Cilla Black today honoured “fifth Beatle” Brian Epstein – the man who set her on the path to fame.

Former chart star, turned TV host, Black unveiled a plaque to mark the location of her former manager’s London office in Covent Garden.

Epstein, who guided the career of the Beatles until his death in 1967, ran his NEMS company from 13 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials, after relocating from Liverpool in 1963.

The impresario was behind a number of acts, including Gerry And The Pacemakers, and guided Black’s career after she was introduced to him by John Lennon.

The London office was also for many years the base for the Beatles fan club.

Black said today: “He was a great man, the man that I knew – he was a true gentleman.

“He believed in me and I certainly believed in him. If he had said ‘you can climb Mount Everest’, I would have said ‘where’s my backpack? I’m off’. I really would, because I believed in him.”

As she unveiled the plaque, the former Blind Date presenter said she had longed to see his contribution recognised.

“I wrote to Paul McCartney a couple of years ago because I think Brian should be honoured in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in America. That’s what I want,” she added.

Epstein, who died at the age of 32 following an accidental overdose of sleeping pills, was godfather to Lennon and his first wife Cynthia’s son Julian.

Cynthia Lennon said: “Brian Epstein was a true gentleman of the first order. He was instrumental in changing all our lives with his vision, generosity and dedication. Brian was truly the fifth Beatle and godfather to my/our son Julian, and a real friend during the heady, frenzied years of the 60s. He brought culture to our gauche young lives with an experience beyond his years. I miss him now as much as I missed him then. His tragic death for one so young was a massive loss to all who knew and loved him. It is with great respect that I write these words for a young man who had so much to offer and in his short life, DID.”

George Martin said: “Brian was a wonderful man and we became great friends. It was his unwavering belief in The Beatles that influenced me and formed a special bond of trust that propelled the band to worldwide stardom. Over a short number of years, his energy and devotion allowed him to build an artist roster of unparalleled success. He was taken from us all too quickly, but thankfully, the legacy of the music he worked on will live forever.”

The plaque has been installed by the Seven Dials Trust, which aims to protect and enhance the conservation area.

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5 Responses to Brian Epstein honoured with Blue Plaque by Seven Dials Trust & Cilla Black

  1. Jon Rizzolo says:

    It was Brian Epstein’s vision and insight that helped to prepare and ultimately launch the Beatles career. Brian Epstein recognized very early on a spark of genuis in the Beatles. The magnetism of the Beatles drew him in, and he helped to guide a group of young kids that were a little rough around the edges toward becoming a cohesive and polished act, with exquisite stage presence. He was one of the first people to recognize the charisma, talent, charm, and potential of four kids from Liverpool. Thank you Brian, for your brilliance of forethought, and for helping to deliver to the world, some of the most beautiful music that has ever been written. Brian Epstein was a visionary and a great talent, and was, as has been recounted from everyone who knew him, a person of great sensitivity who possessed a beautiful heart.

    God Bless Brian Epstein

  2. Piter U. Caizer says:

    Thanks for posting this info on Brian Epstein, certainly a formidable force behind the global success of The Beatles. He was the hub that held the spokes of the
    ‘Beatles’ wheel together while they were touring & playing ‘live’ shows until Aug. 29th 1966. After that he became more & more superfluous in their lives…
    To set the matter straight, once & for all, Brian was NEVER the ‘fifth’ Beatle.
    The only one who deserves ‘that’ title is & will always be Stuart Sutcliffe. He was
    John Lennon’s best & closest friend, who was asked by John to join his group, buying a Hoefner ‘President bass with the prize money he got got for a painting sold & became the bass player for a couple of years, since John wanted him to be part of the group most – although he wasn’t an accomplished musician like Paul !! But he was a true artist, a gifted painter who loved being a ‘Beatle’ !!
    John stood up for Stu many times & had a very deep bond with Stu long before
    they left to Hamburg together, where Stu did great Elvis impersonations on stage ! Falling in love with Astrid Kirchher in Hamburg determined Stu’s decision to leave the group & stay behind in Hamburg, starting to paint again.
    Anyway, Stu is the ‘mystical’ Beatle who influenced not only their style in the
    early days but came up with their name in reference to some insects…. which
    John then transformed by changing the 2nd ‘e’ into an ‘a’ to remind of the Beat
    that gives music its rhythm, movement – a wonderful stroke of real genius.
    And because an idiot killed that genius the world is in its chaotic state today –
    War all over the place – instead of listening to THE BEST MUSIC EVER and
    get ‘the message that LOVE IS ALL WE NEED’ to find Peace within a reality.

  3. jbpravda says:

    Hear, hear! The Jewish community worldwide should join in this unsung (pun intended) visionary. Peace be unto him in his newest dimension.

  4. David Wainwright says:

    Imagine a world that Brian Epstein had not been a pivotal figure in helping to create it is not possible , his death was very tragic and his contribution to music and culture is immeasurable . RIP Brian and look forward to his being honoured in the Rock and Roll hall of fame in the very near future .

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