Mark Beech (writer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mark R. Beech
MarkBeech writer.jpg
Alma materOxford University
Occupation(s)Author, journalist, Broadcaster
Known forArts & music commentary

Mark R. Beech FRSA (1959 – 24 April 2020)[1][2][3] was a British author, journalist and broadcaster. Best known for his two books on the origins of names in rock music,[4][5] and for his columns about music and the arts,[6] Beech was the editor of DANTE magazine. A fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts, he lived in London.[7]

He died at the age of 60.[3]

Early life[edit]

Mark R. Beech was born in Birmingham and attended schools in Shrewsbury and Prince Henry's Grammar School in Evesham, Worcestershire. He held a Kitchener Scholarship at St Catherine's College, Oxford, graduating with an M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1985.[8]


Mark R. Beech started as a newspaper reporter for Heart of England Newspapers before moving to the Birmingham Daily News. He later worked for The Sunday Times and Independent Television News (ITN) before joining Bloomberg in 1996.[8][9]

As rock critic for Bloomberg Muse,[10] the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News,[11] Beech's weekly column appeared on the Bloomberg terminal and in BusinessWeek,[12] and was syndicated to more than 440 newspapers and magazines worldwide.[13][14] He was among the first to publish reviews from the Led Zeppelin reunion concert at the O2 in London in 2007[15] and from the first Rolling Stones show at the same venue in 2012.[16] He has interviewed stars as varied as Sting,[17] Steve Miller,[18] Adam Ant,[19][20] Mary Wilson[21] and Kevin Rowland.[22] Published in July 2014, a journalism collection All You Need Is Rock compiled a decade's worth of Beech's columns.[23]

In September 2015, Mark R. Beech became the editor of the multilingual arts and lifestyle journal, DANTE magazine. A writer-editor for Blouin ArtInfo,[24] he also contributed to Forbes.[25]

On rock music names[edit]

Inspired by Mark R. Beech's interviews with leading musicians,[26] The A-Z of Names in Rock was published in 1998.[27] The book reveals the origins of 2,400 names used by individual stars and bands.[28] It won praise from John Peel[29] and BBC TV called Beech "the world's leading expert on music names".[30] Writing in The Independent, Christopher Hirst called the book "an enjoyable exploration of pop nomenclature",[31] while Andrew Coleman reported in the Birmingham Mail that Mark R. Beech's interest in names, before the age of Internet research, "stemmed from an interview with Sting, real name Gordon Sumner [who] once wore a striped black and yellow jumper which made him look like a wasp."[32]

An illustrated companion volume, The Dictionary of Rock and Pop Names, was published in 2009.[33]

Other works[edit]

Mark R. Beech was the author of a poetry collection, Passionfruit, published in 1979 as part of the Outposts Modern Poetry Series edited by Howard Sergeant MBE,[34] and two plays, Happy/Sad and Freaks Come Out at Night, performed at London's Soho Theatre in 2001 and 2005 respectively.[8] Featuring Burn Gorman and Robert Mountford, the latter production was one of the winners of the 2005 Westminster Prize.[8]

A regular television and radio commentator in Britain, Europe and the United States,[7][29] Mark R. Beech was represented by the London-based literary agent Andrew Lownie.[35]


  • Passionfruit (1979)
  • The A-Z of Names in Rock (as Mark Beech, 1998)
  • The Dictionary of Rock and Pop Names (as Mark Beech, 2009)
  • All You Need Is Rock: A Decade of Music Writing (as Mark Beech, 2014)


  1. ^ Find a Will
  2. ^ Author Q/A: SI’s Mark Beech’s book on Army’s last great team and legendary coach Red Blaik
  3. ^ a b Beech, longtime Bloomberg News employee, dies at 60
  4. ^ The A-Z of Names in Rock by Mark Beech, Robson Books (1998), pp. 250 ISBN 1-861-05059-3 / ISBN 978-1-861-05059-5 on Google Books
  5. ^ The Dictionary of Rock and Pop Names: The Rock and Pop Names Encyclopedia from Aaliyah to ZZ Top by Mark Beech, Remember When (2009), pp. 319 ISBN 1-844-15807-1 / ISBN 978-1-844-15807-2 on Google Books
  6. ^ "Bloomberg: Mark Beech". Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Back to the Future as Bands Re-form, Go Green" by Mark Beech, DANTE magazine (1 August 2013)
  8. ^ a b c d "Writer's play on West End stage" Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Ledbury Reporter (3 June 2005)
  9. ^ "Green Rock" by Mark Beech, DANTE magazine (10 September 2012)
  10. ^ "Bloomberg TV: Mark Beech". Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Bloomberg Muse: Arts and Culture". Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Adele, Lana Del Rey Rivals Mix Erotic Harmony on Albums: Review" by Mark Beech, Bloomberg Businessweek (5 August 2013)
  13. ^ "Press Room – Facts". Bloomberg. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Bloomberg Media: Syndication Services — Content Licensing". Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Led Zeppelin Wows 20,000 London Fans, First Concert in 19 Years" by Mark Beech, Bloomberg (10 December 2007)
  16. ^ "Stones Roll Back Years, Rock Cheap Seats, No Word on Tour" by Mark Beech, Bloomberg (26 November 2012)
  17. ^ "Zeppelin Yells, Sting Reveals Name Secrets" by Manuela Hoelterhoff Bloomberg (20 July 2009)
  18. ^ "Steve Miller Slams Music Companies for 17-Year Recording Break" by Mark Beech, Bloomberg (23 June 2010)
  19. ^ "Adam Ant 'Comes Back From Dead' for First CD in 17 Years", by Mark Beech, Bloomberg (11 March 2013)
  20. ^ "Adam Ant Says New Album is Autobiographical": Interview by Mark Beech, Bloomberg TV (11 March 2013)
  21. ^ "Supremes Star Mary Wilson Revives Hits, Says Ready for Reunion" by Mark Beech, Bloomberg (13 May 2008)
  22. ^ "Dexys Soar on Album Comeback After 27 Years" by Mark Beech, Bloomberg (17 October 2012)
  23. ^ "All You Need is Rock: A Decade of Music Writing by Mark Beech", Thistle Publishing (July 2014) ISBN 978-1-910198-29-2
  24. ^ "Tribal Masks Join Devil Ritual Statues at London Art Fair" by Mark Beech, Blouin ArtInfo (2 September 2015)
  25. ^ "Forbes: Mark Beech" Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  26. ^ "Welcome to the stage Glisserol and the Fan Extractors" by Michael Hellicar, Daily Star (23 April 1998), p.20-21
  27. ^ "Bumblebee Jersey gave Sting name" by Mick Pryce, Worcester Evening News (30 April 1998), p.6
  28. ^ "How rock and pop bands get unusual names" by Mark Beech, The Sunday Times (31 May 2009)
  29. ^ a b "Pen & Sword Books: About Mark Beech". Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  30. ^ "Pen & Sword Books: 'The Dictionary of Rock & Pop Names (Why are they called that? From Aaliyah to ZZ Top) by Mark Beech". 16 April 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  31. ^ "The A-Z of Names in Rock: Review" by Christopher Hirst, The Independent (25 April 1998), p.18
  32. ^ "What's in a Fame name?" by Andrew Coleman, The Birmingham Mail (23 May 1998), p.8-9
  33. ^ "Author takes a look at the meanings behind names of rock stars", Ledbury Reporter (12 May 2009)
  34. ^ Passionfruit by Mark R. Beech, Outposts Publications (1979), pp. 20 ISBN / ISBN 978-0-720-50680-8 on Google Books
  35. ^ "How I Found The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency" (Part 3), The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency

External links[edit]