Dean Johnson, webmaster of “The Beatles and Me,” which has brought several new stories of Beatles encounters to public view, says the story by Graham Webb also shows some of the qualities Epstein had that became more apparent after he found "his 'vocation' and purpose in life. And we all know what that turned out to be (Beatles)."
Webb's story begins, he said, in a training battalion in Aldershot.
“I had an old school friend with me at the time, in the same squad as me. We used to meet up in the evenings in the canteen because they wouldn’t let you out for three or four months until you’d completed basic training. You know how you intermingle with people, and some other people came up and said, 'We know some other guys from Merseyside, Liverpool,' and they introduced us. There were two guys from Southport and there was this other chap from Liverpool. That was Brian Epstein,” Webb said.
He remembered one Christmas when he and his friends, including Epstein, were trying to get home for the holidays.
“We were all gathered in the canteen at night and we were all talking about what a bit of a bugger this was – marching to Aldershot Station with kit, and then get on the train to Waterloo and then to get to Euston to Liverpool.
“Brian Epstein – ‘Eppy’ – he was a very thoughtful guy. There were things ticking over in his head, and he said, 'Maybe there’s another way. We could get a cab, a limousine, a private hire car.' We thought that was going to be a bit of a cash problem. He said, 'No, we could have a kitty, and put money in it, and it would be OK.' We thought, 'Well, it would save us a bit of an effort!'”
Webb acknowledged in an interview with BBC “On the Beat” host Spencer Leigh his suggestion that Epstein even then seemed to be a good organizer. Webb said the two didn't have much contact after he left the army, though he remembered seeing him at NEMS, which saw the beginnings of his contact with the Beatles.
By Steve Marinucci