Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Journobit: Tony Tyler

NME features writer between 1972 and 1977, and organist with the Patrick Samson Set, Tony Tyler died on Saturday.

Bristol-born but Liverpool bred, Tyler stowed away to spend time with the Beatles and other early beat acts during their Hamburg period; only a bout of pneumonia and a forced repatriation split him from playing cards with John Lennon.

His first major role as a music journalist came editing trade title Beat Instrumental in 1969; after a short period working as PR man for T-Rex's management team at EG, Tyler joined the NME where, according to Charles Shaar Murray, he helped change the tone of the title:

"A lot of the absurdist humour and the piss taking was what Tony brought to the paper. He was very energetic, he was very funny. He pioneered the smoking of a lot of dope at editorial meetings."

Confounding the popular view of music writers as musicians who can't make music, Tyler scored a number one with the Patrick Samson Set - albeit in Italy, and a cover of a Whiter Shade of Pale, but a number one nevertheless.

Amongst a number of books he was involved with, the key text is probably his I Hate Rock & Roll, which The Generalist carried selections from at the start of this year.