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Pattie Boyd Harrison remembers night Beatles heard Brian had died

by Katie Hickox
at the NYC Fest for Beatles Fans

At today's "A Salute to Brian Epstein" discussion panel that took place at the NYC Fest for Beatles Fans, special guest Pattie Boyd Harrison talked about the evening she found out Brian had died. She saw firsthand the impact of Brian's death on the faces of the Beatles as they got the news for the first time when they were all in Bangor, Wales for the Maharishi's meditation seminar.

Pattie said, "They (The Beatles) as a group would never be the same. Brian kept them together, he was the only person who could do it...they crumbled after he died...I'll never forget the look on the Beatles face's that they would have to look after themselves..." now that Brian was gone.

Pattie Boyd Harrison, Martin Lewis, Billy J. Kramer and Vivek Tiwary

Other panelists on the panel, Fest for Beatles Emcee Martin Lewis, Liverpool 1960s recording star Billy J. Kramer who was managed by Brian Epstein, and author Vivek Tiwary, also spoke highly of Brian Epstein.

Vivek, who wrote "The Fifth Beatle - The Story of Brian Epstein," a NY Times bestseller, had researched different entertainment managers and found that Brian artist management practices set a new standard as a trailblazer manager but who ended up delegating many areas such as merchandising.

Martin Lewis spoke about how against great odds Brian achieved success with the Beatles despite a hostile environment as a result of latent anti-Semitism and legalized homophobia. Adding to his professional difficulties as a visionary for the Beatles and bringing provincial recording artists from Liverpool to London, Brian, who was a deeply closeted homosexual, also suffered with homosexuality being illegal all his life, which only became legal soon after he died.

Billy J. Kramer remembered Brian and spoke about how he met Brian, how being managed by Brian changed his life and how he achieved several hit singles and commercial success because of Brian.

Pattie's last statement about Brian was, "Without Brian, there wouldn't have been the Beatles."

Martin Lewis had the final word on Brian. He said, "Without Brian, the Beatles would have likely ended up becoming the 17th most popular cruise ship band."

Published February 9, 2014

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