When the Beatles met the becks
There’s Brian Epstein, music publisher Dick James and two McCartney wives. But a lesser known Jewish contribution to the Beatles story was revealed during a Jewish Book Week session with Fab Four authority Mark Lewisohn, whose first of a three-volume history was published last year.
Responding to an audience member who recalled seeing the band play at a Jewish social event at the Pigalle club in London in 1963, Lewisohn added that it was the group’s first West End gig and advertised only in the JC.
He also revealed that a rumour that Ringo Starr was Jewish had led to threats from racists when the Beatles played in Montreal.
But the line of the night came from legendary music writer Charles Shaar Murray during the subsequent session on Jews in Punk.
When one of the audience said that he had hitherto mistakenly considered him an Old Etonian, the journalist growled back: “Old Estonian.” Another greatest hit.