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Author Topic: A tribute to Derek Taylor, 1932 - 1997  (Read 3116 times)

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A tribute to Derek Taylor, 1932 - 1997
« on: March 06, 2006, 07:08:10 PM »

A tribute to Derek Taylor, 1932 - 1997
(Including memories of Derek by those who knew him)

Derek Taylor

DEREK TAYLOR 1932 - 1997
(The text of the official Apple announcement)

NEW YORK, Sept. 8 -- Derek Taylor, The Beatles' friend and Press Officer across a span of 30 years, has died at his home in Suffolk after a long illness. He was 65.

Derek Taylor was born in Liverpool on May 7th 1932. He was educated in the city and became a journalist for The Hoylake and West Kirby Advertiser before joining The Liverpool Daily Post & Echo. In 1962, he became the showbusiness correspondent for the northern edition of The Daily Express, based in Manchester.

In 1958 he married Joan Doughty in Bebington, The Wirral.

On May 30th 1963 Derek covered The Beatles' concert at The Manchester Odeon. In his review in The Daily Express the next day he wrote: "The Liverpool sound came to Manchester last night and I thought it was magnificent ... The spectacle of these fresh, cheeky, sharp, young entertainers in apposition to the shiny-eyed teenage idolaters is as good as a rejuvenating drug for the jaded adult."

Following a number of subsequent exclusive interviews and reports on The Beatles, Derek developed a close relationship with the group; ghosting a weekly column by George for the Express and then ghosting Brian Epstein's biography "A Cellarful of Noise."

In April 1964, Derek became Brian Epstein's personal assistant and scriptwriter and The Beatles' Press Officer. He traveled with The Beatles on their world tour of 1964 and then resigned and moved to California, where -- as a publicist -- he represented The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart, Paul Revere and The Raiders and co-founded, the Monterey International Pop Music Festival of 1967.

In 1968 with the institution of Apple Corps., Derek returned to England with his wife Joan and their children to become The Beatles' Press officer, casually establishing his legendary press salon at the Apple building in Savile Row, from where he befriended all comers and addressed the world until the break-up of The Beatles in 1970.

Derek then joined Warner, Elecktra and Atlantic Records, rising to vice president at Warner Brothers in America by 1977. During this period he produced albums by George Melly, John Le Mesurier and Harry Nilsson.

In 1978 he left Warner Bros to become a writer. Derek wrote and consulted on numerous books, among them George Harrison's biography I. Me. Mine. and Michelle Phillips' California Dreamin', and his own works including As Time Goes By, Fifty Years Adrift and It Was Twenty Years Ago.

In the mid-80s Derek returned to Apple Corps., from where he orchestrated and controlled the massively successful launches of The Beatles Live At The BBC and, perhaps rock and roll's greatest multi-media success of all time, The Beatles Anthology.

Derek Taylor leaves a wife, Joan, and children Timothy, Dominic, Gerard, Abigail, Vanessa and Annabel, and thousands of friends.

Sir Paul McCartney paid tribute to Derek today. He said: "He was a beautiful man. It's a time for tears and words may come later."

Paul McCartney's publicist and Derek Taylor's Anthology press assistant Geoff Baker commented today: "Derek leaves a thousand friends. Derek was not only the World's Greatest Press Officer, he was also one of the funniest, kindest and most decent men you could have met. All who did meet him, loved him. In 1969 The Beatles sang 'and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make' -- Derek Taylor was the proof of that equation."

Rupert Perry, Chairman of the EMI Records Group, UK & Ireland, said today "The untimely death of Derek Taylor is a sad loss for our industry and especially for those of us at EMI privileged to have known him.

"During his years holding the outside world together during the crazy days of Apple at 3 Savile Row, and more recently as the constant voice of sanity and reason amidst the furor of The Beatles 'new' recordings and reunions, Derek's calmness and infinite charm and wisdom cooled many a hot head. Despite his illness, Derek continued to provide support to The Beatles, Apple and EMI and we will remember him with great affection and gratitude."

David Hughes, head of communications at EMI, said: "I felt I knew Derek Taylor before I actually did. While working on Disc & Music Echo in the Sixties, Derek's wild weekly column from Los Angeles became the most eagerly anticipated words of any music writer of the time. When in recent years I actually came to know him, it was as if we had been friends for all those 30 years. I will not see his like again."

A private funeral for Derek Taylor will be held in Suffolk on Friday (Sept. 12, 1997).

In an interview by the Associated Press two years ago, Taylor said of the Beatles, ''I knew they were wonderful. What I didn't know was there were four of them and they could hide away, whereas there was only one of me.''

At home, he had to live with ''phones under cushions and permanently off the hook, and if they weren't off the hook, they rang 24 hours a day. There was no peace.''

''Nobody ever escapes the Beatles,'' he said. ''Unless they behave dishonorably, they never get away. It is for life.''

''I always had a romantic view that the thing should, if possible, be able to continue.

"There should always be a Beatles.''


Derek Taylor ... as recalled by those who knew him

From Diana Vero Palmer, secretary to Brian Epstein in 1964:

"I worked with him closely in 1964, typing "A Cellarful of Noise" while Derek dictated. In fact, Derek was the reason I moved to Los Angeles in 1965. He was my American sponsor and I was supposed to have worked with him. That didn't work out however, but I will still remember him fondly from that crazy year, 1964, when we were all riding on the crest of a giant wave that we didn't even realise would be still going strong 30 years later. My deepest sympathies go to his wife, Joan and his children."

Diana Vero Palmer
Brian Epstein's secretary in 1964

From Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys:

This statement from Brian Wilson was read at Derek Taylor
Sheet Music Plus Homepage


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Re: A tribute to Derek Taylor, 1932 - 1997
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2006, 08:01:46 PM »

Derek Taylor Portfolio

Derek Taylor in 1995  

Derek Taylor was born in Liverpool in 1932. A local Liverpool journalist, he worked for the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, the News Chronicle, the Sunday Dispatch and the Sunday Daily Express, and he was columnist and theatre critic for the Northern Daily Express when he first saw the Beatles on May 30th, 1963 at the Manchester Odeon. In his review the next day he wrote:

"The Liverpool Sound came to Manchester last night, and I thought it was magnificent... The spectacle of these fresh, cheeky, sharp, young entertainers in opposition to the shiny-eyed teenage idolaters is as good as a rejuvenating drug for the jaded adult."

He also later interviewed Brian Epstein, and besides covering Beatles concerts, he was ghost-writer for a regular column which was billed as being written by George Harrison. He was a natural choice, therefore, to be called upon to help Brian Epstein write his autobiography, A Cellarful of Noise, in 1964.

He shortly thereafter became Brian Epstein's personal assistant, scriptwriter and Beatles press agent and spent six months travelling the world with the Beatles. Taking what he learned from Brian and his Beatles experience, he then moved to Los Angeles and started his own public relations company in 1965, managing the publicity for bands including Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Byrds and the Beach Boys. He also was a co-creator and producer of the historic Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, the first such event of its kind.

Derek returned to London in 1968 to be the press officer (in-house publicist) for the newly created Apple Corps, responsible for media relations for the Beatles and all the artists on the Apple label. During this time he also assisted John and Yoko in their peace campaign, becoming, in effect, their propaganda minister, helping to spread their message to the world's media, and he became forever enshrined in song when John rhymed "Derek Taylor" with "Norman Mailer" in the song Give Peace A Chance.

The Apple Press Conference in New York in 1968  

Derek continued at Apple until he was ousted during the Allen Klein takeover of Apple in 1970. However, he stayed friends with the Beatles, particularly George, on whose I, Me, Mine autobiography he collaborated.

Derek went on to become director of special projects at WEA Records (the UK amalgam of Warner-Reprise, Electra and Atlantic Records) where he was responsible for marketing and publicity on a handful of select artists such as Alice Cooper, America and Carly Simon. Independantly he also produced records for artists such as Harry Nilson.

He was subsequently appointed Joint Managing Director of Warner Bros. Records (UK) and then in 1977 he was transferred to Burbank as senior Vice President of the American parent company. It was while he was in L.A. that he devoted a lot of time and creativity to the marketing of the Rutles' first album. Over the years he wrote several books about his life, the Beatles and the phenomenon of the sixties, including As Time Goes By, Fifty Years Adrift and It Was Twenty Years Ago Today.

Derek was lured back to work at Apple in the 1990's to devise and execute the publicity and marketing strategies for the Live At The BBC album and then for the entire Anthology project. He also wrote the liner notes for all the CDs and videos. The success of his latest campaigns showed that he had lost none of his skills over the years. After a brave struggle, he died of cancer in September 1997.

In His Own Words

In 1964, Derek Taylor wrote in the liner notes for Beatles For Sale:

"The kids of AD 2000 will draw from the music much the same sense of well being and warmth as we do today. For the magic of the Beatles is, I suspect, timeless and ageless. It has cut through differences in race, age and class. It is adored by the world."

More here: http://www.beatlesagain.com/bderek.html

For example, three sounclips:
1. In this interview soundclip, Derek Taylor talks about the attraction of being part of the Beatles experience in 1964.
2. In this soundclip, Derek Taylor talks about the thoughts and feelings of the sixties.
3. Here, Derek Taylor remembers the music, love and peace of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

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Re: A tribute to Derek Taylor, 1932 - 1997
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 01:17:56 AM »

I have a color one-of print of Derek with John and Paul at a news conference with Derek instructing John on some facts before the event took place. Why are there so few colour pics of him with them ? I bought the pic from it's owner in Chelsea in the early 80s.  

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