Brian Epstein played a crucial role in elevating The Beatles to success. However, according to Paul McCartney, the band’s manager made some mistakes along the way. Paul McCartney collaborated with Beatles manager Brian Epstein for an extended period. While Epstein played a pivotal role in catapulting The Beatles from relative obscurity to global fame, McCartney expressed his belief that some of Epstein’s decisions did not ultimately benefit the band as they should have.
Paul McCartney acknowledged that certain business decisions made by Brian Epstein had a negative impact on The Beatles.
In the early days of The Beatles, they aspired for a respected record label to recognize their talent. Brian Epstein played a crucial role in realizing this ambition. “We were eager to secure a deal,” McCartney revealed in The Beatles Anthology. “It’s like any young novelist who just wants to be published. They would just die for Doubleday; they wouldn’t care what the deal was, so long as they could say to their friends, ‘Oh, my new book’s coming out on Doubleday.’ — ‘What, the real Doubleday?’ — ‘Yeah!’ So that’s all we wanted; to be published: ‘Our record’s coming out on EMI.’ — ‘What, the EMI?'” However, not all of these deals turned out favorable for The Beatles. McCartney cited his earnings on “Yesterday” as an example.
“But Brian did do some lousy deals and he put us into long-term slave contracts which I am still dealing with,” he explained. “For ‘Yesterday,’ which I wrote totally on my own, without John’s or anyone’s help, I am on 15%. To this day I am only on 15% because of the deals Brian made, and that is really unjust, particularly as it has been such a smash. It is possibly the smash of this century.” Still, McCartney acknowledged that there was no use feeling “bitter” about Epstein, even if he didn’t think he was “astute” enough.
The other Beatles concurred with Paul McCartney’s evaluation of Brian Epstein
McCartney had a more nuanced relationship with Epstein compared to the other Beatles, but they shared his view of their manager. “Brian didn’t secure very favorable deals on anything,” remarked George Harrison. “For years, EMI was paying us a mere old penny collectively for every single and two shillings for each album. There was also the debacle where Brian’s father relinquished the rights to The Beatles’ merchandising. His father lacked the authority to surrender the rights, yet he handed them over to some individual who subsequently passed them on to someone else, and so forth.”
The band continued to grapple with a sense of loss after their manager’s death
Even with their occasional issues, Epstein’s unexpected death in 1967 left The Beatles mourning and feeling adrift without his guidance.
Lennon reflected on Epstein’s death, stating, “I knew that we were in trouble then.” He acknowledged the band’s apprehension about handling business matters without Epstein and their subsequent struggle. The appointment of Allen Klein as their new manager further fueled disputes and contributed to the eventual breakup of the band.