Beatles Associate Terry Doran Dies

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Terry Doran, with George Harrison and Olivia Harrison

Terry Doran, a longtime associate of the Beatles in various capacities – from supplying them with sports cars via the dealership he co-owned with their manager Brian Epstein to providing a key word to their song “A Day in the Life” to managing their publishing arm, and more – has died. The news was reported by the noted Beatles historian, Mark Lewisohn, who didn’t provide a cause of death or precise date. (The Times of London pegged the date as April 18.) Lewisohn wrote that Doran was 80; his Wikipedia page indicates Doran was born in 1936, which would put him at either 83 or 84.

As Lewisohn wrote, Doran was “not only the man from the motor trade.” The author of numerous authoritative Beatles books was referring to the lyric in “She’s Leaving Home,” from 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

In the The Beatles Anthology, published in 2000, John Lennon was quoted about Doran’s one-word contribution to the song. “(There was a story in the newspaper) about 4,000 potholes in the streets of Blackburn, Lancashire. There was still one word missing in that verse when we came to record. I knew the line had to go: ‘Now they know how many holes it takes to – something – the Albert Hall.’ It was a nonsense verse, really, but for some reason I couldn’t think of the verb. It was Terry who said ‘fill’ the Albert Hall. And that was it. Perhaps I was looking for that word all the time, but couldn’t put my tongue on it. Other people don’t necessarily *give* you a word or a line, they just throw in the word you’re looking for anyway.”

Related: Our review of the album’s 50th anniversary edition

Doran co-owned Brydor Cars with Epstein, the name derived from their names. Among the dealership’s customers for its luxuriously appointed automobiles were members of the Fab Four.

Paul McCartney denies the claim about Lewis being the inspiration for “the man in the motor trade.” In the book, Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, he’s quoted as saying, “It was just fiction, like the sea captain in Yellow Submarine, they weren’t real people.”

In his tweet about Doran’s death, author Lewisohn also referred to him as “mate to all the Beatles, a laugh, joint-roller and merry tripper.”

After Epstein’s death in 1967, Doran managed the Beatles’ fledgling Apple Publishing company, a precursor to their Apple Corps Ltd. While there, he signed Scottish musician George Alexander (Young) to a publishing contract. Alexander was the older brother of the Easybeats’ George Young, as well as Malcolm Young and Angus Young, founding members of AC/DC.

Doran introduced Alexander to several other musicians, and together they formed the band Grapefruit. Doran later briefly managed noted Apple artist Mary Hopkin.

Watch a 1981 interview with Doran

Following the Beatles’ breakup, Doran worked for George Harrison for a while, managing his Friar Park estate, as well as the London office of his Dark Horse Records label.

Pattie Boyd wrote, “So saddened to hear of the passing of Terry Doran. Terry was a major part of my life at Friar Park and he was also very close to George.”

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  1. Dave
    #1 Dave 20 April, 2020, 06:35

    Seems like a lovely down to earth guy. RIP Terry – catching up with John and George now.

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