John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr react to Brian Epstein's death • Sunday, August 27, 1967

Press conference • Interview of The Beatles
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On August 27, 1967, The Beatles were in Bangor, North Wales, being part of a seminar organized by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In the morning, Paul McCartney received a phone call from Peter Brown, Brian Epstein’s assistant, who informed him about the tragic news of their manager’s untimely death at the age of 32. Shocked by the sudden loss, Paul McCartney immediately shared the devastating news with his fellow bandmates and their partners. In order to return to London, Paul borrowed a car and was accompanied by his girlfriend Jane Asher on the journey back. Meanwhile, John Lennon and George Harrison granted brief interviews with reporters. Ringo Starr was also present, but he chose to speak sparingly. Eventually, John, George and Ringo returned to London as well.

John Lennon: I don’t know what to say. We’ve only just heard, and it’s hard to think of things to say. But he was just… He was a warm fellow, you know, and it’s terrible.

Q: What are your plans now?

John Lennon: We haven’t made any, you know. I mean, we’ve only just heard.

Ringo Starr: Yes, you know, it’s as much news to us as it is to everybody else.

Q: John, where would you be today without Mr Epstein?

John Lennon: I don’t know.

Q: Are you driving down to London tonight?

John Lennon: Yes. Somebody’s taking us down. Yeah.

Q: You heard the news this afternoon, I believe, and Paul’s already gone down?

John Lennon: Yes.

Q: You’ve no idea what your plans are for tomorrow?

John Lennon: No, no. We’ll just go and find out, you know. And…

George Harrison: We just have to play everything by ear.

Q: I understand that Mr Epstein was to be initiated here tomorrow.

John Lennon: Yes.

Q: When was he coming up?

George Harrison: Tomorrow, just Monday. That’s all we knew.

Q: Had you told him very much about the spiritual regeneration movement?

George Harrison: Well, as much as we’d learned about spiritualism and various things of that nature, then we tried to pass on to him. And he was equally as interested as we are, as everybody should be. He wanted to know about life as much as we do.

Q: Had you spoken to him since your, since you became interested this weekend?

John Lennon: No.

George Harrison: I spoke to him Wednesday evening, the evening before we first saw Maharishi’s lecture, and he was in great spirits.

Q: And when did he tell you that he’d like to be initiated?

George Harrison: Well, when we arrived here on Friday we got a telephone call later that day to say that Brian would follow us up and be here Monday.

Q: Do you intend returning to Bangor before the end of this conference?

George Harrison: We probably won’t have time now, because Maharishi will only be here till about Thursday and we’ll have so much to do in London that we’ll have to meet him again some other time.

Q: I understand that this afternoon Maharishi conferred with you all. Could I ask you what advice he offered you?

John Lennon: He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief. And whatever thoughts we have of Brian to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is.

Q: Had he ever met Mr Epstein?

John Lennon: No, but he was looking forward to meeting him.

Q: Have you a tribute that you would like to pay to Mr Epstein?

John Lennon: Well, you know, we don’t know what to say. We loved him and he was one of us.

George Harrison: You can’t pay tribute in words.

Q: What are your plans now?

George Harrison: To return to London, and do whatever we can.

Q: Did the Maharishi give you any words of comfort?

John Lennon: Meditation gives you confidence enough to withstand something like this, even the short amount we’ve had.

George Harrison: There’s no real such thing as death anyway. I mean, it’s death on a physical level, but life goes on everywhere… and you just keep going, really. The thing about the comfort is to know that he’s OK.


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