WHERE TO NOW?
Epstein's Death Fills UK Pop World With Speculation
By CY FOX
LONDON (CP) -- Britain's big-money world of pop music and wild youth is in full speculation about its future following the death of Brian Epstein, dapper manager of the Beatles.
Most of Monday's speculation focused on four tousle-topped sensations from Liverpool, discovered by Epstein in 1961.
Now elder statesmen of the fast changing pop scene, the Beatles owe most of their revered headline prominence in Britain to a well-publicized flirtation with Eastern religion rather than to any big musical coup.
The famous four were being initiated into a religious process called "transcendental meditation" when they learned of Epstein's death Sunday in his swank $95,000 house.
Bearded and flowered in keeping with the current hippie craze, they seemed full of joy at finding this new form of "fulfillment" after previously deriving headline-making kicks from drugs.
But the religious ecstasy, achieved under the tutelage of a bearded Indian mystic, changed to shock with news of the 32-year-old Epstein's death.
In the years since he found the Beatles blasting out their wild songs at a basement night spot in his native Liverpool, Epstein and the quartet are reputed to have earned a total of between $60,000,000 and $90,000,000.
Epstein, though living out his bachelor existence in the manner of an aloof seeming aesthete, forged a complex web of interlocking companies as the tough fabric of his pop empire. He owned profitable chunks of other star performers besides the Beatles.
Much of the current London guessing about future developments now that he is dead is concerned with the key company in the Epstein network, Nems Enterprises Ltd.
Another 32-year-old, Robert Stigwood, is mentioned as the firm's possible new head. The Australian-born Stigwood, No. 2 man in Nems, is said to have made a small fortune as a pop music manager before joining the Epstein company.
Estimates of Epstein's personal fortune run as high as $18,000,000.
The son of a furniture dealer, he lived like a crown prince of London's affluent, "swinging" side.
He was a pioneer of the business set that has profited greatly from an essential ingredient of the London swinging pop music and its attendant expressions through the whole spectrum of "youth" fashions.
A post-mortem was scheduled for today to determine the cause of Epstein's death.
Police Monday searched Epstein's three-floor house near Buckingham Palace, taking away bottles and tins of tablets.
One newspaper, The Evening Standard, speculates that Epstein's death may have been caused by his absentmindedly taking pills after having a few drinks at a party Saturday night.
Epstein had been ill in recent months, suffering at various times from insomnia, exhaustion and mononucleosis.
- End of article. The Canadian Press (CP) report appeared in The Ottawa Journal, Tuesday, August 29, 1967. All rights reserved.