In April 1968, Derek Taylor and Paul McCartney were in New York discussing how a new McCartney song, Thingumybob, would be best served played by a brass band. “The best band in the land,” said Paul. So it was that both were in Saltaire, Yorkshire, at 10am the following Sunday – “a fine northern time of day for a brass band” – recording the song with the Black Dyke Mills Band. On the way back to London that night, the pair stopped at a pub in the village of Harrold, Bedfordshire, where McCartney sat at the pub piano to play a new song he’d written called Hey Jude. “There was never a long wait,” says Taylor, “between the musical will and the recorded deed.”
First published in 1972, now with an excellent introductory essay by Jon Savage, Derek Taylor’s As Time Goes By was the first, and remains the sharpest, memoir written by one of the Beatles’ inner circle. Taylor had been press officer for the Beatles for less than a year in 1964, but that was when the role had mattered most, at the height of Beatlemania.