- John Lennon sang a love song to The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein.
- It’s not clear who wrote the song.
- The track became a hit for another artist.
John Lennon once went on a vacation with The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein. During that time, John sang a love song to Epstein. John discussed what he thought of Epstein’s role in The Beatles’ story.
The Beatles’ manager told John Lennon he was gay
The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes an interview from 1980. In it, John discussed spending time with Epstein. “I was on holiday with Brian Epstein in Spain, where the rumors went around that he and I were having a love affair,” he said. “Well, it was almost a love affair, but not entirely. It was never consummated.
“But it was a pretty intense relationship,” he added. “It was my first experience with a homosexual that I was conscious was homosexual. He had admitted it to me.”
John elaborated on the trip. “We had this holiday together because [John’s first wife] Cyn was pregnant, and I went to Spain and there were lots of funny stories,” he recalled. “We used to sit in a café in Torremolinos looking at all the boys and I’d say, ‘Do you like that one, do you like this one?’ I was rather enjoying the experience, thinking like a writer all the time: I am experiencing this, you know.”
The song he played for the Fab Four’s manager was a hit for another artist
During the holiday, John played a love song for Epstein. “And while he was out on the tiles one night, or lying asleep with a hangover one afternoon, I remember playing him the song ‘Bad to Me.’”
“Bad to Me” is a hit love song where the narrator says his life would be awful if his lover ever left him. In All We Are Saying, John says he wrote it for Billy J. Kramer, who was another singer who worked for Epstein. However, the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now says John and Paul wrote the song together. Regardless, “Bad to Me” is credited to Lennon-McCartney.
What John Lennon thought of Brian Epstein’s role in The Beatles’ history
The book Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon features an excerpt from an interview with John from 1975. In it, John praised Epstein’s abilities as a manager. He also says Epstein believed in the Fab Four.
On the other hand, John didn’t think The Beatles were only successful because they had a good manager. He felt Epstein was wasn’t a great businessman and noted Epstein also worked with other acts such as Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers, neither of whom were nearly as popular as The Beatles. John said Epstein “packaged” many artists, but only one of those “packages” survived: The Beatles.
“Bad to Me” isn’t one of the most famous songs John wrote, but it was part of an interesting moment between him and Epstein.