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. 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.”