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:
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taylor in 1995
In His Own Words
1964, Derek Taylor wrote in the liner notes for Beatles
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."
this interview soundclip, Derek Taylor talks about the attraction
of being part of the Beatles experience in 1964.
In this soundclip, Derek Taylor talks about the thoughts
and feelings of the sixties.
Here, Derek Taylor remembers the music, love and
peace of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
Here is information on how to
hear the Real Audio files on this page.
info from the book The Encyclopedia of Beatles People
by Bill Harry, Everybody's Talkin' Bout... Derek Taylor
by Martin Lewis from the new version of A Cellarful
of Noise by Brian Epstein, and the forward of As
Time Goes By by Derek Taylor.
Taylor was where all the razz-ma-tazz and class sprang from;
the Beatles were just charming, rich young men."
-- Eve Babitz
covers his life and times as Publicist in the music
industry including interesting facts about his association
with Beatles. Simply a joy to read!
by Straight Arrow Books, USA, 1973.
thanks for help on this bio from Beatles Historian Martin Lewis who was
Derek Taylor's assistant in the UK in the early seveties.
page last updated August 17, 1999.