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Tara Browne

Tara Browne (4 March 1945 – 18 December 1966) was a young London socialite and issue of peerage as a member of the Irish aristocratic family of Oranmore & Browne. He is perhaps most famous today for serving as the inspiration of The Beatles' song "A Day in the Life".

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Biography

Browne was the son of Dominick Browne, the 4th Baron Oranmore and Browne, a member of the House of Lords since 1927 who later became famous for having served in that house longer than any other peer, finally being evicted during government reforms in 1999; and Oonagh Guinness, heiress to the Guinness fortune and the youngest of the three "Golden Guinness Girls". One of his older brothers was the Hon. Garech Browne, of Luggala, County Wicklow in Ireland, an enthusiast of traditional Irish music and a founding member of The Chieftains, Ireland's leading group of traditional musicians.

Tara Browne was a member of Swinging London's counterculture of the 1960s.

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Death

On 18 December 1966, Browne was driving with his girlfriend, model Suki Potier, in his Lotus Elan through South Kensington at high speed (some reports suggest in excess of 106 mph/170 km/h). It is not known whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He ignored or failed to see a traffic light and proceeded through the junction of Redcliffe Square and Redcliffe Gardens, colliding with a parked lorry and was killed instantly. Potier was not injured.

Browne was survived by his wife Noreen (McSherry) and their two sons, Dorian and Julian Browne.

A Day in the Life

On 17 January 1967, John Lennon was composing songs at his piano and idly reading London's Daily Mail. While doing so when he read a report on the coroner's verdict into Browne's death. He worked the story into the song "A Day in the Life", which was later released on the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The second verse features the lines:

He blew his mind out in a car,
He didn't notice that the lights had changed,
A crowd of people stood and stared,
They'd seen his face before,
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.

References


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