The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story
Author: Vivek J. Tiwary
Illustration: Andrew C. Robinson
Graphic Novel Released: 2013
Publisher: M Press
Purchased on Amazon.com
We’ve all heard about John, Paul, George, and Ringo. These fabulous four musicians changed the world with their catchy songs and enduring personalities. The music industry would never be the same again once Beatlemania took the crown from Elvis. What about the man who helped the Beatles become the world famous guys that we enjoy to this day? This intriguing graphic novel tells the important story of Brian Epstein, the man who put Liverpool on the map and the Beatles in the presence of even the Queen of England herself.
It’s the 1960s. Things were much different in those days. It was cool to smoke, cool to be a racist (see Elvis Presley’s manager), and cool to punish someone for having same-sex attraction. Brian Epstein was victim to the latter, and he was also Jewish. He suffered assault from another man, and his doctor prescribed him pills to help him overcome his homosexual desires. This true story depicts Brain and his never-ending belief that those boys playing in the Cavern Club, with their greased hair and leather jackets, could become so much more with matching hair cuts, suits and ties, and what would later become known as “Beatle Boots.” He would become manager and take the Beatles to fame they never dreamed was possible.
Tragically, in 1967 at the age of 32, Brian Epstein would pass away, alone, leaving a large hole that the Beatles would have a hard time filling. Because of their enormous fame, and wanting Brian’s family to have privacy, the Beatles would not attend his funeral. John Lennon stated that Brian’s premature death was the beginning of the end for the band. Paul McCartney said that if anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.
The Pros: A great story for any Beatle fan, but also for anyone who wants to see what a day in the life can be like for someone who feels different.
The Cons: A sad reminder that love is all that everyone needs.
Brian was anything but a fool on the hill.
Jer gives it 5/5.