counter create hit The Velvet Mafia: The Gay Men Who Ran The Swinging Sixties - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

The Velvet Mafia: The Gay Men Who Ran The Swinging Sixties

Availability: Ready to download

Concentrating on the friendship between impresario Larry Parnes, Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and showbiz solicitor David Jacobs, the book details how they shaped the Swinging 60s, along with their associates including songwriter Lionel Bart (author of the hit musical Oliver!), record producer Joe Meek, Sir Joseph Lockwood (the head of EMI), Vicki Wickham (manager of Dus Concentrating on the friendship between impresario Larry Parnes, Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and showbiz solicitor David Jacobs, the book details how they shaped the Swinging 60s, along with their associates including songwriter Lionel Bart (author of the hit musical Oliver!), record producer Joe Meek, Sir Joseph Lockwood (the head of EMI), Vicki Wickham (manager of Dusty Springfield and assistant producer on the influential TV show Ready Steady Go), and more. Drawing on rare and unpublished archive material, personal diaries, and new interviews from some of the survivors of that turbulent decade, The Velvia Mafia shows how—in the period leading up to the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality and the founding of the Gay Liberation movement—LGBT professionals in the music industry were working together, supporting each other, and changing history.


Compare

Concentrating on the friendship between impresario Larry Parnes, Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and showbiz solicitor David Jacobs, the book details how they shaped the Swinging 60s, along with their associates including songwriter Lionel Bart (author of the hit musical Oliver!), record producer Joe Meek, Sir Joseph Lockwood (the head of EMI), Vicki Wickham (manager of Dus Concentrating on the friendship between impresario Larry Parnes, Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and showbiz solicitor David Jacobs, the book details how they shaped the Swinging 60s, along with their associates including songwriter Lionel Bart (author of the hit musical Oliver!), record producer Joe Meek, Sir Joseph Lockwood (the head of EMI), Vicki Wickham (manager of Dusty Springfield and assistant producer on the influential TV show Ready Steady Go), and more. Drawing on rare and unpublished archive material, personal diaries, and new interviews from some of the survivors of that turbulent decade, The Velvia Mafia shows how—in the period leading up to the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality and the founding of the Gay Liberation movement—LGBT professionals in the music industry were working together, supporting each other, and changing history.

44 review for The Velvet Mafia: The Gay Men Who Ran The Swinging Sixties

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I have long thought that somebody should write a biography of Larry Parnes and so was delighted to come across this. Author Darryl W. Bullock does not concentrate solely on Parnes, but also weaves the stories of others involved in the world of entertainment in the Sixties; including Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, producer Joe Meek, Lionel Bart (of ‘Oliver!’ fame), and managers Robert Stigwood, Andrew Loog Oldham, Simon Napier-Bell and others, whose careers, and lives, interlinked. For me, the t I have long thought that somebody should write a biography of Larry Parnes and so was delighted to come across this. Author Darryl W. Bullock does not concentrate solely on Parnes, but also weaves the stories of others involved in the world of entertainment in the Sixties; including Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, producer Joe Meek, Lionel Bart (of ‘Oliver!’ fame), and managers Robert Stigwood, Andrew Loog Oldham, Simon Napier-Bell and others, whose careers, and lives, interlinked. For me, the two central figures are Parnes and Epstein. Both brought up with comfortable backgrounds, whose families ran their own businesses, both Jewish, and both homosexual, during a time when it was illegal and had to be hidden. Parnes, of course, ran his stable of stars, including Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury and the disappointingly named, Johnny Gentle, who a fledgling Beatles accompanied on a tour of Scotland. Nicknamed, ‘Mr Parnes, Shillings and Pence,” Parnes was sniped at by the press, who gleefully hinted at his homosexuality – interviewing his stable of young men sitting on his sofa, while Peter Sellers satirised him as, ‘Major Rafe Ralph,” on his album, ‘Songs for Swingin’s Selllers.’ Parnes was uninterested in signing the Beatles, but Epstein, making the short trip from his record shop to the Cavern, was entranced. Parnes was helpful as the Beatles first found success, but once they exploded into worldwide fame, his statements in the press sounded a little bitter – including his constant refrain that Beat Groups were on the way out and that he questioned many in New York who thought little of the Beatles… This is a fascinating glimpse into the entertainment world of the Sixties; looking mainly at pop management – although there is also much about David Jacobs, lawyer to Parnes and, later, most of the Sixties stars, and others, such as the head of EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood, the Krays and the unpredictable, genius producer, Joe Meek, who intersected in those years. It is also, of course, a story of how the – mainly men – involved in the entertainment business had to hide their sexuality and the constant danger of being attacked, blackmailed or arrested, Larry Parnes was the first British manager who became a celebrity in his own right, while Brian Epstein enjoyed the status that accompanied the, ever increasing, fame of ‘his boys.’ Parnes was adept at repackaging the young singers he discovered and sending them on endless tours, as well as trying to push them into other areas, so they could become all round entertainers. Both Parnes, and Brian, managed many artists, while Epstein might have been wiser to have concentrated his attention on the Beatles. However, both men had a personal investment in the stars they managed; with Parnes, for example, trying to find Billy Fury a niche, long after his career had taken a dive and Epstein, despite some bad business decisions, doing his utmost to protect the Beatles, as their stars continued to rise. As the Sixties grew older, music and social attitudes were changing. Homosexuality between two consenting men became legal. Drug use became widespread and many lost their life to the excess of the times. Overall, a fascinating read of an era full of change, talent and optimism, as well as excess, overindulgence and shifting social attitudes. I have read this in March, but undoubtedly, it will be one of my reads of the year.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tosh

    If I had my own record shop, I would name the shop after Darryl W. Bullock’s book “The Velvet Mafia.” In my shop, instead of having sections or categories on artists, I would have Larry Parnes, Brian Epstein, Joe Meek, Robert Stigwood, Simon Napier-Bell, and Andrew Loog Oldham sections. Since these gentlemen are not recording artists but managers and producers, it will focus on their pop music view. Mostly gay, when being gay was illegal in England up until 1967, these figures articulate and sol If I had my own record shop, I would name the shop after Darryl W. Bullock’s book “The Velvet Mafia.” In my shop, instead of having sections or categories on artists, I would have Larry Parnes, Brian Epstein, Joe Meek, Robert Stigwood, Simon Napier-Bell, and Andrew Loog Oldham sections. Since these gentlemen are not recording artists but managers and producers, it will focus on their pop music view. Mostly gay, when being gay was illegal in England up until 1967, these figures articulate and sold generations music that was essential and sometimes bad. Here, bad is a sign of genius. All above are strong visionaries in how they sold a product - usually good-looking males, with occasionally questionable music talents, and artists of great importance and brilliance. Due to the laws and the straight world, LGBT professionals had to work publicly and secretively. Managers like Larry Parents and Brian Epstein came from Jewish working-class families who had retail shops. Both tried to enter the show biz world as entertainers or actors but realized that they could go into showbiz through promoter and manager. For Parnes, his ‘yes’ moment was seeing the teenage Tommy Steele in a Solo coffee house and Epstein visiting the Liverpool Cavern to see the future Fab Four. Both saw the future, and especially Parnes invented homegrown British orientated rock n’ roll. The Beatles, of course, became a planet to themselves. The book covers many grounds, but the focus is on Parnes, Epstein, Meek, Stigwood, and songwriter Lionel Bart. Each figure has other personalities circling them, and eventually, they mixed with the others. There are other managers/visionaries such as Andrew Loog Oldham and Simon Napier-Bell. Still, they will get their own book, or there will be a sequel to this perfect volume. I love pop music because it must be part of a more extensive culture or society. The Gay world so secretive, even with their own language at times, Polari, which is traced back to the 19th-century, and possibly to the 16th. It is a form of can’t slang that only insiders can understand. Here the Managers/Promoters made marketing decisions to create a product that appeals to the Gay’s sensibility and the screaming female fan market. Parnes is not a music person, but he realized that Rock n’ Roll needed its own platform in England and not shared with clowns, jugglers, and comedians. The roots of music hall culture will not disappear but transform into British rock n’ roll packaged tours. At times even great American artists such as Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and Buddy Holly would be part of the big show. This cross-continental programming fueled the imagination and desires of British youth. Many of the musicians from the British Invasion have seen Buddy, Eddie, and Gene. At the beginning of his career, who would have thought Robert Stigwood would end up being the king of showbiz. Managing Cream and Bee Gees, or the talented Lionel Bart, would lose all his dough. Parnes rarely made financial mistakes, and at times Epstein was overwhelmed with problems of narcotics, a hard love life, and finances that went totally out of his control. The 1960s was in consistent motion. I think this was the force that led these gentlemen to use their desires to make money (always the concern) and forge a new liberating culture. Darryl W. Bullock’s “The Velvet Mafia” is a well-documented look at that decade. With the skill of a historian/journalist, he captures these figures in motion and all the byproducts of that landscape. Here you get the Kray Twins and the voices of the young British artists as their lives being changed by these business and social visionaries. Joe Meek’s sad narration is told here as well. It’s a fantastic story of a man struggling with his place in society and being a genius in his field of record production. Kimley and I discuss and interview Bullock on his book on our podcast Book Musik. It will be up on March 15, 2021. In fact you can hear it here: Book Musik podcast

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kimley

    Tosh and I discuss this with author Darryl W. Bullock on our Book Musik podcast. Rock ‘n’ roll as we know it would not exist if not for this group of gay men in the U.K. during the late fifties and sixties fondly referred to as “The Velvet Mafia.” Larry Parnes, Brian Epstein, Joe Meek, Lionel Bart, and Robert Stigwood are some of the major players in this book who left an indelible mark on the pop/rock world. At a time in the U.K. when being gay was illegal and when pop music could only be heard Tosh and I discuss this with author Darryl W. Bullock on our Book Musik podcast. Rock ‘n’ roll as we know it would not exist if not for this group of gay men in the U.K. during the late fifties and sixties fondly referred to as “The Velvet Mafia.” Larry Parnes, Brian Epstein, Joe Meek, Lionel Bart, and Robert Stigwood are some of the major players in this book who left an indelible mark on the pop/rock world. At a time in the U.K. when being gay was illegal and when pop music could only be heard from pirate radio stations, they managed to push the needle forward and open up a culture that allowed us all to swing!

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Roundsley

    This was a very educational read for people interested in the back stories behind the music scene. Very exhaustive and detailed, almost too detailed. Some names are brought up, Marty Wilde as an example, along with a very brief mention of his first daughter, Kim. Kim went on to major stardom in the UK as well as scoring a #1 in the US with her version of "You Keep Me Hanging On." It would have been interesting had there been a bit more detail on how Marty transitioned into co-writing Kim's first This was a very educational read for people interested in the back stories behind the music scene. Very exhaustive and detailed, almost too detailed. Some names are brought up, Marty Wilde as an example, along with a very brief mention of his first daughter, Kim. Kim went on to major stardom in the UK as well as scoring a #1 in the US with her version of "You Keep Me Hanging On." It would have been interesting had there been a bit more detail on how Marty transitioned into co-writing Kim's first hit, "Kids in America" with his son, and Kim's brother, Ricky. A definite study for people interested in music management, and the origins of some of the biggest names in music.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Marie

    This book seemed pretty good, but I wouldn't recommend it for those who don't have a decent grounding in the who's who of rock and music in the 60s. I'll read just about anything - lighthouse, bones, earthquakes, politics, environmental, history,, whatever - but I was in too far over my head here. I did not meet the prerequisite knowledge for this book. If you're knowledgeable about music, give this a shot. The writing seemed good from the bit that I made it through and if you already have a stro This book seemed pretty good, but I wouldn't recommend it for those who don't have a decent grounding in the who's who of rock and music in the 60s. I'll read just about anything - lighthouse, bones, earthquakes, politics, environmental, history,, whatever - but I was in too far over my head here. I did not meet the prerequisite knowledge for this book. If you're knowledgeable about music, give this a shot. The writing seemed good from the bit that I made it through and if you already have a strong interest in the subject matter, even better!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nick Spacek

    not only the story of many of the gay men who made some of britain's finest rock 'n' roll talent possible -- such as larry parnes, brian epstein, and joe meek -- but also the story of changes in british social mores, the rise of rock music, and even the evolution of popular live entertainment. there's a lot going on, but bullock deftly weaves everything into a fascinating tale. not only the story of many of the gay men who made some of britain's finest rock 'n' roll talent possible -- such as larry parnes, brian epstein, and joe meek -- but also the story of changes in british social mores, the rise of rock music, and even the evolution of popular live entertainment. there's a lot going on, but bullock deftly weaves everything into a fascinating tale.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ann Baxter

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  9. 5 out of 5

    William Highton

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  13. 5 out of 5

    graham philip blackbourn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Keane

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth Rawson

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daisy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hosie

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tresya

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Nenadich

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cristian

  22. 4 out of 5

    kri_mi

  23. 4 out of 5

    Charnelle Hutson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bathsheba

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Williamson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ray

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kit

  28. 4 out of 5

    Derek Frasure

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  30. 4 out of 5

    Frances Osis

  31. 5 out of 5

    Bri

  32. 4 out of 5

    David Keathley

  33. 5 out of 5

    Iona

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kelby McCaughey

  35. 4 out of 5

    Alison Tonagh

  36. 4 out of 5

    Mark Ward

  37. 4 out of 5

    Big_Trimby

  38. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Watson

  39. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  40. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jess Senior

  42. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe Jeebe

  43. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  44. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Duncan

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.