P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
March 3, 2003
Documentary About Beatles' Manager at MASS MoCA to Screen April 3
(North Adams, Mass.) Widely regarded as the "Man Who Made the Beatles", even John Lennon commented that he knew the Beatles were finished once Brian Epstein died. The Brian Epstein Story, a documentary film about the man behind The Beatles' meteoric rise to fame, will be screened at MASS MoCA at 8 P.M. on Thursday, April 3. The film tells his story from his beginnings as the child of a Lithuanian Jewish retailer to his visit to the Cavern Club in Liverpool one fateful evening in November 1961. Director Anthony Wall skillfully combines rare 1960s footage and recent interviews with those who knew him best, including Paul McCartney and Marianne Faithfull.
Perhaps the most successful band manager of all time, Brian Epstein remained an enigma in spite of his celebrity status. He was raised in Liverpool where he was considered something of a dandy in his British boys' school because of his stylish clothes and lack of sports skill. He was very successful as a salesclerk at his father's furniture store and was subsequently appointed manager of his father's music store. Epstein excelled there, displaying an uncanny ability to forecast hits. Soon new branches of the store were popping up all over, and major record labels were paying attention to what singles Epstein was ordering.
When teenagers started asking for a new release by a band he had never heard of, Epstein made plans to see The Beatles perform. He immediately offered his services as manager. He cleaned up their look with his impeccable taste in clothes, buying them expensive matching mohair suits. He secured gigs at nicer clubs, and zealously pursued record labels for a recording contract. Once the Beatles released their first single, Love Me Do, Epstein sent friends and family to record stores all over town to ask for it, generating a substantial buzz on the streets. He orchestrated the "British Invasion" media-hype surrounding The Beatles' phenomenally successful debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.
He controlled The Beatles' booking and publicity, and launched their movie career until 1966 when Epstein and the group decided they would stop touring. With the momentum of their popularity such that they needed little promotion, most of his duties became irrelevant. Always a loner, confused and ashamed of his homosexuality, he quickly spiraled into a private world of loneliness, drugs, and alcohol. In September 1967, just three months after the release of Sgt. Pepper, Epstein was found dead in his home from a drug overdose.
The Brian Epstein Story is part of MASS MoCA's Cinema Lounge series. The Cinema Lounge is the redesigned B-10 Theater. The lounge includes couches, café tables and chairs, and a long bar running along the back of the room complete with bar stools. Food courtesy of Lickety Split and a full bar are available before, during, and after the films. Doors open at 7 P.M. The Cinema Lounge series this winter focuses on music documentaries and is sponsored by Berkshire Gas and supported by Holly Angell Hardman.
Tickets for The Brian Epstein Story are $5.50. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 1040 MASS MoCA Way in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. Wednesday through Monday. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release