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1997-Sep-09: Diana Benefit Album / Derek Taylor dead

In honor of Princess Diana, ten world-famous rock stars will record an album for Christmas.
According to British millionaire Richard Branson (boss of Virgin Records), Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel and Eric Clapton will record for this album. It will also contain the new version of Elton John's hit "Candle In The Wind." Luciano Pavarotti and Sting have not confirmed yet.

All proceeds of the album, estimated to be 10 million Pounds by Branson, will go to the Diana Memorial Fund. "The artists are trying to create the most moving album ever - an album of which the whole music industry can be proud" said Branson. He had contacted the musicians immediately after the death of the Princess and found spontaneous approval.

For next year, simultaneous benefit concerts are planned in  London, Paris and New York, and the stars from the Diana album will perform their works, there.

Derek Taylor Dead

Here is the press release by Apple

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 7, 1932. He was educated in the city and became a journliast 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 spectable 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 Saville Row, from where he befriended all comers and addressed the world until the break-up of The Beatles in 1970.

 Derek then joined Warner, Elektra 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 Today." 

In the mid-80's, 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-meida 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. 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, eh 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 furore 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 came to actually 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.  


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