Tuesday, 3 June 2014

I'm gonna buy your songs, Paul!

Once friends, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
Forbes has published an extract from the new book on Michael Jackson: "Michael Jackson Inc". The extract is titled "Buying The Beatles: Inside Michael Jackson's Best Business Bet" and focuses on Jackson's acquisition of the ATV company, the company that held the publishing rights to most of The Beatles' songs. The text is based almost entirely on original interviews.

Here are a few interesting passages:
“I got Yoko on the phone,” recalls [John] Branca. “And then I said, ‘Michael asked me to call you and find out if you’re bidding [on] ATV Music that owns all the Beatles songs.’ ”
Ono: “No, we’re not bidding on it.”
Branca: “No?”
Ono: “No, no, if we had bought it, then we’d have to deal with Paul, it’d have been a whole thing. Why?”
Branca: “Because Michael’s interested.”
Ono: “Oh, that would be wonderful in the hands of Michael rather than some big corporation.”

According to Branca, John Eastman, Paul McCartney’s lawyer and brother-in-law said McCartney wasn’t interested because the catalogue was “much too pricey.”

To finalize the deal, Michael Jackson had to commit to perform a concert in Perth, Australia as part of the payment.

Now, go on over to Forbes and read it, if it interests you.

Of course, in interviews over the years, Paul McCartney has claimed that he did talk to Ono regarding the possibility of buying back the rights to the Beatles' songs, and that her reply was that she thought they could get them for less than the asking price. In the end, Jackson bought the catalogue for $47,5 million, and it's value is now estimated to be $2 billion. During his lifetime he sold half of his interests to Sony, but his estate still owns Jackson's half.


reviloremeor said...

It is an interesting new note on the facts and circumstances that led to the selling of the Beatles' song catalogue, but you can also hear it first hand from the seller himself, the late Sir Lew Grade of ATV Music, in this rockumntary from 1995 on Channel 4:http://www.bootlegzone.com/album.php?name=ycdvd067

CrackinThunder said...

Yoko, often the saboteur, pulled the oldest trick in the book. Deliberately underbid by being the front man so you lose to who you want to win! Brilliant!