The invisible Beatle

Vivek Tiwary’s graphic novel ‘The Fifth Beatle’ brings the humane story of Beatle’s band manager Brian Epstein

October 12, 2014 04:18 pm | Updated May 23, 2016 05:32 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Vivek Tiwary is an award-winning producer of Broadway shows and films. He is writer of the graphic novel "The Fifth Beatle'.

Vivek Tiwary is an award-winning producer of Broadway shows and films. He is writer of the graphic novel "The Fifth Beatle'.

Vivek Tiwary’s energy levels are at a high as he shows us his labour of love of 20 years, the book ‘The Fifth Beatle’ at Hyderabad Comic Con 2014. ‘The Fifth Beatle’ is based on the untold life story of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. “It was an incredibly humane story and I had to share it with the world,” says Vivek excitedly. The Indian-origin filmmaker from Patterson, New York says what struck him was the way Epstein overcame obstacles to create a band which the world will fall in love with. “He was gay, Jewish and was from Liverpool. It was illegal to be gay in the early ‘60s and there were no Jews then working in the music industry. And, Liverpool had no cultural influence whatsoever. But Epstein had a vision of taking this local band and making them bigger than Elvis. It is not just his music skills but his humane story of fighting the odds,” he says.

Vivek says Epstein’s life inspired him go after him dreams. “As a first generation young Indian growing up in New York, I wanted to make a mark for myself,” he says. Although he had a business degree, Vivek went on a different path. “My parents wanted me to take up business. I went to a business school and took a degree so that I do not totally let my parents down. I believed in what I wanted to be. If I could write a comic book and produce musicals, anyone with a goal can achieve it. There is no dream that is impossible to achieve and no person is unlikely to realise the dream,” he says with a smile.

The Fifth Beatle written in a graphic novel format is the only book on Brian Epstein, claims Vivek. “When I started research 20 years ago, there was no Wikipedia, no YouTube or Google. I had a phonebook and I called people. I said ‘I find the story inspiring and want to learn more.’ I forgot to be intimidated and reached out to people. Even they reciprocated in the same way,” he says.

Why did he choose to write the story in a graphic novel format? “I loved comics since I was a kid and felt it captured the essence. Facts are important and I wanted to capture the feeling of hope and possibility on Brian Epstein’s face when he saw the Beatles playing at a basement club and smoking and drinking on sets. He knew and saw what the band will be in future. I couldn’t tell the story in a prose format. I couldn’t merge the feelings with words. You got to have something powerful to show the feelings and only a graphic novel could do it,” he explains.

Now the excitement is high on the radar as he is soon going to make a feature film based on the story.

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