In 1967, the Beatles spent the last weekend in August in North Wales, attending a conference on “spiritual regeneration” hosted by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Their entourage – wives, assistants, and friends, including Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull – numbered about sixty people, all of whom were housed in an otherwise empty student college dormitory. Everyone slept in tiny rooms with bunk beds and plain furniture, and everyone paid the same standard rate for lodging: £1.50 per night, including breakfast.
Members of the press were forbidden from the campus, and since only one person from the Beatles’ management team had a phone number with which to reach the group – to be used only in case of an emergency – it was expected to be a quiet weekend. But on the afternoon of August 27, the pay phone in the dormitory lobby just kept ringing and ringing. The news was devastating: Brian Epstein was dead. At that point, the cause of his demise had not yet been officially determined, but authorities noticed that his bedside table was cluttered with eight pill bottles. He was thirty-two years old. “It was simply terrible how lost, how heartbroken, the Beatles were,” Marianne recalled. “They kind of went into close family mode from the sorrow and the pain.
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