Miles, Barry, 1943-....

Alternative names
Birth 1943

Biographical notes:

The International Times (IT) collection is the archive of the first and longest lasting European underground newspaper, running from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. Barry Miles was the co-founder of Indica Books and Gallery and the International Times. Closely allied to the Beatles, who helped out financially, the IT covered everything from flying saucers to eastern mysticism, taking in contemporary music and literature. Contributors included William Buirroughs, Alan Ginsberg, John Peel, Mal Dean and Jeff Nuttall. The iconic IT Girl logo appeared on the cover of each issue along with a striking graphic image.

From the guide to the International Times: The Barry Miles Archive, mid-1960s to mid-1980s, (Liverpool John Moores University)

Editor and bookseller.

Manager, London's Better Books, 1965; owner/manager, Indica Bookshop, 1966-1970, which specializes in modern literature, especially post-War American and British authors; editor, little literary magazines, including Long Hair, Trees. He has recorded numerous spoken word albums.

From the description of Papers, 1958-1990. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309768689

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Barry Miles was born in 1943, in Cirencester, England. He studied art at Cheltenham College of Art before moving to London and qualifying as an art teacher.

Throughout the 1960s, Miles managed Better Books, a counterculture center located in London, at which he staged performances and poetry readings of American poets, helping to generate greater interest in American literary and arts movements within Britain.

After Better Books was sold in 1965, and Miles, together with art critic John Dunbar and musician Peter Asher, founded MAD Ltd. With the financial support of Paul McCartney, they opened Indica Bookshop and Art Gallery in 1966, which continued to host experimental poetry readings and avant-garde art shows. Miles remained owner/manager of Indica until it closed in 1970.

Also around this time, Miles founded and edited a number of little magazines, including Trees and The Long Hair Times (also, sometimes, just Long Hair ), magazines that specialized in publishing Beat poetry and other avant-garde and experimental literature from the US and UK. The latter magazine was the direct forerunner of the underground newspaper The International Times (later just IT ), founded in 1966 by Miles, John “Hoppy” Hopkins, and Jim Haynes.

Miles became manager of Zapple Records in 1968, a subsidiary of the Beatles’ Apple Records, which was intended as an outlet for spoken word and avant-garde records. Only two records were released before Zapple folded in 1969.

Living in New York for much of the 1970s, Miles worked for Allen Ginsberg catalogueing his tape archives and writing for New Musical Express. He later returned to London to edit Time Out.

Since the 1970s, Miles has worked as a writer and biographer, and in 1989 he published the first complete biography of Allen Ginsberg. He has also written biographies of Paul McCartney, Frank Zappa, William S Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Bukowski, and the band Pink Floyd, as well as editing annotated editions of Ginsberg’s Howl and Burroughs’ Naked Lunch. He has written extensively on the Sixties counterculture, publishing the book Hippie and an essay in I Want to Take You Higher: The Psychedelic Era, 1965-1969.

From the guide to the Barry Miles Papers, 1958-1990, (Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )


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Ark ID:


  • Poetry
  • Little magazines
  • Little magazines--England--London
  • Booksellers and bookselling


  • Poets
  • Authors.2lcsh
  • Editors
  • Collector
  • Biographers


  • England--London (as recorded)