NEMS Music Store

12 Whitechapel, Liverpool L1

NEMS (North End Music Stores) was run by Brian Epstein and was an offshoot of Epstein & Sons, a furniture store started by his father Harry (in fact, Paul’s father bought the family’s first piano from Harry Epstein). Brian would later use the name for his management business when he relocated to London (NEMS Enterprises, to be precise).

Brian Epstein liked to pass the legend that in the autumn of 1961, a young man came into NEMS to inquire about a record by the Beatles called “My Bonnie,” a record they had recorded while in Germany. Not knowing of the band but hearing that they were a Liverpool group, he made enquiries and hence saw the Beatles play in the Cavern Club.

Brian at NEMS Whitechapel

If you are standing in front of the old NEMS shop, you will see quite clearly how close Brian’s store was to Mathew street If fact, the individual Beatles often came into NEMS to learn songs by listening to them in NEMS’ listening booths.

The fact is that NEMS not only carried, but Brian wrote for, Mersey Beat magazine, which often featured the Beatles on its cover. There is little doubt that as an astute music tradesman, Brian was unaware of the existence of the Beatles in Liverpool, before he finally went to the Cavern to check them out.

Recently, the NEMS site as it looks now

Two major event happened at NEMS:  The Beatles first business contract was signed upstairs in Brian’s in December 1961. The 2nd was Pete Best's sacking from the band, a task that Brian Epstein had to handle alone Pete left NEMS and drowned his sorrows in ale at the Grapes in Mathew Street.