Brian Epstein, often referred to by Paul McCartney as “the 5th Beatle,” was the manager of the Beatles until his death in 1967. He is considered the primary reason for the Beatles’ early successes and subsequent superstardom. Although he managed a handful of other bands, he is obviously most well-known because of his representation of the Beatles. He is a prime example of a manager that grows along with their artist; Epstein had no managerial experience when he partnered up with the Beatles, yet he refined their image and provided financial support when they were first becoming popular.
Epstein started out as a columnist in a music magazine, and this was how he came into contact with the Beatles. He had read an article in another magazine and then had a customer ask about their single, “My Bonnie,” and this sparked his interest. He then set up several subsequent meetings and eventually signed on as their manager. He refined their stage presence, mandating that they wear suits and not smoke or swear on stage (which John Lennon was not too fond of,) and this, I believe, was a small but very important factor in their early success.
Most importantly, there is one reason I consider Brian Epstein a “super manager” – in his management contract with the Beatles, he received 25% of their gross income – 10% higher than the industry standard.