Coming Up: Derek Taylor: For Your Radioactive Children: Days In The Life of the Beatles' Spin Doctor
Out Oct. 1, 2020. Pre-order now from Amazon.
There are a million stories that take place within the arc of Derek Taylor's life. He lived a charmed life, which started on Saturday, 7 May 1932, in the Liverpool 17 suburb of Toxteth Park South, and saw him becoming a writer best known as the press agent for the Beatles. He became the band's friend and intimate across thirty years. Indeed, there are no shortage of claimants to the 'honorary' or 'fifth Beatle' status, but Derek's claim is more valid than most.
His urbane charm, his easy intelligence, and the value of his contribution to the Beatles' collective story are beyond dispute. He put spin on stories decades before the term 'spin doctor' was concocted, with his droll, idiosyncratic way of speaking.
It all began in 1964, when he co-wrote A Cellarful Of Noise, the best-selling autobiography of Brian Epstein. Soon after, he became Epstein's personal assistant and The Beatles' press agent.
In 1965 he moved to Los Angeles, where he started his own public relations company, managing PR for bands like Paul Revere And The Raiders, The Byrds, and The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson called him a 'PR whiz' and 'a colourful, slick-talking Brit'. But he could also be a 'theatrical, slightly conspiratorial man' according to Ray Coleman.
Derek was co-creator and producer of the historic Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. He's there in song when John rhymes 'Derek Taylor' with 'Norman Mailer' in 'Give Peace A Chance'.
He returned to England to work for the Beatles again as the press officer for the newly created Apple Corps. This is the definitive biography of a man that was at the heart of the music world of the 1960s and 1970s. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Beatles of course, but also to anyone yearning for a deep dive into the colourful world of a man who helped define a era.