Joe Flannery has been described as the ‘Secret Beatle’, and as the business associate and partner of Brian Epstein, he became an integral part of The Beatles’ management team during their rise to fame in the early 1960s. Standing in the Wings is Flannery’s account of this fascinating era, which included the controversial dismissal of Pete Best from the group (nothing to do with London, but matters back in Liverpool), Brian Epstein’s fragility, and the importance of the Star Club in Hamburg. This book is not simply a biography, as it also considers issues to do with sexuality in 1950s Liverpool, the vagaries of the music business at that time and the hazards of personal management in the ‘swinging sixties’. At its heart, Standing in the Wings provides an in-depth look at Flannery’s personal and professional relationship with Epstein and his close links with the Fab Four. Shortly before John Lennon’s murder in 1980, it was Flannery who was one of the last people in the UK to talk to the great man. Indeed, Flannery remains one of the few ‘Beatle people’ in Liverpool to have the respect of the surviving Beatles, and this is reflected in this timely and revealing book.