The ‘Secret Beatle: Joe Flannery Has Died


The booking manager for the Beatles from 1962-3, Joe Flannery, has passed away in his home in, Aigburth, Liverpool.

Flannery had become nicknamed the “Secret Beatle” and was aged 87. Flannery’s Nephew Norman Meek spoke of his Uncle in a statement via the NME.

“He had been unwell for the past month but he was still making plans for the future. Fans from all over the world would call at his home and he was always happy to speak with them. He had a song, ‘Much Missed Man,’ and I’m sure the city would agree with that sentiment.”

Liverpool The Cavern The Beatles Mccartney Mersey

The Cavern Club tweeted, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Joe Flannery, a lifelong friend and business associate of Brian Epstein and friend of the Cavern Club. Everyone at The Cavern, Beatleweek and all who met him over the years will miss him dearly and our thoughts are with his family.”

Flannery was born in 1931, and became acquainted with the future manager of the Beatles, Brian Epstein just six years later.

The pair met at Epstein’s house when their mothers’ were undertaking business together. Flannery discussed his impressions of Epstein in his 2013 book Standing in the Wings: The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me.

“He was quite a handful and I thought at the time something of a spoilt brat. So much so in fact that he had me in tears by the end of the afternoon”. Flannery says he went play with a toy coach and Brian Epstein purposefully stood “on the lead horses, breaking their legs, rather than have it distract my attention away from him.”

Brian Epstein

Despite this, the pair grew to be close friends, and by the late ’50s, Flannery had gotten involved in the growing local music scene by helping his brother’s band, the Teenage Rebels get bookings in venues.

According to UCR, when Epstein became the Beatles’ manager, he went to Flannery and asked him to talk to venue managers because Epstein was too well spoken!

He eventually stopped getting gigs for the group and relocated to Hamburg with his partner Kenny Meek. He had been handling bookings for the Star-Club. where the Beatles had played their final residencies in the German city.

Ultimately he returned to his hometown and was a regular at Beatles-themed events in Liverpool.

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