CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE
Just received Geoffrey Ellis's I Should Have Known Better : A Life in Pop Management--The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Elton John -- and here's a review of it by The Times Online -- but the way I got it was via a fantastic eBay bargain, only £0.99GBP and £3.75 shipping. Then, Oh coincidence, I hear this book is FINALLY becoming available in the U.S. at the end of this month sometime. (I think I read the 28th Oct.) Even so, I think my bargain is better. Not surprising, as I've been daily searching for it since I first heard of it (see "past posts," above)!
By the way, I'm wondering why this book, and the one by Brian's former secretary My Beatles Hell - The Tragical History Tour of Beryl Adams are not getting as much press as the wonderful Tony Bramwell book ... the new Cyn book called John, the Tony Barrow thing or even the future (tabloid-ish?) Joanne Newfield Petersen book about Brian's sex with ??a Beatle??(probably John) that she's supposedly working on, called There's a Beatle in my Closet.One thing that surprised me in I Should Have Known Better was that, contrary to what I assumed, Geoffrey Ellis and Peter Brown were not that close with each other. Apparently the only reason they were together at Brian's country home when he died was that basically they were the only two, of the many people that Brian asked, that he could convince to keep him company during the long Bank Holiday weekend. The fact that rent boys were coming was a surprise to Geoffrey ... and this amused me, because I knew previously that it was well within Eppy's personality to have played a little game of trying to shock/embarrass straightlaced yet loyal friends ... and reading this let me know that Geoffrey, to this day, has never caught on to Eppy's little jokes. Yes, I am almost convinced that, from the way his book is written, it seems to me Mr. Ellis never "got it" that Brian was pulling tricks on him by having him around to help out when he planned to do naughty things.
I never knew Brian Epstein in person, and yet it's so obvious to me! What a dry sly delightfully tasteless sense of humour our Mr. Epstein possessed. I think I would have gotten along with him very well; however, I'm not certain he would have taken so well to me. Brian had more of a right than most people to be mistrustful; being so rich and powerful and yet such a natural innocent in so many ways, sooner or later most people screwed him. So why should he trust me, especially since it takes a long time to get to know me. More than one person has said that I don't have normal "body language," and they can't "read" my expressions and things like that. Ha ha, I have noticed that I do seem to fluster salesmen -- that's one advantage of being such an unreadable weirdo!
Speaking of people screwing Brian, (okay, okay, mind out of the gutter, Christine...) Mr. Ellis has some revealing things to say about Peter Brown's The Love You Make, which just serve to confirm a lot of feelings I've had about that very entertaining piece of trash. Indeed, Geoffrey Ellis is not an admirer of the peterbrown.
If you're looking for sex, sleaze and smut, Geoffrey's book is not for you. It's factual and I do like the humble Geoffrey Ellis as a person very much. So far it's an easy read, and he is very kind to Brian's memory, very kind indeed. He does come across with a few corkers, however: such as when Geoffrey accompanied Eppy to New York, and Brian took it in his head to use him as an assistant ... knowing how conservative and proper Geoffrey was, Brian let him know that he was going to Central Park to cruise for bad boys in the bushes! Geoffrey freaked, so Brian let him try to talk him out of it, even to the point where Mr. Ellis, unfamiliar with that type of lifestyle but worried sick about Brian's safety, went to some trouble and embarrassment to arrange a young man for him. When they got back to their room, the fine-looking young man was waiting for them, and Geoffrey hurriedly left them alone. The next day, he asked how it went, and Brian told him: it was good, thank you, but the boy didn't satisfy him, so he went ahead and had some fun in the park! Poor Geoffrey -- from that day forward he made an effort to try to stay out of Brian's private life! But I think that's what amused Brian ... seeing what sort of reaction he could stir up in his provincial friends with a bit of outrageous behavior. And the funniest thing about it all is that I can't see any indication in the book that Geoffrey knew Brian was messing with his head!
I probably got much more out of this book than other readers will, seeing as I've been an obsessive scholar of Brian Epstein's life and personality for all these years. I feel I could probably read between the lines better or something.
And, bonus, this book has two pics of Brian I've never seen before. Mmmmm...
expecting an onslaught of requests to take a digital of them... hee hee...