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."Sincerely,
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