CLEVELAND, Ohio – He never wrote a song, fronted a band or played a concert, but Brian Epstein is one of the important men in the history of rock 'n' roll. "Without his initial guidance, insight and connections, the world would be a very different place right now. Simple as that, really," says Cleveland musician Dave Swanson.
Epstein, you see, discovered the Beatles. And, with his shrewd management, he helped turn them into the biggest band in rock history. "Brian Epstein invented what a rock 'n' roll manager could be," says Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "In the 1950s, people did not look at rock 'n' roll performers as legitimate artists. Brian brought a professionalism and commitment to working with the Beatles – he really respected them and thought what they were doing was legitimate art and culture." Epstein, who died in 1967, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 10, in New York City. He will posthumously receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement – an award for just five amazing years in the music industry. Another famed English music manager, Peter Asher, will give his induction speech.