Author bio

Barry Miles

Barry Miles - book author

Author of several books and biographies, most pertaining to musicians and the sixties.

Miles has written biographies of Paul McCartney, The Beatles, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Frank Zappa, Charles Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg, in addition to books on John Lennon, The Beatles and The Clash.

He is occasionally inaccurately credited as "Miles Mabbett" due to his co-authoring a book with Andy Mabbett, often listed as "by Miles and Andy Mabbett."

Barry Miles is the author of books: Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, Hippie, Zappa: A Biography, Charles Bukowski, The Beat Hotel: Ginsberg, Burroughs and Corso in Paris, 1957-1963, Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats, William Burroughs: El Hombre Invisible, Allen Ginsberg: A Biography, Call Me Burroughs: A Life, London Calling: A Countercultural History of London Since 1945


Author books

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Title
Description
01

During the past year Paul McCartney has been in the public's eye more than at any time since the peak of Beatlemania over thirty years ago. His fans have been treated to the best-selling Flaming Pie and Standing Stone albums, a full hour of Paul on "Oprah," and this thoughtful and comprehensive biography that brings us closer to the man than ever before. Based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews over a period of five years, and with complete access to Paul's own archives, Barry Miles has succeeded in letting Paul tell the story of his life as a Beatle in his own words. It includes Paul's recollection of the genesis of every song that he wrote with John Lennon and the fascinating details about their remarkable collaboration.

02
Let your freak flag fly!

Climb on the psychedelic bus with the Merry Pranksters and take the Acid Test….Groove on the streets of Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love….Get experienced with Hendrix at Monterey and commune with the mud and 400,000 free spirits at Woodstock….From the mid-60s to the early 70s, the hippie counter culture burst upon the scene in celebration of freedom, love, peace, and the limitless possibilities of sensual and spiritual exploration. Alive with the outrageous personalities and revolutionary upheavals of a time that changed the world, Hippie is trippy and true to the spirit of a time unlike any other. Far out, man!
04
Fear makes me a writer, fear and a lack of confidence. A major new biography on an increasingly important American literary icon, by the most acclaimed writer on the Beat Generation, Barry Miles. Miles knew all the key players in the Beat era, including William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, and also recorded with Bukowski. Having spoken with people close to Bukowski, and with a full examination of Bukowski's extensive writings, Miles has written the definitive story of the laureate of American low-life.
05
The Beat Hotel is a delightful chronicle of a remarkable moment in American literary history. From the Howl obscenity trial to the invention of the cut-up technique, Barry Miles's extraordinary narrative chronicles the feast of ideas that was Paris, where the Beats took awestruck audiences with Duchamp and Celine, and where some of their most important work came to fruition--Ginsberg's "Kaddish" and "To Aunt Rose"; Corso's The Happy Birthday of Death; and Burroughs's Naked Lunch. Based on firsthand accounts from diaries, letters, and many original interviews, The Beat Hotel is an intimate look at an era of spirit, dreams, and genius.
06
More than forty years after the publication of On the Road, Jack Kerouac is more widely read and revered by a new generation than ever before. Why this is so is the subject of Barry Miles's fresh and revealing portrait of the writer who is the acknowledged leader of the Beats, the group of writers that included Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Gary Snyder, who together influenced the direction of writing and culture more than any group of artists since England's Bloomsbury.

Drawing on Kerouac's close friendship and conversations with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, Miles offers provocative new insights into both the exuberance and the dismay of Kerouac, a man full of contradictions who was surprisingly conventional despite his longing to rebel. The Kerouac who emerges is deeper, darker, and more fascinating than any we've ever known. Kerouac is now an icon, an image, an attitude, and Barry Miles convincingly conveys his longing for greatness and the consequences of achieving it.
07
Iconoclast; visionary; homosexual crusader; drug advocate; teacher and elder statesman to the Beats: William Burroughs remains one of the most complex and controversial American writers of the twentieth century.

After killing his wife in a bizarre shooting accident, Burroughs moved to Tangier where he lived in a male brothel and wrote his celebrated bestseller Naked Lunch - in Newsweek's words 'A masterpiece. A cry from Hell' and spent much of the rest of his life in self-imposed exile from the United States. Following Burroughs' death in August 1997, Barry Miles updated his riveting, highly readable and unconventional biography of this legendary provocateur and all-round thorn in the side of the establishment.
08
Allen Ginsberg occupies a significant, enduring position in American literature. Following his death in '97, Barry Miles has drawn on both his long friendship with the poet & on Ginsberg's journals & correspondence to produce an immensely readable account of one of the 20th century's most extraordinary poets.
Childhood: Paterson
A Columbia education: the origins of the Beat Generation
A street education
The subterraneans
On the road to California
"Howl" & the San Francisco renaissance
"The classic stations of the earth"
"Kaddish"
Adventures in psychedelia
Cut-ups
India
The change
The king of May
Into the vortex
Paterfamilias
The lion of Dharma
Eminence grise
Afterword
Acknowledgments
Chapter Notes
Bibliography
Index
09
Fifty years ago, Norman Mailer asserted, "William Burroughs is the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius." Few since have taken such literary risks, developed such individual political or spiritual ideas, or spanned such a wide range of media. Burroughs wrote novels, memoirs, technical manuals, and poetry. He painted, made collages, took thousands of photographs, produced hundreds of hours of experimental recordings, acted in movies, and recorded more CDs than most rock bands. Burroughs was the original cult figure of the Beat Movement, and with the publication of his novel Naked Lunch, which was originally banned for obscenity, he became a guru to the 60s youth counterculture. In CALL ME BURROUGHS, biographer and Beat historian Barry Miles presents the first full-length biography of Burroughs to be published in a quarter century-and the first one to chronicle the last decade of Burroughs's life and examine his long-term cultural legacy.
Written with the full support of the Burroughs estate and drawing from countless interviews with figures like Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, and Burroughs himself, CALL ME BURROUGHS is a rigorously researched biography that finally gets to the heart of its notoriously mercurial subject.
10
This is a major and definitive history of the counterculture by our pre-eminent chronicler of the cultural underground. London has long been a magnet for aspiring artists and writers, musicians and fashion designers seeking inspiration and success in this great city. In London Calling, Barry Miles explores the counter culture that sprang up in the decades following the Second World War, focusing on the West End and Soho, where the presence of so many artists has established a unique atmosphere; creative, avant garde, permissive, anarchic - the throbbing heart of London. Here are the heady days of post-war Soho when suddenly everything seemed possible, the jazzbars and clubs of the fifties, the teddy boys and the Angry Young Men, Francis Bacon and the legendary Colony Club, the 1960s and the Summer of Love, the rise of punk and the early days of the YBAs.