Today The Beatles went to a memorial service for Brian Epstein, which took place at the New London Synagogue, located conveniently close to their workplace at 33 Abbey Road. When the funeral was held on August 29th, they had been asked not to attend, for fear of creating a commotion; so this was their only chance to publicly say goodbye to their manager and friend.

In his book Shout!, Philip Norman writes this nicely elegiac passage, which I shan’t waste my time by trying to better:

It was only a short walk from there to Paul’s house and Abbey Road and the studios where Brian ushered in the Beatles to meet George Martin on that summer day long ago in 1962.

The Beatles did attend this time, as did George Martin, Dick James, and scores of people who were wealthy and well known only because of the young man who came down from Liverpool in his Crombie overcoat; who blushed easily and never went back on a promise; who could be ecstatic but never happy; who somehow caught the lightning and then somehow let it go. The rabbi’s text was chosen from the Book of Proverbs: “Sayest thou that the man is diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings.”

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