Signs

On this day in 1962 Brian Epstein (28 at the time) signed a management deal with the Beatles. John and Ringo were able to sign the contract as they were legally adults. Paul and George had to have theri dad’s sign on their behalf as they were still minors.

In return for managing them he was to get 25% of their earnings, as long as they made more than $400 a week – he may have made a few bob out of the contract……

Brian Epstein had previously worked in the family shop in Liverpool and had stints in both the forces and Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He was not cut out to be either a soldier or an actor.

Returning to the shop he persuaded his parents to start selling records. The idea was so successful that they opened a record store. Epstein looked to tap into the local music scene by selling a Liverpool music paper called Mersey Beat starting with its first issue on July 6, 1961. He later contributed a column to the paper.

Becoming engaged with beat music Epstein heard a record made in Germany by Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers. It was not Tony Sheridan that interested Epstein however, it was the backing band. He asked people to listen the the record but ignore the singer and when he heard that the band were back in Liverpool and playing at the Cavern Club he had to go along to watch.

Alaister Taylor, Epstein’s assistant commented; “And it (The Cavern Club) was jammed solid, and we just sat at the back feeling rather embarrassed, and I suddenly realised my foot was tapping, and I hated pop music, and Brian hated it even more than me, and I looked ’round and so was his.”

“And after a while Brian started talking about it, and he said, ‘What did you think?’ And I said I thought they were awful, quite honestly, but absolutely incredible. So he said, ‘that’s exactly my feelings. Do you think I should manage them?’ And I said, yeah.”

Epstein said; “I hadn’t had anything to do with management of pop artists before that day that I went down to the Cavern Club and heard the Beatles playing, and this was quite a new world, really, for me. I was immediately struck by their music, their beat, and their sense of humour on stage. And even afterwards when I met them I was struck again by their personal charm. And it was there that really it all started…”

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