The Beatles’ press officer Tony Barrow dies aged 80

Paul McCartney pays tribute to the Fab Four's PR and "lovely guy"

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The Beatles‘ press officer Tony Barrow has died, aged 80.

Barrow, who invented the phrase “the Fab Four” in one of his early press releases for the group, passed away on Saturday (May 14) in Morecambe, Lancashire.

Through his job at Decca, Barrow secured Brian Epstein‘s charges an audition at the label. Though they famously failed the trial, once they had signed to EMI, The Beatles’ manager took on Barrow full-time in 1963 to look after press for the roster of artists he managed at NEMS Enterprises. Barrow’s duties ranged from sometimes accompanying the group on tour and chairing press conferences, to writing album sleevenotes and editing the Magical Mystery Tour cartoon book.

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He continued to work with The Beatles until late 1967, when the group set up Apple Corps to look after their affairs. Barrow then started his own business, Tony Barrow International, representing The Kinks, the Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy, The Monkees and more, before returning to writing, most notably with his 2006 memoir John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me.

Paul McCartney has paid tribute to Barrow, tweeting: “Tony Barrow was a lovely guy who helped us in the early years of The Beatles. He was super professional but always ready for a laugh. He will be missed but remembered by many of us.”

The June 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on Blondie, plus George Martin, Brian Eno, Dexys, The Monkees, Graham Nash, Merle Haggard, Ronnie Spector, Tony Joe White, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, The Coral, Max Richter and more plus 40 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

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