•Brian's cousin Raymond started an enterprise with his brother
to make and sell Beatle related sweaters (30s) and badges (6d).
They sold 15,000 sweaters and 50,000 badges (Coleman).
•The merchandising deal for the Beatles was for 10%. It was
later renegotiated to 25%. The delay in negotiations could have
possibly cost the Beatles $100 million.
•To be fair to Epstein, few music industry professionals
at the time-let alone a music industry novice like Epstein-could
ever imagine just how much money music merchandising could generate.
To Epstein, any revenue from the sale of such ancillary "Beatle
products" was just "found money" to supplement the
Beatles' live and recording income (Granados, S. Those Were the
Days, p. 3).
•Alistair Taylor believes that mistakes were made in the
merchandising of the Beatles but feels that with the pace of the
Beatles rise to fame it was inevitable that mistake should be made.
"We did our best", he says. "Some people have said
it wasn't good enough. That's easy to say with 20/20 hindsight but
remember that there were no rules. We were making it up as we went
along (Gunby, G. Hello Goodbye, p. 80).
•Nicky Byrne: Brian Epstein had a very bad name in the business
world at the time. Nobody knew who was licensed to make Beatle goods
and who wasn't.
•In '63 Seltaeb was in chaos. NEMS was blamed for granting
some licenses to others inappropriately. Some of Byrnes partners
claimed he failed to pass on Beatles' royalties, or taxes to the
U.S. They also claimed he spent over $50,000 on personal expenses
including thousands on hotel bills, two Cadillac's, a 24-hour chauffeur,
and a girlfriend's charge account (Norman, p. 253).
•Once Brian realised the bad deal that had been made with
Nicky Byrne he tried to rectify it. But, as Alistair Taylor says,
it was new territory (Gunby, G. Hello Goodbye, p. 80).
•The merchandising deal with Nicky Byrne gave the Beatles
10% of revenue from licensed products. Byrne and his partners set
up offices in New York and began making millions of dollars (Gunby,
G. Hello Goodbye, p. 80).
•When a reporter asked the Beatles if they would have to
deal with the IRS and inquired how much income they derived from
the tour Paul answered, "Brian does that".
•A reporter asked Brian if he would ever sell the Beatles.
Brian said, "I don't think I would". The reporter asked
Brian to look him in the eye and say it. Brian said at the time
the question was asked he was deciding whether to get out of show
•Daily Telegram reports Brian left £486,032 net and
letters of administration had been left to his mother.
•Brian Epstein hired a chartered airplane for $37,950.50
for the American '64 tour (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 140)
•It is reported that Brian borrowed £150,000 from
NEMS at the time of his death. He also did not have £7 million
but £750,000 after duties upon his death.
•Q: "And on the subject of money, how do you go about
financing their weekly pocket money? What happens about that?"
BRIAN: "Uhh... They get, you know, whatever they want from
their earnings, and their earnings go into their own company"
(Excerpt from interview Sydney, Australia. June 1964. Courtesy of
Beatles Ultimate Experience).
•...consumed with a despair he could not put into words,
Epstein tried to sell the Beatles to Robert Stigwood. "We said,
`In fact, if you do, if you somehow manage to pull this off, we
can promise you one thing. We will record 'God Save the Queen' for
every single record we make from now on and we'll sing it out of
tune. That's a promise. So if this guy buys us that's what he's
buying.'" From Interview, March 01 2000 by Greil Marcus).
•Brian wired visas and work permits, along with money for
the trip, to two guitarists from the U.S. on their way to England.
However, when the guitarists arrived they did not have proper entry
visas or work permits, and they had spent all the money before they
left the U.S. Later, Brian was so upset over the mishandling of
the guitarists' entry into England that he borrowed a handful of
sixpences from Alistair to make phone calls to those NEMS employees
involved and inform them of their immediate dismissal from Brian's
payroll. Alistair was informed, in person, of his firing also. Brian
later rescinded the firings (Taylor, A. p. 96).
•For the June 12/13 shows in Australia 50,000 applications
were filed for 12,000 tickets. In exchange for "a handsome
fee', Brian permitted one of the shows to be recorded for use on
the radio. The radio show was broadcast June 15, called the Beatles
Show, sponsored by Surf detergent (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 163).
•Brian wanted to cancel the '66 American tour because he
was worried about the consequences to the boys emotionally and physically.
Nat Weiss told him it would cost a million dollars to cancel, and
that he'd have to refund the prices of the tickets to the promoters.
Brian offered to pay for these costs out of his own funds. Weiss
convinces Brian not to cancel the tour but to have John apologize
for his remarks. John was to tell Brian, then, that he'd rather
cancel the tour than apologize (Lipack, p. 36).
•Promoters were so anxious to book the Beatles that Brian
sometimes received over 1000 pounds ‘brown paper bag’
money on the night of the show. This prevented the tax department
from receiving any portion of it (Brown, p. 110).
•On the Beatles last trip to Hamburg Horst Fascher reportedly
gave Brian 1000 marks under the table to appear at his club. The
money was later distributed to the Beatles after Brian took his
25% share (Brown, p. 110).
•The accounting firm for NEMS, Bryce-Hamner, knew nothing
about the brown bag money [Brian was accepting from promoters].
They were a conservative, rather uninventive company that had few
show business clients, but none of the financial magnitude of the
Beatles. Yet Brian decided to turn the Beatles’ finances over
to them, under the personal consultation of one of the firms senior
partners in their London office, a Dr. Walter Strach (Brown, p.
•Dr. Strach was put in charge of finding a legitimate tax
shelter for the group in 1963-64 (Brown, p. 111).
•NBC TV purchased a clip of the Beatles playing 'She Loves
You' from the BBC for the Jack Paar Show. Brian was furious and
thought that this would cause problems with the Ed Sullivan Show
deal. The BBC even tried to rescind the sale of the tape. Brian
threatened to not allow the Beatles to appear on the BBC again.
He did not follow through on the threat. The BBC paid £225
for the clip (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 120).
•Many businessmen booked seats on the same flight as Brian
Epstein on a trip to the U.S. Many sent notes with business proposals
on them. All propositions were politely denied by Brian (Brown,
•Robert Stigwood, co-managing director of NEMS, wanted Alistair
Taylor to fly to the U.S. for a business matter. Brian became informed
of the matter and telegrammed Taylor: "Under no circumstances
will you leave for America". Taylor stated to Epstein, "What
did you mean sending me a telegram like that, Brian? I didn't ask
to go. I'm just trying to help". Brian replied, "I'm sorry,
Alistair. I was trying to be brief to save money". To which
Taylor replied: "Then why put Epstein after your name? Did
you think I wouldn't know who it was from?" (Taylor, A. p.
101).•Courtesy of Julie at Millennium Sale's: The Museum Collection.
Original Beatles Memorabilia. ‘WESTERN UNION’ CABLEGRAM
RELATING TO FINAL CONCERT HELD AT CANDLESTICK PARK 29TH AUGUST 1966.
Significant piece of Beatles’ Memorabilia relating to final
historic concert at ‘Candlestick Park’ in August ’66.
Sent to Brian Epstein, Nems Enterprises Ltd., Sutherland House,
5th floor, 5/6 Argyle St., W1, from Norman Weiss, executive of ‘General
Artists Corp.’ and who organised the Beatles’ first
American Tour. Recommending change of original venue from Cow Palace,
Candlestick Park having higher seating capacity resulting in greater
•Courtesy of Julie at Millennium Sale's: The Museum Collection.
Original Beatles Memorabilia. Epstein’s tickets/receipts relating
to airport tax and luggage weights and charges (2 pieces). These
documents show a Rome airport tax receipt and information about
luggage weight and related charges.
Business Propositions Initiated by Brian:
•Brian asked Nat Weiss, an American attorney, to organize
Nemperor Artists, Inc. Nemperor was to be a company that represented
Brian's English acts in the U.S., deal with new talent, and handle
the Beatles '66 North American Tour.
•During the furor in the U.S. following John's 'we're more
popular' statement Brian asked Nat how much it would cost to cancel
the tour. Brian asked this because he was concerned about the negative
conditions that the Beatles would have to go through due to John's
remarks. Nat reply was £1 million. Brian stated that he would
pay it himself because he couldn't forgive himself if anything happened
to the group (Lipack).
•The idea Brian came up with was a company called Apple.
His idea was to plough their money into a chain of shops not unlike
Woolworth's in concept-Apple boutiques, Apple posters, Apple records.
Brian needed an outlet for his boundless energy (Lennon, Cynthia.
Twist p. 146).
Selling the Beatles' Contract:
•At one point Brian was offered $10,000,000 for his management
contract with the Beatles by an investment group from New York.
•At one point Brian was offered £150,000 to sell.
This would give him a capital gain of £150,000 plus he would
get final say on the type of work the Beatles did. In his book Brian
states: "I don't think £150 million would be enough"
•At the ramp of the plane out of Manila it was learned that
the Marcos military were there to enforce a tax levy against the
$100,000 in gate receipts from the Manila shows. Brian realized
it would be a wise gesture to give the Philippine tax office a share
of the money. He turned over £6,800 worth of peso notes and
signed the tax bond verifying the exchange.
•Vic Lewis asked Brian, during the take-off from Manila,
if he had the money. It was customary that Brian would dole out
his 'brown bag money', the money unofficially garnered at the end
of the Beatles show date. Mr. Lewis was not aware that Brian had
to turn over much of the money to the Philippine tax officials.
•When Vic Lewis asked for a part of the 'brown bag' money,
Brian reportedly shouted, "Don't you even mention the word
'money'!". Lewis reportedly physically grabbed Brian and retorted,
"I'll mention the word 'money'!" (Lipack, p. 30).
•There was a 50-50 split between the Beatles and the Philippine
promoter. The "official" funds were wired to Lloyd's Bank
PLC in London. That amount is what the British Inland Revenue Service
was given as a figure for income (Lipack, p. 29).