Liverpool: Brian Epstein statue added to city's tributes to his music heroes

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I spent last weekend in Liverpool, and just had to visit the ever-increasing areas surrounding Mersey Beat.

Since I was last in town there is now a statue of Cilla Black in Mathew Street at the entrance to what was the Cavern Club

The John Lennon statue has moved further up the road and has him posing in his leathers in Hamburg based on a photograph of him in a doorway before they were famous.

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The latest addition is the Brian Epstein statue, larger than life and sees him in Whitechapel where his record store was, notebook in hand, on the day he took a chance to see The Beatles play the Cavern at lunchtime in a move that changed hi,s and their, fortunes from that day forth.

The statue of Brian EpsteinThe statue of Brian Epstein
The statue of Brian Epstein

Significant too that on this day (Thursday) 59 years ago the Beatles came to town to play two shows at the Carlton in Park Road Kirkcaldy, the one and only time they collectively visited Fife.

The show was put together by Andy Lothian from Dundee and Albert Bonici from Elgin. Together they had been putting together Scottish tours for the Kinema Dunfermline, Raith Ballroom Kirkcaldy locally as well as their own interests in the Top Ten Club in Dundee and Two Red Shoes Ballroom in Elgin.

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Andy, whom I met as a student at Glenrothes College had climbed into the music business initially through his father who was a big band leader. He went on to form ALP Records (Andy Lothian Productions) and promoted pirate Radio Scotland. When the beat era came to an end, he would book bands like Cream and Deep Purple and lost money as the ballroom audiences did not relate to the concert atmosphere.

Those venues suited dancing and things had to change.

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Beatles manager Epstein however went from strength to strength building a roster of successful acts such as Cilla Black, Gerry & The Pacemakers and Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas.

He would negotiate the contracts, organise the tours and secure their imaging down to the suits that the Beatles wore.

He would schedule Christmas shows, American tours including the groundbreaking Shea Stadium show, the first of its kind anywhere. His final act was securing a TV contract for Cilla, and this was found in 1967 on his deathbed from an accidental drugs overdose.

Music owes so much to him and this year a movie will unearth the stories.

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