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Top Of The Pops

I am, as they say, a tad frustrated. Having exceeded a certain age, I should be past my mid-life crisis but it seems to continue unabated.

Back in the mists of iTime, I effectively shut myself away in my office for about five days. I did venture out for meals and shagging but the rest of the time was spent trying to master HTML. The mission was a success, I sort of got the hang of it and hand coded a site that went online on July 18th, 1995. Fuck! Is it really that long ago? It feels like yesterday and yet, it also feels like another lifetime.

Now, here I am with a web-site and a blog – but am I doing either? The answer is simple. No, I’m not.

What you get comes straight from my head. Sometimes, I will accept, I have no idea what’s going to present itself on the screen in front of me. It’s stream of consciousness, or drivel (whichever you might think). The one thing that’s been a constant, since that very first day, is it came out of my head. It wasn’t checked with someone or edited and yet the blog has ground to a halt.

Someone has been very sweet and was checking it for me on a daily basis but I realised that it was screwing me up beyond belief. Since I was in my teens, I’ve written, poetry, porn, crap of all sorts but it just came from my fingers. I didn’t need to think about it and I didn’t. I typed it out, posted it – and waited for a cheque or a rejection note (and in some cases, come-ons from the editors of top-shelf magazines). It was a laugh, a job, something to do but I always took it seriously. It was me. Just as this is.

My head has always been so fucked that it’s a wonder I could ever function on anything resembling a normal state. I come from a dysfunctional family but then, who doesn’t. I hate confrontation but am incredibly confrontational. I always have been but who really cares. We’re all like that. It’s year upon year of suppressed anger that eventually takes over. You lose sense of yourself and yet somewhere in the back of your mind you can often find the key. One moment, one situation, where rather than face a confrontation, you simply give in. That moment, where you want to say “no” more than anything and don’t, is where it all goes wrong.

Is this a semantic debate or a rock blog? It’s both, believe me. For me at least, it is. I have to take ownership of what I have done and continue to do. The mistakes I’ve made are numerous but as long as I take responsibility for them, it’s fine. They’re in the past and gone but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to learn from them.  I have a vivid memory of sitting on the floor as a small child playing with a construction set and a friend of my mother’s asking why I wasn’t out on a bright summer’s day playing with friends. Before I could answer, my mother did. “He’s happier playing on his own in here”, she said.

Needless to say, I didn’t want to be stuck in the corner of a room listening to two women bitch about everything and everyone they knew but I didn’t open my mouth and say anything. Here we are, four and a half decades on and not much has changed, except for one thing. I know where I fucked up and it makes me desperately unhappy. It’s amazing how satisfying even saying, “No, I don’t want coffee tonight” can be.

The archive; the almanac; the memorabilia – all of them are, in some ways, extensions of myself but they’re not me. Now, all I want to do is do something with them. In the case of the garage and the huge piles of newspapers I’ve found a solution I’m comfortable with. I’m burning them! A one-inch pile of tabloids will easily make two paper “logs” more than 3 inches in diameter. They burn for at least an hour and make very little ash. Carefully positioned at night, they’ll even keep a fire going until the next morning. Ripping up things – and creating warmth – what could be more satisfying?

In amongst this upheaval, I’m trying to rebuild my iTunes library. In the last few years, it’s quadrupled in size but I look at it with deep sadness. Everything that ever gave me joy is there but the artists that created those works are pale shadows of their former selves. They no longer inspire me. I want someone to do that again. I want to hear something new and exciting but I struggle, I really do.

If it wasn’t for the wealth of sites on blogspot.com providing links from everything from the most obscure 60’s releases to albums that will hit the shops in a month or so, I would go nuts! The music industry whinges on and on about illegal downloads but it’s all crap. Back in the “good old days” you could go into a record shop and while away an hour or two in listening booths, or in later years at “listening stations” but you could listen to new releases by anyone and everyone. That doesn’t happen anymore. back in the ’60s and ’70s the amount of music on mainstream TV channels was vast in comparison to today. From “Crackerjack” to “The Black & White Mistrel Show” and even “Tonight”, you could see and hear what was happening in music.

We’re not talking about the latest project from Simon Cowell here, we’re talking about real music, written and performed by real bands who had slogged for years paying their dues in flea-pits and bars across the land. I really miss that.

At one point, I thought my problem was that I didn’t care anymore but it’s really the opposite. I care too much. I hope I never, ever stop caring but I need new, exciting music and I’m not getting it. If you know of anything exciting, send it to me. I AM SERIOUS! And don’t worry what it is. My tastes are extremely eclectic but one thing remains constant. The best single ever recorded – “London Calling” by The Clash.

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday, 28th January):

Birth

1946. Rick Allen (The Box Tops) born in Little Rock, Arkansas.

On Stage

1995. Elton John, Ray Cooper and Sting perform at the first benefit for The Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. The performance along with dinner and an auction raises $ 1 million.

In Court

1980. All five original members of Guys And Dolls appear in court for the first day of a legal case brought by their former managers, Ammo Productions Ltd., for £ 12,900 in unpaid commission. The group have issued a counter suit claiming £ 3,418 in unpaid royalties.

In Hospital

1987. Elton John‘s wife, Renate, flies into London after working for the last month in Los Angeles. She has not travelled to Australia, where Elton is still recovering in hospital but did say she has spoken to him on the ‘phone “at least once a day”.

On Television

1971. Top Of The Pops. (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Jimmy Savile. BadfingerElvis Presley (Promo); Frankie Valli; George Harrison/Pan’s People; Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon; Martha & The Vandellas; Stevie Wonder; The Equals; The Mixtures; The Supremes/Pan’s People; The Weathermen. Here are Badfinger with “No Matter What”

Death

2000. Motown saxophonist Thomas “Beans” Bowles dies in Detroit after a ten year battle with prostate cancer, aged 71. Bowles was best known as a baritone sax player and arranger but was also tour manager for the early Motown Revues that toured the U.S.A. His career with Motown was far from smooth. He claimed to have written “Fingertips” for Stevie Wonder but never received a credit. On leaving the company, he was even forced to negotiate for the rights to his own name, which he’d unwittingly given to Motown when he signed his contract in 1962.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday, 24th January):

Birth

1941. Neil Diamond born Noah Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York.

On Stage

1969. Lonnie Donegan takes over from Judy Garland in the middle of her 5-week season at London’s Talk Of The Town. The Hollywood star is described as “resting” in her suite at the Ritz Hotel with a nurse in attendance. Yesterday, she had walked off stage after cigarette packets were thrown at her following her late arrival.

In Custody

1980. Paul McCartney has his first meeting with the British Consul since being detained by Japanese authorities on January 16th. The meeting with D.W.F. Warren-Knott lasted about 15 minutes. During that time, the 37 year old singer said he had no complaints about the way he was being treated.

In Court

1978. The case involving Rod Stewart‘s tour band continues at Glasgow Sheriff Court. Two road managers with the group, Patrick Logue (27) and Malcolm Culmore (31), charged with possessing cannabis are found not guilty. Unfortunately, the tour secretary, 29 year old Doris Tyler, is found guilty of perverting the course of justice and is fined £ 130. Police giving evidence against her said that officers answering three different telephones heard her say, “It’s Doris. The drug squad are in the hotel. Ditch everything you’ve got”. Mrs. Tyler was unable to attend the court in person as she’s in Hollywood and unable to travel on health grounds.

On Television

1980. Top Of The Pops. (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Mike Read. Barbara Dickson; Boomtown Rats; Buggles; Dollar; Joe Jackson; Legs & Co / Bee Gees; Matchbox; Nolans; PretendersRegents; Sheila & B.Devotion; The Specials; Suzi Quatro. Here are the Regents with “7-Teen”.

Death

1970. James “Shep” Sheppard, leader of Shep And The Limelites, is found battered to death in his car on the Long Island Expressway.

Babble

For those of you who thought I’d gone AWOL the last few days, I do apologise. My New Year resolution to get the blog up in the wee small hours may seem to have been abandoned but that’s not really the case.

As you may know, I’m planning to publish a concise version of the Rockmine Almanac through Lulu next month. This has meant making sure it was up-to-date and working properly – which it wasn’t. So, come Monday morning, I decided to get things in order, going through each of my databases and rebuilding them line by line. Two hard-drive failures in the last year had seen me lose numerous source files. I’d tried everything from freezing them to dropping them but somehow, last weekend managed to rescue the last of what I thought was too important to lose.

This week, I’ve been totally focused on my TV database which had 13, 052 shows. That figure is now 19,176 and I still have probably another 5,000 shows on text files I need to check and rebuild.  I’ve spent ages sifting through daily TV listings in various libraries and trawling through Rockmine’s vast store of music papers for something approaching a definitive listing of pop and rock on U.K. TV but those files are the most corrupted. As a result, it’s going to take some time to add those.

That said, I’m relatively happy. What I do have, even now, is a wonderful snap-shot of what we were watching across the years. Here’s what the database throws up (so far) for January 24th:

 

1958 American Bandstand. (ABC, U.S.A.) Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers – “Goody-Goody”

1959. The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show. (ABC, U.S.A.) Bill Parsons – “All-American Boy”; Joni James – “There Must Be a Way” & “Sorry for Myself”; The Wild Cats – “Gazachstahagen”

1961. American Bandstand. (ABC, U.S.A.) Johnny Burnette – “Little Boy Sad”

1964. Ready, Steady, Go! (Associated-Redifussion (ITV),U.K.) The Searchers – “Needles & Pins”; The Bachelors; Cloe; Susan Maughan; Tony Sheridan; Phil Spector

1964. The Mike Douglas Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Louis Armstrong co-hosts and performs.

1965. The Ed Sullivan Show. (CBS, U.S.A.) The Animals – “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

1966. Hullabaloo. (NBC, U.S.A.) Host: Dean Jones. Guests: The Bitter End Singers, Peter Nero, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Bruce Scott

1966. Where The Action Is. (ABC, U.S.A.) Ben E. King: “Spanish Harlem; Dick and DeeDee: “The Mountain’s High; Paul Revere and the Raiders: “Searchin'”

1967. Where The Action Is. (ABC, U.S.A.) J.J. Jackson: “But It’s Alright” & “I Dig Girls; The Outsiders: “Time Won’t Let Me” & “Help Me Girl”.

1968. The Johnathan Winters Show. (CBS, U.S.A.) Guests include Nancy Sinatra – “Cryin’ Time”. The Young Saints – “Feelin’ Good”, “I Know a Place”.

1970. American Bandstand. (ABC, U.S.A.) Joe South – “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”; Biff Rose 

1971. Omnibus (BBC-1, U.K.) Chicago Blues

1971. The Barbara McNair Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Hagood Hardy performs, “Eli’s Coming” Barbara sings “Softly, as I Leave You.”

1971. The Ed Sullivan Show. (CBS, U.S.A.) Musical guests: B.J. Thomas, Nancy Ames

1973. The Mike Douglas Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Mike’s guests are The Corneilus Brothers.

1974. Top Of The Pops. (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Jimmy Savile. Andy Williams – Solitaire (Repeat); Golden Earring – Radar Love; Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes – The Love I Lost (Disc); Lulu – The Man Who Sold The World; Medicine Head – Slip & Slide; Mud – Tiger Feet; Stevie Wonder – Living For The City (Disc); Suzi Quatro – Devil Gate Drive; The Stylistics – Rockin’ Roll Baby (Disc); The Sweet – Teenage Rampage.

1975. The Midnight Special (NBC, U.S.A.) Hosts: The Marshall Tucker Band. Guests: Charlie Daniels; Charlie Daniels Band; Olivia Newton-John; Poco

1975. The Mike Douglas Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Guests include singer-songwriter Paul Williams – “Family of Man”, “You and Me Against the World”.

1976. Hee-Haw. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Guests: Cal Smith, The Statler Brothers and LaWanda Lindsey.

1976. Saturday Night Live (NBC, U.S.A.) Neil Sedaka

1976. Soul Train. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) The Jackson Five

1978. Rockpalast. (WDR, West Germany) Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias (WDR Studio-L Köln)

1978. The Mike Douglas Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Paul Anka co-hosts and sings “Nights on Broadway.”

1980. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (NBC, U.S.A.) Sarah Vaughan; Jim Stafford

1980. Top Of The Pops (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Mike Read. Barbara Dickson – Caravan Song; Boomtown Rats – Someones Looking At You; Buggles – The Plastic Age; Dollar – I Want To Hold Your Hand; Joe Jackson – Its Different For Girls (Repeat);  Legs & Co / Bee Gees – Spirits Having Flown; Matchbox – Buzz-Buzz-A-Diddle It; Nolans – Im In The Mood For Dancing; Pretenders – Brass It Pocket (Repeat);  Regents – 7 Teen; Sheila & B.Devotion – Spacer (Promo); The Specials – Too Much Too Young (Promo); Suzi Quatro – Mamas Boy.

1981. Hee-Haw. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Bruce Jenner; Reba McEntire – “Up In Heaven”; T.G. Sheppard – “I Feel Like Loving You Again”.

1981. Rockpalast. (WDR, West Germany) Michael Schenker Group (Markthalle Hamburg)

1981. Saturday Night Live. (NBC, U.S.A. Joe “King” Carrasco & The Crowns; 14 Karat Soul

1981. Soul Train. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Bar-Kays; Yarbrough & Peoples; Robert Winters

1985. Top Of The Pops. (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Mike Smith, Steve Wright. Ashford & Simpson – Solid (Promo); Chaka Khan – This Is The Night; Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is (Promo); James Ingram – Yah Mo B There; King – Love & Pride; Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday.

1987. American Bandstand. (ABC, U.S.A.) The Beastie Boys – “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)!”

1987. Hee-Haw. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) John Schneider (co-host). Guests: Louise Mandrell; The New Grass Revival.

1987. Saturday Night Live. (NBC, U.S.A.) Debbie Harry

1990. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. (NBC, U.S.A.) Hoyt Axton

1991. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. (NBC, U.S.A.) Garth Brooks

1991 Top Of The Pops BBC U.K. Presented by Simon Mayo. 2 In A Room – Wiggle It (Promo); A Tribe Called Quest – I Can Kick It (Promo); Off-Shore – I Cant Take The Power; Queen – Innuendo (Promo); Rick Astley – Cry For Help; Robert Palmer – Mercy Mercy Me-I Want You (Repeat);  The Simpsons – Do The Bartman (Promo); Tongue N Cheek – Forget Me Nots.

1992. The Word. (Channel 4, U.K.) Musical guests:  Boy George, Jah Wobble, Sinead O’Connor, Ride, Jagdeep.

1993. Taratata. (France 4, France) Recorded 21 janvier 1993. Solos: Véronique Sanson; Kezia Jones; Les Négresses Vertes; Jocelyne Beroard. Duos: Véronique Sanson & William Sheller; Véronique Sanson & Dany Brillant

1996. Late Show With David Letterman. (CBS, U.S.A.) Musical guest: Joe Ely

1997. Never Mind The Buzzcocks. (BBC-2, U.K.) Peter Hook, Ace, Clare Grogan, Alan Davies

1997. TFI Friday. (Channel 4, U.K.) Musical guests: Gabrielle, Candyskins, Audioweb

1997. The Rosie O’Donnell Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Guests include Tori Amos.

1997. Top Of The Pops (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Phil Daniels. Byron Stingily – Get Up (Everybody); En Vogue – Don’t Let Go (Love) (Promo); Ginuwine – Pony; Outhere Brothers – Let Me Hear You Say Ole’ Ole’; Reef – Come Back Brighter; Suede – Saturday Night; U2 (Disc);otheque (Promo); White Town – Your Woman (Promo).

1998. Soul Train. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) H-Town; Kimberly Scott; Mic Geronimo

2002. Last Call with Carson Daly. (NBC, U.S.A.) Guests include JaRule.

2002. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A.) Guests include Chuck Berry; Little Richard 

2003. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A.) Guests include Sheryl Crow 

2003. Top Of The Pops (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Richard Bacon.  – Year 3000; Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One; David Sneddon – Stop Living The Lie; Feeder – Just The Way I’m Feeling; Jaimeson ft Angel Blu – TRUE; Libertines – Time For Heroes; Panjabi MC – Mundian To Bach KE; The Everly Brothers – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots.

2004. Austin City Limits. (PBS, U.S.A.) Keith Urban followed by Rodney Crowell  

2005. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. (CBS, U.S.A.) Guests include: Population One

2006. Last Call with Carson Daly. (NBC, U.S.A. ) Guests include The Constantines.

2006. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A. Jamie Foxx performs “Unpredictable” from album Unpredictable

2007. Late Show With David Letterman. (CBS, U.S.A.) Rosanne Cash performing “Black Cadillac.”

2007. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A. Branford Marsalis performs “Fate” from his CD Braggtown

2008. Late Show With David Letterman. (CBS, U.S.A.) Super Furry Animals perform “Neo-Consumerism.”

2008. Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC-2, U.K. ) Sophie Ellis Bextor, Yannis, Tim Minchin, James Lance

2008. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Guests include Natasha Bedingfield

2008. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. (CBS, U.S.A.) Guests include:  Ringo Starr

2008. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A. Buckcherry performs from the CD “15”

 

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© Copyright 1995 – 2008 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday, 10th January):

Birth

1917. Producer Jerry Wexler born in New York City.

On Tour

1986. Sting‘s concert at Newcastle City Hall is abandoned and 2,000 fans are evacuated minutes before the show is due to start after an electricity sub station behind the hall explodes.

Back Home

1965. Adam Faith arrives back in London after abandoning his South African tour which ended in farce on the 8th. He denies reports that the incident was a publicity stunt, claiming that it will cost him £ 30,000 in lost earnings and a further £ 20,000 a year from record sales. He had been told that the issue of racially segregated audiences was policy and not law and said that the secretary to the Minister of the Interior had given him the names of five other British artists who had made it clear they would only perform for mixed audiences. The £ 20,000 bond he surrendered to the Department Of Justice was to cover “breach of contract damages” and he didn’t know if any of it would be returned. Meanwhile the Foreign Secretary, Patrick Gordon Walker, has instructed the British Embassy in Pretoria to provide him with an immediate report on the detention of Faith and his manager.

In The Studio

1956. In the early afternoon, Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black begin their first recording session for RCA Records at the company’s studios at McGavock Street, Nashville. The sessions, arranged by RCA’s Nashville agent, Chet Atkins will end tomorrow. By that time Elvis, Scotty and Bill will have recorded “Heartbreak Hotel” along with four other tracks (“I Got A Woman”, “Money Honey”, “I’m Counting On You” and “I Was The One”). During the sessions, Chet Atkins plays rhythm guitar, Floyd Cramer plays piano and DJ Fontana drums.

On Television

1985. TOP OF THE POPS (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Mike Smith and Mike Read. Alison Moyet; Band Aid; Bronski Beat; Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson; Strawberry Switchblade; Thompson Twins and Z.Z. Top. Here are Strawberry Switchbalde with “Since Yesterday”.

Death

1997. Kenny Pickett lead singer with The Creation dies at home.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday, 1st January):

Birth

1942. Country Joe McDonald born in El Monte, California.

On Stage

1960. Johnny Cash plays his first concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison. In the audience is Merle Haggard who is serving a three year sentence for burglary. Cash’s visit inspires him to join the prison band. The rest, as they say, is history…

In Church

2002. Eric Clapton, his 25 year-old girlfriend, Melia McEnery and a handful of close family friends are at the Church Of St. Mary Magdalen in Ripley, Surrey for the baptism of their 6 month-old daughter, Julie Rose and Clapton’s 16 year-old daughter, Ruth Patricia (the result of an affair in 1983 with her mother Yvonne Kellyn). After the baptisms are finished the vicar, The Reverend Christopher Elson, surprises the congregation by inviting Eric and Melia to step forward to be joined in marriage, much to the delight of everyone there.

In Hospital

2000. George Harrison is discharged from Harefield Hospital earlier than expected after making what a hospital spokesman described as “such a good recovery”. He slips out of the hospital late in the evening and is driven home to his estate in Henley by Mercedes. Surgeons said that although his lung had collapsed during the attack at his home on December 30th, the knife had missed any major blood vessels. As a result, the ex-Beatle is expected to make a full recovery within a few weeks.

On Television

Top Of The Pops (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Jimmy Savile. Bo Flyers – Do The Buster, Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas, Pan’s People dancing to Mike Oldfield’s In Dulci Jubilo (Pans People); Billy Howard – King Of The Cops, Slik – Forever And Ever; Abba – Mamma Mia, Glyder – Pick Up And Go; Dana – Its Gonna Be A Cold Cold Christmas; Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Promo). Here’s the first part of the whole show, which you should find on around this page.

Death

1953. Hank Williams dies in the back of a car on his way to a gig in West Virginia. Although the death certificate gives the cause of death as a heart attack, it was more probably the result of too much booze and too many pills.

Babble.

Here we are, it’s 2009. Another year gone and a new one just beginning. I hope your New Year, like mine, will be better than last year. I’m tempted to say it can’t be worse!

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 27th August):

Birth

1954. Daniel Bressanutti (Front 242) born in Brussels, Belgium.

On Tour

1966. Pop duo Chad & Jeremy disappear after the first performance of a five day engagement at the Minnesota State Fair, After their first afternoon show, they returned to their hotel with their instruments and shortly after disappeared. They were due to have played another three shows today and every day until August 41st. Officials say no clue was given as to their reason for leaving. The duo’s American agent is arranging for Bobby Vee to replace them as star of the show.

In Custody

1989. Izzy Stradlin is arrested in Phoenix, Arizona for urinating in the galley of an airplane after he found the toilets were engaged.

In Scotland

1970. Derek McEwen, the missing promoter of the Yorkshire Pop, Blues & Jazz Festival reappears after vanishing on August 15th. He explains that he was in a confused state and had wandered around the moors for 15 hours before making his way to Scotland to stay with friends.

On Television

1981. (BBC-1, U.K.) Introduced by Richard Skinner. Aneka; Cliff Richard; Genesis; Legs & Co / ELO; The Nolans; The Rolling Stones; Soft Cell; Startrax; Ultravox. Today’s clip is Genesis with “Abacab”. 3m 45s.

Death

1967. Brian Epstein dies of an overdose at his flat at 24 Chapel Street, Belgravia, London. Simon Napier Bell will later claim in his book, “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”, that Epstein was depressed at being unable to seduce him and committed suicide.

 

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