Thank you everyone who supported our mission to see the world "come together' over Brian's vision which gave us The Beatles and so much more.
August 27, 2022
Whitechapel & Button
Speeches by Tommy Calderbank & Marie Darwin on August 27, 2022, at the unveiling ceremony of Brian Epstein’s new statue by Andy Edwards. Location: Whitechapel & Button in Liverpool, England.
Tommy Calderbank: Please, everybody, one more time, can you show you show appreciation for Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre Community Choir…
Good morning, everyone! How are we all….?
My name’s Tommy Calderbank, Project Manager for the Brian Epstein Legacy Project, and possibly the happiest human in Liverpool today. Along with my fantastic team, we can’t really believe this day is actually here. But before I go any further, I’d like to tell you we’ve got some very, very special guests here today. From The Quarrymen, we’ve got Chas, Colin, Rod and Len. Please show them some love.
I’d also like to introduce the very special people here to do our unveiling here today. They are:
Les Maguire from Gerry and the Pacemakers
Dave Lovelady and Joey Bowers from The Fourmost
And representing Gerry Marsden himself, his wonderful wife Pauline.
Today is a VERY special day, I don’t need to tell you that.
We’re here to honour a great man – one of our own – here in his hometown, and in the most beautiful of ways. And about time too, most would say. Today is the 55th anniversary of Brian’s tragic and untimely death. We hope that today’s unveiling of his statue represents a kind of rebirth. A rebirth of the man, and the most excellent qualities he embodied.
To the amazement of history, almost every record company turned down The Beatles. Now there’s hundreds of statues to them around the world. Similarly, to the amazement of history, there’s no statue to Brian, widely acknowledged as The Fifth Beatle. We’re here to remedy that anomaly. And where better, than right here in the heart of Liverpool…?
Make no mistake: this is HISTORY in the making.
Brian was a one-off, a genuine individual, and yet his work was to give to the masses. And boy, did he give. Truly, Brian is the gift that keeps on giving. Despite having to navigate a world which showed great hostility towards his Jewish heritage, his life as an LGBTQ+ person, and his perceived poshness and background, he united that world in the most positive, powerful and sustaining ways, and his influence shows no sign of abating.
Not just through The Beatles, of course. His roster of talent included Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Chants, Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas, The Fourmost, and more. Truly, Merseybeat is a beat that just goes on and on and on, isn’t it? And we’re delighted to be able to permanently celebrate one of its key figures, one of the many unsung heroes of the Mersey Sound.
His impact on the world was and continues to be, overwhelmingly positive, and we believe our debt to him as a city is incalculable. Just in economic terms, he’s helped to inspire an industry worth at least £100m a year without us breaking sweat and employs 1 in every 100 people (including yours truly). But much, much more than that, to us on the Project Team, he embodies our highest values: Truth, Love, Courage and Beauty. Ideals that we in this city – in this world – surely need now, more than ever…
I’d like to introduce you now to the wonderful Marie Darwin. Marie is a nursery schoolteacher, an author, and an indefatigable campaigner in the classic Liverpool female mould. So having her on the Committee was half the battle won. Ladies and Gentlemen, show your appreciation for Marie…
Marie Darwin: Good morning, everyone!
My work as part of the Brian Epstein team has been very much fan based.
So, I feel I can confidently speak for fans and supporters of Brian everywhere.
Five and half years ago in Jan 2017, on the day of the Cilla Black statue unveiling, I stood next to Andy Edwards in the Cavern Club and said: 'What about Brian?'
We then discussed the merits of Brian and why he should have a statue, but before I discuss Brian s merits with you today, I want to tell you about a dream I had before that previous conversation with Andy.
There is a television series called Doctor Who, the Doctor is a time traveler, usually with an assistant by his side. They travel through time and space in the Doctor’s spaceship called the Tardis.
In one episode of Doctor Who, the Doctor and his assistant travel back in time to visit the artist Vincent Van Gogh, Vincent is a troubled soul and the Doctor, and his assistant spend time reassuring him how great his paintings are. Vincent is not convinced, so they take him in the Tardis to the present day. They take him to a gallery where his paintings are being admired, they ask the curator about Vincent and he says: ''Vincent Van Gogh is the greatest painter that ever lived," Vincent turns around, looks at his paintings, then faces the curator, with tears in his eyes, he kisses the curator on the cheek and thanks him. It’s very emotional to watch.
So, this got me thinking, I would love to walk with Brian down Mathew Street, to show him what he created when he walked out of the family shop NEMS on 9th November 1961 and made the decision to manage four boys and, help to change their lives and those of several other artists as well.
But I haven't got a Tardis, I cannot bring Brian back, but myself, the team and all you people who have supported us throughout this campaign have brought Brian back through his statue.
We can all now tell people through the statue about his merits, his determination, his humility and supporting role that has changed the world both musically and culturally forever.
SO, WE CAN NOT BRING BRIAN BACK, BUT WE CAN BRING BRIAN BACK TO THE PEOPLE.
Before we take the wraps off and let you finally see it (patience, now, please – we’ve waited an awfully long time for this, another minute won’t hurt), there are a few people and organisations to thank for us getting to today. We’d most importantly like to thank the fans from almost every country in the world who supported our Crowdfunder campaign. You got us going and turbo charged our belief. We’d like to thank the City Council, Central Liverpool BID and The Cavern for their support in financial and other ways. Without BID in particular, this would have remained a dream, so a special thank you to Bill Addy and his team.
We’d like to thank the organisations and individuals in the Beatles industry locally, for their encouragement when we needed it. I’d like to personally thank the members of the Brian Epstein Legacy Committee who have shown real grit and determination over the last 5 years to get this done. Our Chair, Bill Elms, our Treasurer, Larry Sidorczuk, our Firestarter, Marie Darwin, our scribes and publishers Kevin, Julie and Robert Roach, and our mate Ralph Kluseman from the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association. We’d also like to particularly thank, of course, the creative team behind the statue’s creation: my brother Andy Edwards, who once again has excelled himself, I’m sure you’ll agree, and added another jewel to Liverpool’s crown.
And finally, the heartiest of thanks to the skilled and dedicated staff at Castle Fine Arts Foundry, who cast not only this, but most of the bronzes in the city for over 25 years. Castle is leaving their Baltic home next week to focus on their main foundry in Wales. Their association with the city has been wonderful and has enhanced and burnished our reputation as a Capital of Culture, good style. Can you please join me in showing deep gratitude to my brother Chris Butler, and his team, and wishing them all the best…?
This isn’t the end for us, by the way. We’re working with partners to create scholarships in Brian’s name, at LIPA and in the States. We also aim to create a musical instrument library for the youth of this city, so Brian’s legacy goes on far into the future. If anyone here likes the idea, and has cash and instruments, see me after the unveiling. Follow our continuing story at: thefifthbeatlestory.com.
AND SO…. for the fans around the world, for the city, and most importantly, for the man himself - for his charisma, foresight, business acumen, flair, panache, savoir faire, wit, intelligence and most of all his LOVE, COURAGE and BEAUTY, we humbly present this latest addition to our public realm, and hope everyone who sees it will take it to their hearts.
Are you ready, unveilers…?
Are you ready, everyone…?
Then, in time honoured fashion, let’s count it down. Everyone’s a sucker for a countdown.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Cue: ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’
Video by Paul Frost
A Message From The Epstein Family
Brian was a modest and reserved man, but as a family we are in no doubt that he, alongside his brother Clive and his parents Queenie and Harry, would have been immensely touched by the consistent efforts to pay tribute to his contribution to The Beatles and to the City of Liverpool through this statue.
His short but intense life is living history – and like history itself, it’s a story about a man at a certain time and place.
A book by Mark Lewisohn called All These Years offers an amazing insight into the rich puzzle of people, families and chance events that gave birth to The Beatles and helped shape the unique character of this city – a magical melting pot where positive energy, endeavor and talent meet and creative sparks fly.
Long may it continue!
And once again, thank you for all your efforts.
THE EPSTEIN FAMILY
A Message From The
Cilla had one true love, her Bobby, but Brian came a close second. He moulded and shaped her career, which helped her become one of the UK’s biggest entertainers.
Right through her life, Cilla kept a picture of Brian on her desk in her office in London and never forgot his commitment to her.
So here is a short message from her boys:
Sorry we cannot be with you today, but just to say that we wish Marie, Andy, Bill, Tom and the team all the best with their endeavors for the statue for Brian.
THE WILLIS FAMILY
Edwards & Emma Rogers
Future funds that are donated will be used to create a Brian Epstein Scholarship and access to musical instruments for the youth of Liverpool, England.