Malcolm Frederick Evans was The Beatles’ road manager and personal assistant they hired in 1963 until the band broke up in 1970. But did you know what happened to him?
The Beatles had an “all-around man” who did everything from roadie work to bodyguarding. He even did a couple of shows with them. A few years after the band broke up, Evans was shot dead by the LAPD when he threatened officers with what turned out to be an air rifle.
Who was Mal Evans?
Malcolm Frederick Evans was born on May 27, 1935, in Liverpool. He grew up on Waldgrave Road with his sister Pam. Other details about Evans’ early life are unknown apart from his date of birth. He wrote his memoirs through Living The Beatles’ Legend, published in 2005.
In the book, he starts in 1961 and talks about meeting his wife, Lily. They met at a funfair and got married and had their firstborn child, Gary, in the same year. The Beatles were regular performers at the Cavern Club, where Evans first heard them perform. He became a fan of the band, even if he was such a big fan of Elvis Presley back then.
He started a friendship with George Harrison, who recommended him to the Cavern Club’s manager when they needed a doorman for the establishment. At 27-years old, Evans was accepted for the job even with his thick-framed glasses. He was chosen because of his large build at 6 feet and 6 inches and fondly called the Gentle Giant, or Big Mal. (Source: The Times UK)
Mal Evans and The Beatles
From being the doorman at Cavern Club, Evans eventually became the road manager of The Beatles. His job was to make sure that every aspect of the band’s travel was hassle-free and fun. Neil Aspinall worked alongside him, driving the group to different gigs and lugging their gear. They would also be responsible for setting up at each venue and ensuring that the band had everything they needed.
Evans became a vital part of the band’s inner circle. As time passed, he eventually started contributing more to the bank. He appeared in some movies and even made music with The Beatles. After the band stopped touring and started Apple Records, he was officially promoted to their executive assistant, taking care of label-related work. (Source: Ultimate Classic Rock)
What Happened After The Bealtes Broke Up?
After the band split, Evan’s was fired from Apple Records. But he was reinstated by manager Allen Klein shortly after. He eventually separated from his wife and moved to Los Angeles. While he was living in the United States, he became part of the loose confederacy of rock vets.
Evans also started working on his memoirs entitled Living the Beatles Legend that was scheduled to be sent to published on January 12, 1976. Unfortunately, he was going through a rough patch with depression and isolation due to setbacks in his career.
On January 5, 1976, Evans called his co-writer, John Hoernie, drunk and on Valium. Hoernie was concerned that he went directly to Evan’s apartment to check on him. When he arrived, Evans held a weapon that looked like a rifle. Fran Hughes, Hoernie’s girlfriend, called the police. When the authorities arrived, Evans still refused to drop his gun and was shot dead. It turns out the weapon he was holding was an air rifle.
Upon hearing the news of Evans’ untimely passing, Paul McCartney was beyond shocked.
It was so crazy, so crazy. Mal was a big loveable bear of a roadie; he would go over the top occasionally, but we all knew him and never had any problems. The LAPD weren’t so fortunate. They were just told that he was upstairs with a shotgun and so they ran up, kicked the door in and shot him. His girlfriend had told them, ‘He’s a bit moody, and he’s got some downers.’ Had I been there I would have been able to say, ‘Mal, don’t be silly.’ In fact, any of his friends could have talked him out of it without any sweat, because he was not a nutter.Paul McCartney
(Source: Ultimate Classic Rock)