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Not all Apple creatures had perished under Allen Klein. In the Press Office there were still plastic birds, dipping and dipping their beaks under a shallow water tray. The Press Office, likewise, continued to function, though at what inscrutable whim of Klein's Derek Taylor could not claim to understand. Sometimes in midafternoon, when his department became too crowded and the Scotch and Coke fumes too uproariously thick, Taylor would raise himself in his scallop-backed throne, push the hair off his eyes and shout, "Clear the room now! I mean it!" After one such dismissal, wandering in the sudden space behind Carol Paddon's desk, he paused by the water tray and studied the nodding birds. "Those beaks are going moldy," he remarked gloomily. "No one told us they'd do that when we bought them. They cost us £1 each."

Derek Taylor was a frustrated writer. But, unlike most frustrated writers, he had talent. Often he would have dismissed his court simply for the purpose of fighting his way back the few inches across his desk to the typewriter that stood there. He wrote a good deal during Apple's last year: essays and soliloquies and memoranda to himself, all on a theme as constant as the pressure on him from above, below and sideways. Why do I work for the Beatles? And why, of all the complex emotions produced by working for the Beatles, is the commonest one simple fea