This letter has turned up in an auction of some of Joe Flannery’s things following his death. Joe was an integral member of Brian Epstein’s circle around The Beatles. You can read more about the auction here.
There are some interesting points which need clarification. When researching the supposed “sacking” of Pete Best for my book, “Finding the Fourth Beatle”, I uncovered a number of key points:
1. Pete Best was never sacked by Brian Epstein. He couldn’t be! The Beatles employed Brian as their manager. They could sack him, but Brian had no authority or power to sack Pete or any of The Beatles.
2. To achieve the removal of Pete Best, Brian had to convince Pete that he was being sacked, without saying the words!
3. As Brian didn’t sign the management contract with The Beatles in February 1962, he could not enforce the contract on The Beatles. However, John, Paul, George and Pete could enforce the contractual obligations on Brian!
4. Because of this fact, Brian was still legally tied to Pete and responsible for finding work for him, Brian was assisted by Joe Flannery by Flannery offering Pete the drummer’s position in Lee Curtis and the All Stars (Lee Curtis was Joe’s brother). By doing this, Pete effectively quit The Beatles.
5. It was for this reason that Brian wrote to ” release him from his obligations under contract to myself”. Brian was finally free.
Today is John Lennon’s 80th birthday. There were some wonderful memorabilia items made in the US from 1964-66. They were whimsical, weird, wacky, and just plain cool! Many represented his amazing personality and characteristics that helped fuel the Fab Four craze worldwide. We salute John on his birthday, and join the world in this celebration.
Debbie’s publisher, Peter Stansill, has his own incredible story about spending time with John Lennon.
“I met John in person for the first time in 1970 when he was still 29. He and Yoko had just returned from a six-week retreat in Northern Jutland, Denmark, where I had helped set up accommodation for them through friends. My family had lived next door to Yoko’s flat by Regent’s Park in London, where her first husband, Tony Cox, and daughter Kyoko were now staying. Six-year-old Kyoko quickly became our new daughter’s first babysitter.
Yoko had moved to the Lennon estate near Ascot, while Tony travelled to Spain with their daughter. We joined them in Ibiza for a few weeks before I had to return to London. Tony asked me to call Yoko and reassure her that all was well with her daughter. I phoned Tittenhurst Park, and Yoko’s personal assistant said Yoko wanted to see me urgently, so I should plan to stay with the Lennons for a few days. Their driver picked me up in the Rolls that afternoon.
There was something surreal about the scene at Tittenhurst Park, the vast 72-acre estate near Ascot. For my first two days as their guest I saw no sign of John and Yoko. The manor was well-staffed – cook, gardener, driver, groundskeeper, and so on. Between them the staff had around 10 children who ran wild in this magic kingdom. It was easy to see how John and Yoko felt the daily pain of their childlessness.
I began to wonder what I was doing there, waiting for an audience to discuss a high-profile child custody dispute over which I had no influence. Finally one afternoon I was admitted to the inner sanctum, the Lennons’ bedroom, where they were lounging in their nightclothes on a huge circular bed.
As uncomfortable as I could possibly be, I answered Yoko’s questions about Kyoko. She was eager to know all the details about her living situation, her daily activities and schooling. What did she do all day? Who did she play with? Was she happy? I told Yoko everything I could about the months we had spent with Kyoko, including what a wonderful companion she had been to my baby daughter. It all made her pleased, sad and agitated. Meanwhile, John glared silently, smoking his Gitanes, peeved and impatient.
However, I was invited to accompany the whole entourage to Abbey Road studios the next day to record a new song. On Monday, March 8, I found myself alone with John and Yoko in the Rolls, at the head of a convoy heading for London. I hadn’t exchanged a single word with John and he still eyed me with his doleful, untrusting scowl. Not sure how to break the ice, I put on my best Yorkshire accent and kidded him about looking so serious: ‘What’s up wi’ thee, maungy bugger?’ He cracked up and relaxed, passed a huge pre-rolled joint around, and we giggled all the way to St. John’s Wood.
The track they were working on was ‘Power to the People,’ which struck me as unusually insipid and tedious. Even John later described it as ‘another piece of rubbish.’ The high point for me was chatting with Maureen Starkey in the control booth, while her husband Ringo stood by looking sullen and hung-over and Phil Spector cavorted around the sound stage below.”
What a smashing little book! The author Debbie Greenberg was an addicted cave dweller in the 1960’s in the world’s most famous club – The Cavern in Liverpool.
She witnessed all 292 performances of The Beatles and gives a vivid insight eloquently expressed, the conditions; the sweat, smell, and memories inside the Cavern.
When the Cavern Club closed in 1966 her father Alf Geoghegan became the new owner and Debbie was thrust into a new family business resurrecting the legacy of this iconic shrine of the Mersey Beat era.
The book is a very easy read with loads of interesting photos, posters and press clips. The book includes some interesting encounters with many celebrities, especially a surprise visit by ‘Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman. Life in the fast lane isn’t always a bed of roses and Debbie gives an account of many problems and turmoil the family had to overcome.
The book contains a wealth of inside information not only about the Cavern, but also a concise remarkable autobiography, which I found so interesting and honestly expressed.
Join our Beatle’s expert Lou Longobardi as he interviews Leslie Cavendish about his career from starting with Vidal Sassoon to styling Jane Asher and his introduction to Paul McCartney. Later, going on the Magical Mystery tour and being set up by Apple Corps.
The Beatles’ hair changed the world. As their increasingly wild, untamed manes grew, to the horror of parents everywhere, they set off a cultural revolution as the most tangible symbol of the Sixties’ psychedelic dream of peace, love and playful rebellion. In the midst of this epochal change was Leslie Cavendish, hairdresser to the Beatles and some of the greatest stars of the music and entertainment industry.
But just how did a fifteen-year-old Jewish school dropout from an undistinguished North London suburb, with no particular artistic talent or showbusiness connections, end up literally at the cutting edge of Sixties’ fashion in just four years? His story – honest, always entertaining and inspiring – parallels the meteoric rise of the Beatles themselves, and is no less astounding.
Please enjoy part 2 of my interview with Ed Chen from his podcast “When We Was Fab” about the 1964-1966 North American tours and also about Chuck’s involvement in the ONLY Beatles traveling exhibit entitled, “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles!”