Looking at the relationship
between Brian Epstein and John Lennon :
were number on in Brian's life always," Sir George Martin has said, "as they were mine." However, Brians homosexuality made
the devotion he had for the group a little more complex than Sir George's - "He couldnt help wanting them too."
Brian wasnt particularly
taken with George Harrison's fresh- faced youth, or Paul McCartney's prettiness. He did, however, hit on "moody, magnificent"
Pete Best. One night Brian was giving John, his wife Cynthia and Pete a lift home. John and Cynthia were in the back, with
Pete riding up front with Brian. Epstein invited the drummer to spend the night with him. Pete firmly declined Brian's offer,
whilst at the same time trying to ignore giggles from the back. Even Johns friend Pete Shotton tells how Brian, who he met
only a few hours previously, had invited him to spend the night. Brian accepted Shottons rejection with good grace, which
led Shotton to call Epstein "the perfect gentleman." Shotton maintains, and always has, that Brian was only interested in
him in order to get to who he really wanted; John Lennon.
Peter Brown, an assistant of Brians, has memories
of Brian being so taken with Johns sharp wit, good looks and talent, that he didnt find it possible to even look at Lennon
when he spoke in case he revealed his feelings. Brian even wooed Johns parents, telling his aunt Mimi that "John is the only
important one [in The Beatles]."
Lennons response to Epsteins homosexuality was
typically roughneck. "If he lays a finger on me I'll punch his lights out," Lennon once said to Pete Best. But as time went
on, Lennon rather cruelly realised the hold he had over Epstein. After all, Epstein was only a man riddled with undeniable
feelings who felt responsible for the success of Lennon and his fellow Beatles.
John regularly visited to Epstein household (Brian
still lived at home with his parents) in the early 60s to discuss the marketing of the group, and they developed a relationship
that Brians brother Clive described as "a mental contact that was perfect." Paul McCartney has since described Lennon as "a
smart cookie...he wanted Brian to know who he should listen to in this group. That was the relationship."
Peter Brown believes that
when Brian purchased a flat in Faulkner Street, he did it with the sole purpose of seducing John there, but whenever John
turned up he always brought another Beatle with him. Epstein then invited Lennon for a weekend to Copenhagen, and when everyone
found this out at The Cavern Club, Lennon was teased. Lennon was often snappy with Epstein, which often resulted in private
crying bouts on Epsteins part. John blamed the bands rejection by Decca on Brian choice of showtune type music that he wanted
them to play, and when Brian later commented on the music, John said "You just stick to the percentages, Brian. Well worry
about the music."
However in April '63,
following the success of Please Please Me, John agreed to go away with Brian to Barcelona for ten days. John told Cynthia,
who, unaware of the implications surrounding Brians motives for taking John away, and realising that John needed a break,
agreed he should go (even though she was feeling neglected; at the time of John telling her about the trip, she was in hospital
after the birth of their son Julian).
Whilst in Barcelona, the two men watched bull-fights,
went shopping and to clubs. They would also sit in cafes and discuss Brians homosexuality, with Lennon asking Brian what he
found attractive about the passing men. Lennon enjoyed these chats, "thinking like a writer all the time" he later said. "I
am experiencing this."
said later that their relationship was "almost an affair" that was "never consummated." However, if we are to believe later
anecdotal accounts, a physical relationship between the two seems likely. Pete Shotton recalls John telling him that after
Brian had kept "on and on" Lennon eventually said "Oh, for Christs sake, Brain, just stick it up me arse then." Brian had
apparantely shown a preference to merely masturabating the Beatle. ("Whats a wank between friends?" commented Shotton). Peter
Brown has written that Brian told him John allowed him to make love to him. Albert Goldman, not one to shy away from detail,
asserts that Peter Brown only meant oral sex. (But then, Goldman also says that Brian and John continued an affair for years,
despite having no evidence. In 1999, Brown admitted "its wrong to discuss something when I only know one side of the picture").
On their return, John
had to endure some light-hearted insinuations, but at Pauls 21st birthday part he drunkenly beat DJ Bob Wooler
when his comments went too far. Brian later persuaded the DJ not to sue with a cheque for £200 as compensation.
"He was in love with me,"
John said of Brian in 1980. "Its interesting and will make a nice Hollywood Babylon someday about Brian Epsteins sex life,
but its irrelevant, absolutely irrelevant."
article was adapted from a piece in a music magazine called MOJO (Beatlemania special limited edition).
All of the information was compiled using quotes
from the people mentioned, but the authenticity of these quotes is difficult to confirm. I personally believe that Lennon
was capable of manipulating Epstein by toying with his feelings, but I am not completely convinced that the relationship was
more that one sided flirtation and adulation on the part of Epstein.