Brian Epstein, the man who discovered the Beatles and shaped them into the biggest music sensation of the 20th century, died 40 years ago at age 32. The pivotal role the enigmatic and charming Epstein played made him the world’s most admired band manager. But outside of music circles, his name is fast being forgotten.
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During his lunch break on November 9, 1961, Brian Epstein—the 27-year-old Jewish proprietor of Liverpool’s popular North End Music Store—walked the 250 steps from his shop, through an alley and down the 18 stone stairs to a local cellar club appropriately called the Cavern.
Passionate about classical and Broadway music, Epstein had paid little attention to the city’s burgeoning teenage beat scene until, as legend has it, October 28th. A customer...
Talking Jewish With Deborah Tannen
It was Thanksgiving 1978 in Berkeley. Some guests brought cranberry sauce, some brought sweet potato pie; Deborah Tannen—who was analyzing conversations for her doctoral dissertation in linguistics—brought her tape recorder. Over a turkey dinner that lasted two and a half hours, three Jews and three Gentiles, ages 29 to 35, discussed 38 topics that included New York geography, relationships, Quonset huts, piano hands and—of course—food.
When Tannen later listened to the tape of the lively discourse, it struck her: unlike the three Gentiles (whom she calls Sally, David and Chad), she and the other two Jews (Steve and Peter)—all of whom had grown up in New York City and were of Eastern European descent—spoke dramatically and rapidly and pursued a variety of topics simultaneously. In fact, so many distinctions between the two...