03 Dec Liverpool campaigners call for statue of legendary Beatles manager
If the city of Liverpool, England is known for just one thing on this side of the Atlantic, it is surely as the home of the legendary Beatles. Indeed, many an American visitor to the city will have encountered its various references and tributes to the Fab Four.
However, if there’s one man who played an instrumental role in the band’s rise to prominence who hasn’t perhaps been appropriately recognized, it is their former manager, Brian Epstein. It was he who first discovered John, Paul, George and Ringo at a lunchtime Cavern Club performance in the city in November 1961.
Epstein was impressed with the group and doggedly pursued a record deal for them, eventually striking it lucky – following rejections by almost all of London’s major recording companies – with George Martin’s Parlophone label, which was part of EMI. That was in May 1962. Epstein remained the Beatles’ manager until his premature death at the age of 32 in 1967 – by which time, history had firmly been made.
It seems entirely befitting, then, that such a significant figure in the history of popular music be suitably immortalized in statue form in the city of his birth. That is certainly the belief of those behind the Statue 4 Eppy campaign, the fundraising efforts of which have centered on the recording of a single, “Our Friend”, supported by singers and celebrities from the city.
Final touches were made to the song at the city’s Elevator Recording Studios on Sunday. The former Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Gary Millar, a supporter of the campaign, commented: “Traditionally, people like to see statues. Statues that they can see free of charge and that you can go up to and touch, that you can have a photograph with. So a statue is a fitting tribute to Brian Epstein.”
Another to lend his support to the cause was Epstein’s secretary and head of The Beatles’ fan club Freda Kelly, who said: “I think it’s about time that Liverpool actually did something for Brian Epstein. Because he was manager for The Beatles and what he did for them, but also for all other groups in Liverpool. The Beatles opened America for England, not just Liverpool, for all other artists. And without Brian Epstein behind them, I don’t think The Beatles would have conquered America.”
The song to raise money for the Brian Epstein statue will be released internationally in February 2015. Certainly, as creators of the highest quality life size bronze statues here at Big Statues, we can only salute the efforts of the campaign and hope that Epstein is properly immortalized in the city soon.