Derek Taylor was known as the longtime publicist for the Beatles but he was really part of the inner circle. I think he really wrote the ‘bigger than Jesus’ line for John Lennon. That line was originally coined by Zelda Fitzgerald, Scott’s wife, about Al Jolson in the twenties.
Derek was present at my FREE AS A BIRD meeting with Neil Aspinall when I ‘presented’ the sketchy idea (arrived at earlier that afternoon) of a bird flying through the Beatles’ early lives. I had worked for months on an idea that Paul had given me, ‘old photographs brought to life,’ poring through thousands of unpublished photos of the Beatles, and determined that there was no extended idea there. A piece of cover art by Klaus Voorman that I saw earlier in the day at Abbey Road inspired a shred of an idea and I was able to bluff my way through the meeting. First, I showed the work I had done with Paul’s idea to show that it wouldn’t sustain an entire video (Paul would later use a ‘thirty second idea’ line criticizing my work on the video), then presenting the ‘bird’ idea. Derek immediately started to expand the idea with telling details of the Beatles’ inspirations and the idea caught fire. He later sent a fax that was a tone poem and the spine of FREE AS A BIRD.
Bless Derek Taylor.