The Beatles Song John Lennon Wrote To Defend Brian Epstein

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The Beatles were four lads from Liverpool with a dream, until they met Brian Epstein. The man would become their manager, their confidante, their most ardent supporter, taking them from small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg to world domination. Sadly, he passed away on this day in 1967.

Brian Epstein’s legacy, however, is palpable. The band adored him, with a close bond emerging between the garrulous John Lennon and the quiet manager.

While the songwriter wasn’t above aiming a few near-the-knuckle verbal barbs in his direction, whenever Brian Epstein was threatened John Lennon would leap to his aid. Indeed, when the manager’s substance issues took him to rehab, the music legend sent flowers, with a touching, from the heart note reading “I really love you”.

Brian Epstein was gay in the era immediately before the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, and it’s often cited as a key message behind The Beatles’ classic ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’. Recorded for their ‘Help!’ album, it’s John Lennon being hugely influenced by Dylan – except the band use a flute, instead of Dylan’s ever-present harmonica.

A folk-leaning piece of songwriting, he would tell Rolling Stone: “That’s me in my Dylan period again. I am like a chameleon, influenced by whatever is going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can. Same with Dylan.”

Curiously, John Lennon would never define where the lyrics came from. Are they a nod to the secrecy of his marriage to Cynthia Lennon, so often kept out of the public gaze to avoid offending fans? Or is it in fact a proto-protest song, a voice of sympathy to Brian Epstein who literally had to hide his love away?

Re-visit the classic song below.

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