1962 -- The Beatles perform at the Village Hall in Knotty Ash, Liverpool. The evening was billed as a "St. Patrick's Night Rock Gala". The promoter, Sam Leach, booked The Beatles and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes to draw a big Saturday crowd so that he could make enough profits to pay for his engagement party, scheduled to follow the night's show:
Attending this outrageous party celebrating Sam Leach and Joan McEvoy (at the family house in Huyton) were, among others: the Beatles, Brian, Rory Storm, and Bob Wooler. The overnight festivities were thrown by Dolly McEvoy, mother of Vera Brown and Joan McEvoy ... and it goes on and on until the afternoon of the following day.
Brian, who subsequently had several very heated encounters with Vera, is obsessed with her all night. According to Sam Leach, "...at my engagement party ... he pursued my future wife's sister Vera Brown with such determination it was hard to believe all the rumours (about his homosexuality)." Read EPPY & ME at SamLeach.com
Per Saki, rec.music.beatles most trusted Beatles historian:
We know, after many years of different versions of the story, that Brian was homosexual. But to hear an old girlfriend of his tell it, that wasn't always the case. Her experiences with Brian had nothing to do with leather bars, but with passionate necking sessions of a type, as Vera Brown put it, which Brian "was well up on what to do and how to go about it." Brown, who was married (but separated) at the time of her liaison with Epstein in 1962, describes him as "...very emotional. He always gave the impression of being cold and icy, but he was very softhearted, very tender, very gentle, and he had a lot of feelings. And he was all man, I don't care what they say" (Ray Coleman, "The Man Who Made The Beatles", 1989).
An interesting point is that Vera could well be describing John Lennon here --- the would-be Ted whose rough exterior is said to have been developed as a counterpoint to the pain of losing people close to him early in life. There's sufficient testimony in Ray Coleman's biography of Lennon to suggest that he was less the tough-guy and far more the intuitive, sensitive artist whose yearnings were so expressively communicated in "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "Girl", or "I'll Be Back."
Interesting to note, too, that there's more in common between John and Brian than one would imagine on the surface.
Coleman makes this point quite clearly. In terms of personality and upbringing, the two were very well matched: both from "nice" middle-class backgrounds, both having a vulnerable core to hide, both at loose ends when it came to deciding life-directions. John could have been nothing but a musician, he makes it clear, though there was no guarantee John would ever succeed; and Brian foundered through several careers before finding something he could be properly passionate about; and both John and Brian had a limitless drive to see the Beatles succeed.
Success meant, in those days more than it does now, image. And image was all. It meant controlling almost every aspect of the neophyte pop star's life, from press biographies to haircuts to suits to behavior, on-stage and off. Even John's first marriage to Cynthia Powell had to be kept under wraps, the theory being that "fans are funny that way," fickle creatures who would stop buying records if they found out their Fave Rave was already taken. Brian Epstein was, by all accounts, fanatical himself about his Boys' image, and especially so about John, whose sense of rebellious spirit did not always harmonize with wholesome pop stardom. Coleman suggests, too, that Brian was particularly concerned about John's marriage being kept secret so that questions about Brian's own private life did not surface.
and this is an important point to recognize. Brian was, by this time, discreetly involved with the underworld (such as it was) of homosexual encounters; and was ribbed about it, good-naturedly and otherwise, by the Beatles and others. But it was a dangerous element in Brian's life. Not only could it harm the group for which he was desperately seeking fame, but also homosexuality was illegal in England at the time, and punishable, on prosecution, by a significant prison sentence. It wasn't just an attempt on Brian's part to spare his own parents the pain of knowing their son would never marry; and not just to protect him; but to escape the unpleasant possibility of a criminal record and to prevent bad press coverage against his Boys.
Jul 24 1991
Quote from Vera Brown: "They were just a scruffy bunch of boys. But then Brian looked like the real thing. He was handsome. He was tall. He was immaculate. He was probably one of the sexiest fellas I had ever met. People say, "Oh well, Brian was gay," but he wasn't very gay with me. He was just like any other man and more. He was easy-going and funny. He'd make you laugh... "
16 November 1999 From The Independent
Found: Liverpool 08.com: Website for Liverpool 2008 - European Capital of Culture
Site is so new, many links are not active yet - such as the "Music and The Beatles" link! However, with the help of Google's toolbar and the "Search Site" button, I found it (maybe they're still working on it, which may be why their "Site Map" link wasn't active).
Liverpool 08: Chicken Soup and Scouse