Tony Tyler

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James Edward Anthony Tyler (31 October 1943 in Bristol – 28 October 2006 in Hastings, East Sussex) was a British writer who authored several books and wrote for the New Musical Express, Macworld, MacUser, PC Pro and Computer Shopper.

After being expelled from school, Tyler became a police cadet, but quit when told his stammer was so extreme he would never be able to give evidence in court. He found employment as a trainee reporter on a Merseyside paper.

His best friend Tim Craig (later the father of the actor Daniel Craig) was a merchant seaman. Tyler stowed away on his Hamburg-bound ship, aware that the Beatles — whom he vaguely knew — were resident in the German port. He later joined the Royal Tank Regiment, with which he served in Aden. In 1966, his father died, and he bought himself and two friends out of the army.

Tyler subsequently found himself playing Hammond organ in a soul group based in Italy, the Patrick Samson Set; they had a No 1 there with a cover of "A Whiter Shade of Pale".

Back in London in 1969, he became publicist for EG Management, who cared for the careers of T. Rex, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

He was brought into the NME in 1972 by the editor Alan Smith, and was described as "inspirational" by his colleagues of the time. He co-wrote (with Roy Carr) The Beatles: An Illustrated Record (1975), the first critical assessment of the complete works of The Beatles after their split. Under the name J. E. A. Tyler, he authored The Tolkien Companion (1976) [revised and updated as The Complete Tolkien Companion (2002)]. In 1977 each of these works was in the New York Times Top Ten. In 1984 he wrote the revisionist I Hate Rock & Roll, a diatribe against the music that he had documented for much of his life.

In 1982, Tyler married his second wife, Kate Phillips, an NME staff writer: at the time of his death they had been together for 31 years. They bought a house overlooking the sea outside Hastings.

Death[edit]

Tyler was diagnosed with his cancer just eleven days before he died. He was annoyed, he said, that he would never get to see Casino Royale, which would feature the first appearance of his godson Daniel Craig as James Bond.

"I want you to know, for when your time comes," Tyler told his wife, her sister and mother two days before he died, his curiosity about the mysteries of life and death undiminished, "that this isn't really too bad. It's quite dealable with."[citation needed]

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