Tributes pour in for ‘Secret Beatle’ Joe Flannery who has died

The Beatles' booking manager was 87.

Joe Flannery, who was often regarded as the ‘Secret Beatle’ has died at the age of 87.

One of the key figures during the conception of The Beatles, Flannery was the band’s booking manager from 1962-63. He was also a childhood friend of the band’s manager Brian Epstein.

Flannery’s nephew, Norman Meek, confirmed the news and said he died at his home in Aigburth yesterday (March 27).

“He had been unwell for the past month but he was still making plans for the future,” Meek explained. “Fans from all over the world would call at his home and he was always happy to speak with them.”

He added: “He had a song, ‘Much Missed Man’, and I’m sure the city would agree with that sentiment.”

Joe Flannery was the Beatles’ booking manager from 1962-63.

From 1959 onwards, Flannery’s flat on Gardner Road, in Stoneycroft became a meeting place for Merseyside bands, which is where his association with The Beatles began.

According to Flannery, members of The Beatles would often sleep at the flat and he would drive them home the next morning. He is said to have even given a young George Harrison driving lessons.

Writing about his experiences with the band in his autobiography, ‘Standing in the Wings: The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me’, Flannery said: “It was a very exciting time. The Beatles were more with me than Brian in the early days.”

The famous Cavern Club paid tribute, writing: “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.”

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, tweeted: “Sad to hear of the passing of my dear friend Joe Flannery a real gentleman so influential in the Liverpool music scene, he was a Beatles historian and ambassador for our City. He lived and breathed music and our City. RIP Joe x”

“We are saddened to hear that Joe Flannery has passed away,” said the Epstein theatre. “A dear friend of the theatre and lifelong friend of Brian Epstein. Joe was influential in the making of ‘Epstein The Man Who Made The Beatles’ and donated a photo of Brian which hangs in our bar.”

“Was literally just talking about you,” said one Twitter user, while another added: “a lifelong Beatles ambassador RIP.”

In other news, a “forgotten” picture of The Beatles has been discovered 55 years after the original photo was taken.

The negative of the picture, which shows The Beatles playing a gig in Great Yarmouth at the height of their fame in 1963, lay undeveloped in the home of Peter Harrison, 75, who salvaged the negative when he was working as an apprentice in a photographer’s studio. He was 17-years-old at the time.