The Velvet Mafia: The Gay Men Who Ran the Swinging SixtiesOmnibus
Release date: 2021
By Darryl W Bullock
The Velvet Mafia tells the stories of the LGBT people at the centre of the UK's music industry in the 50s and 60s, who changed pop, politics and society for good.
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), songwriter and record label head Norman Newell, Simon Napier-Bell (manager of Marc Bolan), Kit Lambert (manager of the Who), playwright Joe Orton, and Robert Stigwood (manager of the Bee Gees and Cream).
Drawing on rare and unpublished archive material, personal diaries, and new interviews from some of the survivors of that turbulent decade, The Velvia Mafia shows how - in the period leading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.