Barry Miles was born in Cirencester, England in 1943. He studied art at Cheltenham College of Art, movied to London and qualifyed as an art teacher.
His first job was with Better Books. From there he went on to found the Indica Bookshop and Gallery, which led to the founding of International Times.
He set up Zapple, the spoken-word arm of The Beatles' Apple record label. In the 1970s, he went to live in New York, working with Allen Ginsberg on a catalogue of his tape archives and writing for New Musical Express. He returned to London to spend a year editing Time Out.
His many books include biographies of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Paul McCartney, Hippie, and his 2002 memoir, "In the Sixties". He has published a biography and an illustrated chronology of Frank Zappa, and also a "compilation" of FZ interview snippets.
He has written under the pen-name "Miles", and is sometimes wrongly credited as "Miles Mabbett", due to his co-authoring a book about Pink Floyd with Andy Mabbett, which is often listed as by "Miles and Andy Mabbett" , .