The Wilburys played a great finale set at the Heritage Foundation tribute lunch to Brian Epstein at Regents Park Marriott on Sunday June 29th after the Blue Plaque unveiling in Argyll Street, London W1 where Epstein’s NEMS company was based from 1964-67. Wilbury drummer Dave Stark helped to organise the event and spoke at the unveiling, along with Heritage Foundation president Vicki Michelle and Adam Ant, to a crowd of around 200 plus press, radio and TV.
Beatle-related guests at the lunch included Bill Harry, Tony Bramwell, Geoffrey Ellis & other ex-NEMS staff, Joe Flannery, Tony Crane of the Merseybeats, authors Mark Lewisohn and Kevin Roach, Martin Lewis, songwriters Mitch Murray and Les Reed, actor Andrew Lancel who plays Brian in the new play “Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles” which opens at Leicester Square Theatre on July 30th (www.epsteintheplay.com), plus Andrew Sachs, Nicholas Parsons, Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden and many others.
Messages were also read out from various Epstein clients & friends including Paul McCartney who wrote, “I know Brian would have been very proud to think that he had earned a Blue Plaque in the West End of London. He played a very important role in guiding the early career of us Beatles and more than that he was a lovely man whose friendship we all valued and who I will always remember with great fondness. Congratulations Brian, love from Paul McCartney”.
We were without bassist Marko ‘Jeff Lynne’ Laver on the day but our good pal Spike Jefferson stood in for him most admirably. Everyone loved the set – except the Queen, or rather her look-alike, who complained we were much too loud. Well, that’s rock & roll your majesty, and if ace guitarist Dzal Martin sees you again he says he’s gonna kick ya in the crown jewels!!
All in all it was a really great day and the Wilburys went down a treat. Next stop Broadstairs Folk Festival on August 13th and Belgian Beatles Day in October, we are of course up for any gigs or events in YOUR area subject to availability and fee – contact Dave Stark on 07956 270592.