Tony Barrow

Tony Barrow

Tony Barrow (born in Crosby, Merseyside, England, 1936) is a Press officer who worked with The Beatles between 1962 and 1968 [cite web |url=|title= Tony Barrow on Beatles Audition Tape|accessdate=2008-01-18] . He coined the phrase "The Fab Four", first using it in an early press release.


Liverpool-born Tony Barrow was very much a part of The Beatles' generation and eventually became one of the longest-serving members of their immediate entourage.

While in the late Fifties when teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney were putting together their earliest group in one part of the city, Tony Barrow was presenting jazz bands and skiffle/folk groups at local dance halls and clubs across town in the north Merseyside suburb of Crosby.Educated locally at Merchant Taylors School he then studied languages at Durham University. In 1954, when he was still a 17-year-old sixth form schoolboy, he landed his first regular freelance writing job as pop/rock record reviewer for the Liverpool Echo, the largest-selling provincial evening newspaper in the UK.

At the beginning of the Sixties, while The Beatles paid their dues in the Hamburg clubs, Barrow moved from Crosby to London to work for the Decca Record Company where he wrote the liner notes that appeared on the back of LP album covers. From his new London base he continued to contribute his weekly record column to the Liverpool Echo [cite web |url=|title= TONY BARROW|accessdate=2008-01-18] and when Liverpool record retailer Brian Epstein signed The Beatles to a management deal at the end of 1961 he contacted Barrow for professional advice. This led to an informal arrangement whereby Barrow became The Beatles' part-time press/publicity consultant which involved promotiong the launch of the new EMI band from behind a desk at rival London record company Decca. His earliest task for Epstein was to co-ordinate a media publicity campaign to surround the release of the group's first UK single, "Love Me Do", on EMI's Parlophone label in October 1962. He was paid a one-off freelance fee of around 50 US dollars to compile The Beatles' initial press kit.

When Epstein promised to double his Decca salary, Barrow left the record company to join Epstein's new artists' management company, NEMS Enterprises, on a full-time basis in May 1963. Barrow opened Epstein's first London office and as head of the Press and Public Relations Division, began to promote the careers of not only The Fab Four but also Epstein's other artists from Cilla Black to Gerry & The Pacemakers, from Billy J Kramer With The Dakotas to The Fourmost. In view of his previous employment as a liner-note writer with Decca, it was taken for granted that he would do the same job for The Beatles and Epstein's other acts.

It was Barrow's idea to give out Beatles Christmas greetings to their fan club members. Barrow thought this goodwill gesture might limit the damage done to the group's reputation by delays in replying to an ever-increasing volume of fan mail. The Beatles were three weeks behind in answering membership applications. At the time he said facetiously that he thought of how the Queen always sent out yuletide greetings to her subject every year on UK radio and TV and he decided that The Beatles should "follow her fine example but in their own way". All members of the group's official fan club would receive an exclusive flexi-disc carrying mesasages from John, Paul, George and Ringo. [cite web |url= |title=Beatles Christmas messages |accessdate=2008-01-20] What started as a one-off damage limitatiion job grew into an eagerly anticipated annual event.

In 1965 and 1966 Tony Barrow traveled around the globe with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr on The Beatles' biggest, most lucrative and most dangerous international concert tours, conducting their massive daily press conferences wherever they were on the road, accompanying them on their very private "summit of the giants" meeting with Elvis Presley at his home in Bel Air, California, and setting up The Fab Four's media interviews and photo shoots when they returned home. One of Barrow's final tasks as The Beatles' Press Officer was to compile and edit the strip-cartoon story booklet which was part of the "Magical Mystery Tour" recording package at the end of 1967.

When The Beatles set up their own self-management operation, Apple Corps, in 1968, the year after Brian Epstein's death, Barrow's job as The Fab Four's publicist came to its natural end. He left NEMS Enterprises to set up his own independent show business PR consultancy, Tony Barrow international. Headquartered in London's Mayfair district, TBI and its sister company, Tony Barrow Management, represented many of Britain's top entertainers and recording stars in the Seventies (including The Kinks, The Bay City Rollers, The New Seekers, Bob Monkhouse) and an equally awesome list of bill-topping American artists (including David Cassidy, Gladys Knight, David Soul, The Monkees, Tony Bennett, The Jackson Five, Andy Williams, Neil Sedaka) for their European tours.

In 1980, partly because he disliked the unsavory images portrayed by the era's new wave of punk bands, Tony Barrow quit the PR business to return to freelance journalism, writing various books including a highly successful career guide,"Inside The Music Business" (co-authored with Julian Newby) and "John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me", his memoirs of the Sixties.

By 2007, he had become the last surviving professional writer from The Fab Four's original inner circle of business aides and associates and was continuing to take on selected writing and broadcasting assignments including (inevitably) some directly linked to his uniquely memorable years with The Beatles.


* The Making Of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour (1999) ISBN 0711975752 [cite web |url= |title=inauthor:Tony inauthor:Barrow |accessdate=2008-01-26]

* John, Paul, George, Ringo and Me: The Real Beatles Story (2006) ISBN 1560258829 [cite web |url= |title=inauthor:Tony inauthor:Barrow |accessdate=2008-01-26]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Barrow — may refer to:* a cart or flat rectangular tray with handles at each end; for example, a wheelbarrow * a tumulus, a large mound of earth or stone placed over a burial site * a castrated pigPlacesUnited Kingdom* Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, a large… …   Wikipedia

  • Barrow-in-Furness — For the larger local government district, see Barrow in Furness (borough). Coordinates: 54°06′39″N 3°13′34″W / 54.1108°N 3.2261°W / …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Grant (singer) — Infobox musical artist Name = Tony Grant Img capt = Img size = Landscape = Background = solo singer Birth name = Anthony Grant Alias = Tony Grant Born = birth date and age|1967|10|22 Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. Died = Origin = Instrument =… …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Hopper — Football player infobox playername = Tony Hopper dateofbirth = birth date and age|1976|05|31 cityofbirth = Carlisle countryofbirth = England currentclub = Workington position = Midfielder number = 2 years = 1992 2002 →1993 1994 →2000 2001 2002… …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Field — Infobox Football biography playername = Tony Field fullname = Anthony Field dateofbirth = birth date and age|1946|7|6|df=yes cityofbirth = Halifax countryofbirth = England height = position = Striker youthyears = youthclubs = Halifax Town years …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Gwynn — This article is about the former MLB player and Baseball Hall of Famer. For his son, who is also an MLB player, see Tony Gwynn, Jr.. Tony Gwynn Right fielder Born: May 9, 1960 (1960 05 …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Clarkin — Infobox Musical artist Name = Tony Clarkin Background = non vocal instrumentalist Birth name = Anthony Michael Clarkin Born = birth date and age|1946|11|24|df=y Alias = Genre = Hard rock, blues rock, melodic rock Associated acts = Magnum Hard… …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Parks — For the Blackpool assistant manager, see Tony Parkes. Football player infobox playername = Tony Parkes fullname = Anthony Parks height = dateofbirth = Birth date and age|1963|1|26|mf=y cityofbirth = Hackney countryofbirth = England currentclub =… …   Wikipedia

  • Tony Ford — Football player infobox2 playername = Tony Ford fullname = Anthony Ford height = height|ft=5|in=9 dateofbirth = birth date and age|1959|5|14|df=y cityofbirth = Grimsby countryofbirth = England position = Midfielder youthyears = youthclubs = years …   Wikipedia

  • Dave Barrow — For the American academic administrator, see David Crenshaw Barrow, Jr.. For the American sailor and Medal of Honor recipient, see David D. Barrow. David Barrow is the mayor of Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. External links Official Site of Dave… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.