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Birth of the Beatles
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27 December 2013
1.39am
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Billy Rhythm
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I really love this movie, "poetic license" was kept to a minimum and there's much attention to factual detail, the acting is pretty good and the Soundtrack performed by the original 'Rain' Beatles tribute band is top notch.  I think that it's considerably better than the 'BackBeat' movie, in my opinion.  For those who have yet to see it, I found it on YouTube so here it is:

 

 

Enjoy...:-)

 

 

1 January 2014
12.27am
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meanmistermustard
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Billy Rhythm said

guitarman said
The portrayal of Eppy though is just unforgivable - he comes across as a total wimp

I thought that the actor who depicted Brian Epstein nailed one of the better acting performances, in my opinion.  He certainly got the look and voice right, and let's face it, Brian was a bit of a wimp, to be honest.  His discovery and polishing up of The Beatles was a stroke of pure brilliance, but he's no shrewd businessman really and was often taken advantage of in The Beatles' business dealings.  The best example being Seltaeb (Beatles spelled backwards) where he was bullied into literally giftwrapping the vast majority of profits to this company.  I can't remember the exact figures off-hand, but they're ridiculous, something in the neighbourhood of The Beatles getting 10% of any merchandise sales (the countless items now known as Memorabilia) bearing their name brand, while this virgin American Company called Seltaeb got 90%, this translated into Millions of US Dollars which meant a lot more back then than Millions US does today.  It has to go down as one of the biggest business blunders in history.  I don't really like the word wimp but it's not so out of character for this "portrayal of Eppy"...:-)

To be fair to Brian he was way into uncharted territory with the merchandise and i'm sure those he was doing deals with would have presented it in such a confusing manner to make it sound much better than it was really was. I read once that Brian thought he was getting the 90% and was amazed to find it was the other way around. I'm not that sure he was ever really a true business man, more he put himself to be in that position and then it became far bigger than he and everyone else thought it would be. A man totally out of his depth.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
4 January 2014
2.54pm
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guitarman
London, UK
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meanmistermustard said

Billy Rhythm said

guitarman said
The portrayal of Eppy though is just unforgivable - he comes across as a total wimp

I thought that the actor who depicted Brian Epstein nailed one of the better acting performances, in my opinion.  He certainly got the look and voice right, and let's face it, Brian was a bit of a wimp, to be honest.  His discovery and polishing up of The Beatles was a stroke of pure brilliance, but he's no shrewd businessman really and was often taken advantage of in The Beatles' business dealings.  The best example being Seltaeb (Beatles spelled backwards) where he was bullied into literally giftwrapping the vast majority of profits to this company.  I can't remember the exact figures off-hand, but they're ridiculous, something in the neighbourhood of The Beatles getting 10% of any merchandise sales (the countless items now known as Memorabilia) bearing their name brand, while this virgin American Company called Seltaeb got 90%, this translated into Millions of US Dollars which meant a lot more back then than Millions US does today.  It has to go down as one of the biggest business blunders in history.  I don't really like the word wimp but it's not so out of character for this "portrayal of Eppy"...:-)

To be fair to Brian he was way into uncharted territory with the merchandise and i'm sure those he was doing deals with would have presented it in such a confusing manner to make it sound much better than it was really was. I read once that Brian thought he was getting the 90% and was amazed to find it was the other way around. I'm not that sure he was ever really a true business man, more he put himself to be in that position and then it became far bigger than he and everyone else thought it would be. A man totally out of his depth.

I don't know if you've read the Lewisohn book yet, Billy Rhythm - I'm up to early 1961 in the Extended Edition. Brian hasn't even met the Beatles yet and he's already had the tough life experiences that I'm sure gave him the drive to make them a success. I am already rooting for him because he took a lot of knocks and never stopped trying to find his way in life. They were a brilliant band who were about to break up in late '61 because they'd conquered Hamburg and Liverpool and had nowhere else to go. The one thing they lacked was organisation and a focus. As Lennon said once, 'we were in a daydream until Brian came along'. Brian organised them, got them more money, gave them a focus, sorted out their image and - yes, they did get their record contract because of matters outside of his control - but they would never have been heard by Ardmore and Beechwood without his determination. As Mark Lewisohn says, without Brian they would have split. 

Yes he got shafted later on the merchandising but that was because no manager had ever dealt with anything as big as them. It's a testament to his importance to them that, less than 24 months after his death, John quit the band he'd formed. What was it he said when Brian died? "We've f***in' had it now". Yes there were many other factors that Brian probably could not have influenced and his role in their lives was reduced from what it was - but I honestly believe that the bond between them was still there. We'll have to wait and see what Mark uncovers on this. I still don't buy the film's portrayal of him as a soft-arse though! a-hard-days-night-george-10

Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

5 January 2014
10.56am
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guitarman
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5 January 2014
11.32am
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Ron Nasty
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I have to agree with both of you on the Selteab deal. Yes, it was a lousy stupid deal. No arguing there. However, you argue as if Brian walked into a meeting, was offered a lousy deal that his lawyers never bothered to look at, and signed the deal without any advice.

Until the last moment the contact was signed, it would have passed through many hands at NEMS, or associated with NEMS. Why does nobody ever mention that all those lawyers and others who Brian employed to help guide him, appear to have said nothing about the unfairness of the deal.

And remember, from his first association with The Beatles, we have evidence that Brian would rely on others to help him with the details. When he was looking to become their manager he went to a family friend who was a lawyer (E. Rex Makin) to help him draw up a fair contract.

Why is it that Epstein is criticised so much for various deals, including the Selteab deal, and those he employed to help him with those deals - which by the time of the Selteab deal included some of the top entertainment legal brains in the world, never get a mention?

As mmm pointed out above, it was new territory, and nobody truly knew what they were doing. They were making it up from day to day. Why Brian should be criticised more for the mistakes, than those he employed to let him know he was making a mistake, is beyond my ken.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

5 January 2014
12.23pm
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meanmistermustard
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mja6758 said
I have to agree with both of you on the Selteab deal. Yes, it was a lousy stupid deal. No arguing there. However, you argue as if Brian walked into a meeting, was offered a lousy deal that his lawyers never bothered to look at, and signed the deal without any advice.

Until the last moment the contact was signed, it would have passed through many hands at NEMS, or associated with NEMS. Why does nobody ever mention that all those lawyers and others who Brian employed to help guide him, appear to have said nothing about the unfairness of the deal.

And remember, from his first association with The Beatles, we have evidence that Brian would rely on others to help him with the details. When he was looking to become their manager he went to a family friend who was a lawyer (E. Rex Makin) to help him draw up a fair contract.

Why is it that Epstein is criticised so much for various deals, including the Selteab deal, and those he employed to help him with those deals - which by the time of the Selteab deal included some of the top entertainment legal brains in the world, never get a mention?

As mmm pointed out above, it was new territory, and nobody truly knew what they were doing. They were making it up from day to day. Why Brian should be criticised more for the mistakes, than those he employed to let him know he was making a mistake, is beyond my ken.

Regardless of how many people looked it over and who they were the final responsibility lies with Brian, the same with any other company. For all we know he went against the advice given or was persuaded by the other side to sign anyway or was deceived, really did think he was getting the majority share, never bothered to check and signed anyway.

Maybe a book out there documents how the merchandise deal went down. Anyone read it?

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
5 January 2014
1.14pm
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guitarman
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meanmistermustard said

mja6758 said
I have to agree with both of you on the Selteab deal. Yes, it was a lousy stupid deal. No arguing there. However, you argue as if Brian walked into a meeting, was offered a lousy deal that his lawyers never bothered to look at, and signed the deal without any advice.

Until the last moment the contact was signed, it would have passed through many hands at NEMS, or associated with NEMS. Why does nobody ever mention that all those lawyers and others who Brian employed to help guide him, appear to have said nothing about the unfairness of the deal.

And remember, from his first association with The Beatles, we have evidence that Brian would rely on others to help him with the details. When he was looking to become their manager he went to a family friend who was a lawyer (E. Rex Makin) to help him draw up a fair contract.

Why is it that Epstein is criticised so much for various deals, including the Selteab deal, and those he employed to help him with those deals - which by the time of the Selteab deal included some of the top entertainment legal brains in the world, never get a mention?

As mmm pointed out above, it was new territory, and nobody truly knew what they were doing. They were making it up from day to day. Why Brian should be criticised more for the mistakes, than those he employed to let him know he was making a mistake, is beyond my ken.

Regardless of how many people looked it over and who they were the final responsibility lies with Brian, the same with any other company. For all we know he went against the advice given or was persuaded by the other side to sign anyway or was deceived, really did think he was getting the majority share, never bothered to check and signed anyway.

Maybe a book out there documents how the merchandise deal went down. Anyone read it?

There is a book by Peter Doggett called You Never Give Me Your Money which covers this ground. I must dig it out and re-read it. I would guess that the Jonathan Gould book about the Beatles in America probably also covers it. One thing that does seem to be a consistent theme with Brian though is that he was a reluctant delegator (from an early stage) and this was certainly true in regard to the Beatles - he had the final say, no matter what. As to whether he went against advice or refused to take it, I don't know but he certainly didn't have Rex Makin on hand when they conquered America. Perhaps he did take personal responsibility for the Beatles deals and felt he couldn't trust other people - like David Jacobs or Walter Strach. He was certainly in a fragile state at the time, using prescription drugs heavily, gambling compulsively and developing a lot of paranoid tendencies (I'm relying on Ray Coleman for this information). 

Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

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