- Alistair Taylor
Infobox musical artist
Name = Alistair Taylor
Img_capt = Alistair Taylor on Visual Radio #81
Img_size = 200px
Background = non_performing_personnel
Birth_name = James Alistair Taylor
Alias = Mr. Fixit
Born = birth date|1935|6|21|df=y
Died = death date and age|2004|6|9|1935|6|21|df=y
Occupation = Personal Assistant and General Manager
Years_active = 1961 - 1969
Label = Apple
James Alistair Taylor (born
21 June 1935in Runcorn- died 9 June 2004in Chesterfield) was the personal assistant of Brian Epsteinwho accompanied him to the Cavern Clubwhen he first saw The Beatlesplay on 9 November 1961. Taylor later became General Manager of Apple Corpsfor a short period.
Runcorn, Taylor did his National Service in the Royal Air Force and worked in a series of jobs as : mover, timber importer and docker in the Liverpool Docks.
The opportunity of his life appears the day he had a job interview with
Brian Epsteinfor a salesman job at NEMS. Brian liked him so much that he decided to offer him a job as his personal assistant in the shop.
Taylor invented the name of
Raymond Jonesto order Tony Sheridan’s album, because he thought NEMS was losing sales by not stocking the disc:
At NEMS he used to write articles for the
Mersey Beatmusical newspaper, signing as Brian Epstein.
Taylor accompanied Epstein to the
Cavern Clubwhen he first saw The Beatlesplay on 9 November 1961. During the show Taylor met The Beatles, and his opinion was "..these four horrible young men on stage, dressed in black leather trousers, black jackets, smoking, drinking and making noise. .", but also said "...they were charismatic and exciting" and "I thought they were sensational" [ Interview by Juan Agüeras, in "The Beatles Garden", fanzine of the Spanish Sergeant Beatles Fan Club, Nº 18, 1997]
As Brian Epstein’s personal assistant, Taylor witnessed crucial moments in the Beatles career and was present at the signing of the first contract with Brian (which Taylor signed as "In the presence of:").
In 1962, Taylor worked for "Pye Records" for 15 months, and moved to London (before the Beatles) due to his wife's asthma.
In 1963 Taylor returned to NEMS to work as general manager for £1,000 per annum.
The Beatlesnamed him "Mr. Fixit" for his ability to find solutions to all the boys' needs. For example:
* Buying cigarettes
* Hiring limousines
* Devising escapes from Beatles' fans after their performances
* Organizing holiday trips
* Acting as consultant to John for the purchase of Dornish Island (
Ireland) for £1,550.
* Being the middle-man in the purchase of High Park, the Scottish farm, for Paul, Jane, and Martha
* Renting the
Magical Mystery Tourbus
* Resolving the copyright issues around the photographs of famous faces on Peter Blake's cover for "
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
* Arrange the money exchange of the unsuccessful buying of the Greek island of Leslo (July 1967). [The Beatles: A diary,
Barry Miles, Omnibus Press, 1998, ISBN 978-0711963153]
In December 1967, shortly after the death of
Brian Epsteinon 27 August 1967, Lennon asked Taylor to work as General Manager for Apple.
It was during this period that Taylor appeared in the famous advertisement to promote Apple asking for new artists. Designed by Paul, it showed Taylor disguised as a one-man band, and claimed : "This man has talent. .."The disguise was rented in
Sohoand Taylor was singing " When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" when the shot was made. The publication in the New Musical Express, brought an avalanche of applicants.
Taylor can be "heard" on "
Revolution 9" apologising to George Martinand beseeching forgiveness for not bringing him a bottle of claret[The complete Beatles Chronicle, Mark Lewisohn, Chancellor Press, 1992, ISBN 1-85152-975-6] .
During the rooftop
Get Backconcert, on 30 January 1969, Alistair was among the people in the street. When Allen Kleinarrived at Apple on 3 February, Alistair was sacked along with 16 staff members during one of the first purges by Klein at Apple ( 8 May) [The Beatles: A diary, Barry Miles, Omnibus Press, 1998, ISBN 978-0711963153] . The Beatles did not tell him why.
After the Beatles
Taylor worked in a tea-room, in a factory and in a hotel before his retirement. He has enjoyed participating in Beatles' fan conventions around the world.
In the mid 1990s, Taylor created Mellor Beach Leisure Ltd. Taylor served as the "business development director", promoting a new musical act called SMOKE which featured Matt McKenzie (drums & backing vocals), Jo Wadeson (bass guitar & lead vocals) and Sam Genders (guitar & backing vocals).
In 1998 he appeared in a documentary at the British
Arena (TV series), in the episode : "The Brian Epstein Story: The Sun Will Shine Tomorrow : Part 1"
Taylor died in his sleep in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on
9 June 2004, after a short bronchial illness.
He was the author of :
*"Yesterday: The Beatles Remembered" with Martin Robers , Pan Macmillan (April 7, 1988), ISBN 0-283-99621-8
*"Yesterday: My Life With the Beatles" (a reedition of the last) Movie Publisher Services (July, 1991) ISBN 1-55698-292-5
*"A Secret History, an Inside Account of The Beatles' Rise and Fall", published in 2003. Blake (December, 2001) ISBN 1-903402-24-7
*"With the Beatles" (a reedition of the last) John Blake Publishing, Limited (
September 1 2003) ISBN 1-904034-73-XTaylor collaborated in his official biography :
*"Hello Goodbye: The Story of Mr. Fixit" by George Gunby, Yesterday Once More (2001) ISBN 0-9542120-0-2
*"From Cavern to Rooftop" in which he spoke about his memories with interludes of Beatles music.
He made a series of four audio tapes with the titles of: "From Cavern to Rooftop" ; "From Strawberry Fields to Magical Mystery Tour" ; "Remembering Brian" and "Inside Apple".
* [http://www.thewordislove.co.uk/alistairtaylor.html/ Alistair Taylor obituary]
* [http://members.aol.com/scottwheelerband/alistair.htm An interview by Scott Wheeler at Beatles Bash 1996]
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