After a longer interval than I care to think about, this week all my books were finally liberated from cardboard-box limbo, including a couple of key Beatles texts. One of them is The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz, who sheds a great deal more light on goings-on over the last week. For one thing, it was apparently during their brief time in India that The Beatles reached a collective decision to quit touring once their current obligations had been met.

This seems to have been deeply troubling to Brian Epstein, who felt that managing the tours was the major part of his function. On the flight home from New Delhi he had a bit of a meltdown.

To Brian, it was clear from what he overheard that the end had come; that after four years of success and prosperity, his position was redundant…. By the time they neared their destination, Brian was reeling from nerves and alcohol. His effort to contain the anxiety had backfired. A wave of manic depression swept over him that manifested itself like a shock. Slack, almost catatonic, he was consumed by repressed anger. He was “so sick, so shaky” that the airline radioed ahead for an ambulance to meet the plane.

Once they landed, though, Epstein was loaded into a limo and sent to Portmerion, “am eccentric little beach resort in northern Wales,” where he would be able to spend some time pulling himself together. It was on his fourth day there, according to Spitz, that he heard that the “bigger than Jesus” controversy had erupted in America.

This is a bit confusing, as Spitz has Epstein learning about BTJ on August 1, whereas my calculations would put his fourth day in Wales at July 11 or 12. Were I a stickler for complete historical accuracy I’d delve a bit deeper into the source of this discrepancy. But for better or worse, I am not. Enjoy the rest of your day.

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