Monday, 6 July 2009

Allen Klein dies at 77



Notorious financial acrobat and lawyer Allen Klein died Saturday at 77 from Alzheimer's disease. Klein was one of the factors in the break up of The Beatles, when John, George and Ringo hired him to save Apple from bankruptcy and to renegotiate the Beatles' deal with Capitol/EMI about royalties from record sales. Paul McCartney was opposed to Klein handling the band's business affairs, he would rather have his own father in law, Lee Eastman in that position. The "all four must agree" democratic tradition of The Beatles was broken. Klein managed to get The Beatles a better record deal and he cleaned up at Apple by firing a lot of what he thought was the dead meat, however some of the people he fired had been loyal Beatles servants since before the band made it big.
To disassociate himself from Klein, Paul had to sue the other members of the band (Klein's contract made him impossible to sue), which put the final nails in the coffin of the Beatles.
Allen Klein from New Jersey had made a name for himself by renegotiating artists' record contracts with good results. He was also enriching himself by taking a good share of the new bargains. After handling the Rolling Stones affairs, his company, ABKCO (The Allen and Betty Klein Company) had all the rights to the sixties recordings of the group.
When George Harrison was sued by music publishers "Bright Tunes" because they felt that his composition "My Sweet Lord" was plagiarizing their own "He's So Fine", Klein first fought on George's side as his lawyer, only to turn around a few years later to buy "Bright Tunes" and continue the case against George.
John Lennon's song "Steel and glass" from the "Walls And Bridges" album is supposed to be about Allen Klein. In Eric Idle's Beatles parody "All You Need Is Cash" from 1977 about the fictitious group "The Rutles", Allen Klein's character was called "Ron Decline" and was played by John Belushi.

With Klein dead, three of Paul McCartney's adversaries have now met their destiny in recent weeks, with record producer Phil Spector going to jail for murder, and Michael Jackson and Allen Klein dying.

4 comments:

Megan said...

That is seriously creepy about how some of the most notorious people who have irritated Paul are all meeting horrible fates-- even as Paul himself seems to be doing better than ever this year.

Alan James said...

Michael Jackson - Paul adversarie? Not really. Paul said some nice things about Michael in his website. You sucks for saying this.

Wogew said...

I was of course referring to people who the media likes to prtray as McCartney's adversaries. What is going on between him and other people in private is his business.

Leroy said...

Alan James said...
"Michael Jackson - Paul adversarie? Not really. Paul said some nice things about Michael in his website. You sucks for saying this."

You're kidding right? Obviously you are unaware of how Paul McCartney was working on "Say, Say, Say" with Michael Jackson (while Paul was at the time negotiating for the publishing rights to the Beatles song catalogue). M Jackson asked Paul what was a good way to invest his money. McCartney told him to get into music publishing. A few days later Jacko told Paul, "I'm buying your songs." Paul thought Jacko was kidding around with him but Jacko kept saying it. Paul subsequently found that Jacko had outbid Paul and Yoko for the Beatles publishing rights. Kind of a dick move really.

Later, Nike was using the Beatles song "Revolution" by license from M Jackson, which prompted George Harrison, Paul and Ringo to publicly condemn and file a lawsuit about the use of the song, stating, "The Beatles are not in the business of singing jingles or peddling sneakers, pantyhose or anything else." Paul was just being nice if he said good things about Jacko after his death or a good businessman knowing he still had to negotiate with MJ's estate or his inheritors to finally buy the Beatles song rights he so badly wanted.