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New video clip presents entire Brian Epstein Hall of Fame Induction

by Adam Forrest, Beatles News Editor

A video clip newly-posted on YouTube gives admirers of the Beatles and Brian Epstein an opportunity to hear first-hand the induction of the Beatles manager into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10th in Brooklyn, NY. The clip, apparently made by an attendee at the ceremony, features all the audio of Peter Asher's induction speech. The video-maker has illustrated the speech with a variety of historic images.

There has been no announcement yet of how much of Epstein's induction will be featured in the upcoming (May 31st) HBO TV special of induction ceremony highlights. However, as the event ran nearly six hours and the TV special will probably be just two hours, it is highly probable that the Epstein segment will be truncated, making this clip the only unedited record of the historic event.

For the first time in the Hall of Fame's 29-year history of induction ceremonies, Epstein was not given a stand-alone presentation. His induction was compacted into a combined presentation with the parallel induction of Rolling Stones' manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham. Manager/producer/artist Peter Asher was chosen to induct both men and he was permitted only five minutes total to speak about both inductees.

Oldham, a friend of Epstein who briefly worked for him publicizing the Beatles in early 1963 before discovering the Stones, was deeply offended by the Hall of Fame's unprecedented decisions about both him and Brian and chose to boycott the ceremony. He stated: "Like Brian Epstein I was not consulted as regards this matter and like dear Brian I will not be going." The Epstein family also chose not to attend the event.

The award given posthumously to Epstein was the Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement Award - formerly known as the "Non-Performers Award". Epstein was eligible for the award at any time after the Hall's launch but for the first 28 years was ignored by the Hall's nominating committee. In that 28 years, no less than 56 other worthy individuals who have played a "behind-the-scenes" role in the rock world were inducted into the Non-Performers Section of the Hall of Fame. Including producers, engineers, agents, promoters, deejays, record company executives, publishers, songwriters. Amongst those inductees incidentally, were several individuals associated with the instigation and running of the Hall of Fame itself.

Peter Asher at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony

The campaign to have Brian Epstein inducted was launched in 1998 by Beatles scholar Martin Lewis at the time of the US re-publication of Epstein's 1964 autobiography "A Cellarful of Noise". Lewis had helped organize the book's reissue and wrote the 25,000 word companion narrative that was included in the book and provided context on Epstein's life and influence after 1964.

Lewis credits many of his friends from the Beatles and music universe, including Sir George Martin, Pattie Boyd, Billy J. Kramer, Peter Brown, Andrew Loog Oldham, Tony Bramwell, Tony Barrow, Walter Shenson, Albert Maysles, Robert Freeman et al, for their support and role in the eventual success of the 15-year campaign to get Brian Epstein honored by the Hall of Fame.

Coinciding with the successful culmination of the campaign, Lewis has written a new essay about the importance of Brian Epstein's contributions to the Beatles' success. The article also details the history of the Long March to get Brian inducted. The article can be read here.

More information:

• Official Brian Epstein website

Related articles:

• Beatles scholar on the recognition finally of Brian Epstein (12/17/13)

Published April 30, 2014

This article is Copyright © 2014, Adam Forrest, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission

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