•Paul was in conference with some representatives
from the J. Walter Thompson agency. It was October 18, 1968, and
Paul had been worrying about ways to promote the release...of the
White Album. They couldn't rely on the same old hippies and the
like to buy Beatles albums because the saturation level was far
too low. And he realized that a formidable advertising machine
such as JWT would know how to up the ante (Flippo, p. 239).
•John: What happened after Brian died? Dick James Music
Company-a f***in' multi-million music-industry company. Northern
Songs not owned by us. And NEMS not owned by us. And that was all
Brian and his advisors setting it up. What did we end up with? Paul
and I had a hundred thousand or over in the bank, and George and
Ringo had about twenty or thirty, something like that (McCabe/Schonfeld,
p. 90. For the Record).
•John: No, no. Brian did a few things that showed he cooked
us We never got anything out of it, and Brian did. But obviously
some things are definite. Just the fact that NEMS was a bigger company
than the Beatles. We have no company. There's Northern Songs, Dick
James, and NEMS. What did we have? A couple quid in the bank. That's
where Brian f***ed up. He's the one who would say, "Sign up
for another ten years". And who got the benefit? Not us. We
were the ones who were tied by the balls. So that's what I think
of him. (McCabe/Schonfeld, p, 92. For the Record).
•In meeting with JWT's earnest reps on two separate occasions,
Paul and his entourage of five sat and listened to many proposals.
JWT variously proposed: "Helicopters and low-flying aircraft
over major urban areas"; "Sandwich girls. Girls in mini-skirts
with sandwich boards parading up and down the main shopping streets
in certain large cities...We could get 150 girls at three pounds
ten each"; "Double-decker buses painted white with THE
BEATLES BUS and photograph portraits of the Beatles plus such people
as Mao Tse Tung, deGaulle, etc., at each window. We would suggest
having six of these driving around major urban areas. You could
perhaps resell them. 100 pounds per bus for six"; "Boats
displaying banners parading up and down the rivers running through
main towns. This we rejected because not enough people would see
them and they would not generate such tremendous interest as the
buses would"; "Special train, rejected for same reasons".
Paul said, "Hmm". One of JWT's finest said that if Paul
didn't like the buses they had an idea for Paul to do a ninety-second
TV commercial reading a fictitious pop critic's review of the album.
Paul asked what it would cost. "Fifty-six thousand pounds".
Audible gasp from Paul (Flippo, p. 240).
•Since Magic Alex said his father was a highly placed government
official in Greece, he had managed to persuade John and Paul that
they could establish a little Greek paradise and then pull up the
drawbridge after them. Paul and John had both tried to persuade
Brian to get the British government to relax the stringent laws
regulating money flow out of the country. Paul said he wanted to
go somewhere no one can get at us. John said, "It will be amazing".
We'll be able to just lie in the sun". It was some indication
of the power the Beatles actually possessed that they were able
to get a special tax dispensation from Chancellor of the Exchequer
James Callaghan. They bought a little cluster of six islands in
the Aegean Sea for one hundred thousand pounds. They visited it
once, tired of it immediately, and the Beatle paradise was later
sold (Flippo, p. 242).
•Paul: "Then the job folded beneath me. Suddenly I
didn't have a career anymore. I wasn't earning anything and all
my money was in Apple and I couldn't get it out because I'd signed
it all away". The last was not quite true. After Apple funds
were frozen until the partnership was formally dissolved, none of
the Beatles could draw on the money. A major problem was that as
the money piled up, a huge tax bill would accompany any withdrawals.
All the money Klein said he was bringing in was to lie untouched
for years. With the money frozen, of course, the Beatles had no
income. And none of them was really that wealthy. Their money had
never been managed well and certainly had not been invested wisely.
At the time of the breakup they owned houses and cars and Apple
and Paul had the farm in Scotland (Flippo. p. 310).
•Well look what happened. With Northern Songs, we ended
up selling half our copyrights forever. We lost 'em all and Sir
Lew Grade's got'em. It was bad management. We have no company. That's
where Brian Epstein f***ed up. Who got the benefit? Not us. I mean,
since you ask, in retrospect he made mistakes (McCabe/Schonfeld,
p. 22 For the Record).
•When asked if he spent all his money, John replied, "No,
the people around us made more money than the Beatles ever did,
I'll tell you that. None of the Beatles are millionaires. But there's
lots of millionaires who became millionaires around the Beatles,
however. You know the story" (Denmark 70).
•FROM BRITAIN'S "THE TIMES"
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 17 2000
After the Beatles - an interest in all things British. BY JULIAN
November 21, 1969
What is "pop"? Strictly defined it is popular music of
a kind which appeals to people between the ages of five and 20.
A wider interpretation would include not only clothes for both sexes,
typified by Carnaby Street and King's Road, but also the "whole
youth scene", argot for the manifestations of a culture which
some have called "secondary modern", and others just "modern".
It is a phenomenon about which there can be more than one view:
what is not in dispute is the fact that for millions of foreigners
Britain is associated not with parliamentary democracy, nor with
technology, not even with banking, but with the Beatles. Until the
arrival of the Beatles in 1963, popular music in this country was
largely American. It had been so before the Second World War, British
music having died with the music hall. The middle market (the music
trade divides music into three categories, popular with 50 per cent
of the market, middle with 30 per cent, and classical with 20 per
cent) had a British content thanks to Ivor Novello and Noel Coward,
but the popular end was almost all American. There were some native
stars - Gracie Fields, George Formby, and Donald Peers - but they
were unknown abroad.
•The talking picture made American influence, which had
begun with ragtime before 1914, the dominant one. New York in the
1920s and 1930s, the building of Radio City, and the creation of
the musical as an American art form, meant that the world took its
music from America American culture had a popular base which the
British did not acquire until the early 1960s. Should the blame
for the Beatles be put on Lord Butler? The 1944 Education Act extended
secondary education to all. Lord Keynes can claim credit for full
employment: it is the combination of awakened expectations and money
to spend (helped by the end of national service) which has given
rise to "pop", a multi million pound industry who captains
have been made members and officers of the British Empire, and the
effect of which on young people is now universal.
•FAME AND FORTUNE
Until the Beatles, popular music consisted mainly of solo performers,
usually American. Bing Crosby began singing in the early 1930s,
Frank Sinatra in the 1940s and Elvis Presley in the 1950s. The "group"
was different: it changed the sound. Its audiences relished the
noise, which in the Cavern in Liverpool sounded at times like a
Guards band locked in a lavatory, allowing them to immerse themselves
in it and to identify completely. The groups were more colourful
and more fun. They gave to their members the chance to look and
to dress differently, to express themselves The success of the Beatles,
who had provided something quite new, encouraged hundreds to follow
suit. For those without O levels, and for some with them, a guitar
was the means, quite literally, to fame and fortune. In 1964 the
Beatles went to America, and took it by storm. In a way it was in
return for so much and for so many that had gone the other way.
In their wake there grew an interest in all things British, and
later the legend of "swinging London" to be discovered
by Time magazine. Although there had already been groups in America,
the Andrews Sisters and the Mills Bros., everyone began to imitate
the Beatles and their music. In a field where success can be ensured
by publicity and by noise, the Beatles were good. They have grown;
their style which was from the start an individual one, has developed.
•Their ability not simply to perform but also to compose
has kept them ahead of their competitors. Paul McCartney is plainly
the most talented. With John Lennon he has written simple songs
with attractive melodies which have never lost the ability to surprise.
The four have emerged as distinct personalities, with Ringo, the
clown, seemingly on the threshold of a career in films. They have
set their own trends and made their own fashions, and have won a
loyalty for themselves which, in spite of drugs, marital upsets,
and poor films, they have kept. They sell more records than anyone
else in the world.
•Crosby and Sinatra have been in business longer, but a
Beatles record is the world's best seller. Only two of their records
have failed to go to the top of the pops. Although pop has been
copied in other countries, British pop is still the best. It produces
a better sound, which may in part be due to excellent production
facilities. It is the most sophisticated pop, and the "sound
of the moment" is, more often than not, British: in contrast
to before the war when a popular song written in this country would
be marketed in America, so that it might be presented in its country
of origin as "American".
•The songs themselves are now more vital and "gutsy";
compare Hair with Perchance to Dream. They have also a political
content which few, save perhaps, for "Buddy can you spare a
dime" had before the war. "Give peace a chance" is
the title of John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's latest record. Pop can
be divided into two categories: "bubble gum music", simple
and melodic, written for 13 year olds, and "progressive pop"
which takes itself more seriously.
•Memo March 6 '69. Trident Studios billed EMI for 9 hours
of recording time at £25 per hour, 9 hours of overtime at
£5 per hour, and for 3 reels of 1" tape at £16
each. Total £318 (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 315).
•Memo. Olympic Studios June 18 '69. Billed for costs: £72
for 8-2 reductions at £ 18 each, £15 for playback at
£3 per hour, £2.10 for playback at £5 per hour,
£5 for 1 reel of 1" tape, £9.10 for engineers overtime
charges, and £7.18s for telephone calls (Lewisohn. Chronicle
•Among the middle aged Cole Porter remains the favourite
for he never sings about first love, but among the "kids"
love is still for keeps. The pop market is still very sentimental.
Les Reed who composes waltzes such as "Delilah" and "The
Last Waltz" for Engelbert Humperdinck is the most successful
•Brian Epstein, the former record shop manager who discovered
the Beatles, sold their rights to E.M.I., the company with the largest
shares in the British gramophone market.
•In 1968, 30 per cent of all singles and 31 per cent of
all albums sold were made by E.M.I. Epstein played the first rough
tape of the Beatles to George Martin, a producer at E.M.I., who
bought it there and then. The contract was renegotiated in 1966,
and has another six years to run.
•The Beatles began by bringing out four records a year but
more recently because of their other activities, the number has
fallen to an album a year. This has had the effect of letting the
Americans in. British singers who once monopolized the charts in
this country, do so no longer. Only 14 of the top singles last year
and only four of the albums were by British performers.
•The Electric and Musical Industries Ltd., owns and operates
major record companies in 28 countries. It sells 20 per cent of
the thousand million records sold every year throughout the world.
In Britain it employs 29,000 people, and presses more than two million
records a week.
•It has recently acquired The Grade Organization, and it
presses and distributes Apple, the Beatles' own label. It also owns
Capitol Records, one of the three biggest companies in the field
in America, which with three factories, placed across the continent,
supplies 30 per cent of the largest record market in the world.
E.M.I. chief property is undoubtedly the Beatles but other artists
include Cilla Black, Mary Hopkin (Apple), Cliff Richard, Lulu, and
the Dave Clark Five.
•What the record companies fear most is marriage. It is
not until the newly wed reach 40 that sales figures begin to pick
up again - but then in the middle market of popular music. In the
meantime there is an estimated 19 million people below the age of
24 in this country alone, a market with a disposable income greater
than any other.
•The rise of "pop" music has been mirrored by
the change in clothes. With the cult of youth has gone the end of
middle age. Mary Quant has said we can all stay young until 65.
Before 1957 young people's clothes looked like scaled down versions
of their mothers, but with the slogan "brighter clothes mean
brighter people" came the mod look, no waists, good colours
and simple fabrics. The onset of pop and the arrival of the mod
look were related.
•In the wake of Mary Quant and her bazaars came the boutiques,
of which there are now two thousand in London alone, the fashion
designers from the Royal College of Art, the fashion journalists,
the models and the smart but often proletarian photographers, all
of whom combined to build up an industry of 35,000 people making
clothes for a mass market, the most publicized members of which
were the pop stars who had helped to make it all happen.
•What Mary Quant did for women was done for men by designer/entrepreneurs
like Rupert Lycett Green and John Stephen.
•As in all such revolutions the talent has been spread thinly.
The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are good of their kind: so too
is Quant, and other designers such as Ossie Clark and Tuffin and
Foale. The mini skirt has been given to the world and boutiques
such as Biba where the £1,000 a year typist goes to shop,
has dressed thousands of girls well if not warmly. If the youth
of the world does not dance dressed in British "gear",
then it would like to.
•Beyond the big names the quality drops. The market is so
large, volatile and inexperienced that it will try almost anything.
For most of the "swingers" it is soon over, it all ends
in marriage, children, mortgages and the Mini. But it has been a
flowering, a brief mayfly like existence before the onset of reality.
•Even with the corruption and the second rate, it is hard
to escape the conclusion that for millions, pop has been a liberation.
Whether the society which gave it birth, and which has taken its
tone in part from it, should be called "permissive" or
not, I am not certain: what it has done is to increase the amount
of human happiness.
•The thrust for social equality has come more from cheap
clothes and from cheap music than from the achievements of any political
•The charm of the Beatles, and even the brutal visual excitement
of the Rolling Stones, have set standards for others to try to imitate
If to sell abroad is now a proof of virtue then the pop singers
and the pop clothes designers have done well by the British public.
•From March to December 1969 the Beatles earned £1,708,000
•From December 1969 to December 1970 the Beatles earned
•The annual earnings for the Beatles in 70-71 were £4-5
million. Tax liabilities for the four were £500,000 (Dilello).
Legal: see also The Beatles' Legal
Matters and Negotiations.
•In April 1970 John, George, and Ringo had incurred £100,000
in legal bills.
•George: "We weren't broke, we'd earned alot of money
but we didn't actually have the money that we'd earned, you know.
It was floating around, because the contracts...The structure of
everything, you know, right back--that's really the history--Since
1962 the way everything was structured was just freaky, you know.
None of us knew anything about it. We just spent money when we wanted
to spend money, but we didn't know where we were spending it from,
or if we paid taxes on it, you know We were really in bad shape
as far as that was concerned, because none of us really could be
bothered. We just felt as though we were rich, because really we
were rich by what we sold and what we did. But, uhh, it wasn't really
the case because it was so untogether--the business side of it.
But now it's very together and we know exactly where everything
is, and there's daily reports on where it is and what it is, and
how much it is. And it's really good."(The
Beatles Ultimate Experience Database: George Harrison Interview.
New York City. April 1970).
Negotiations: see also The Beatles' Legal
Matters and Negotiations
•Allen Klein renegotiated the Beatles contract with EMI
as follows: The royalty rate went from 17 1/2% to 25% on U.S. sales.
The Beatles were to do two albums per year as a group or individually.
The Beatles would receive $0.58 per album until '72 when it would
increase to $0.72. Reissues would be paid at a rate of $0.55 when
it would increase to $0.72 (McCabe).
Click here for: THE BEATLES LEGACY LISTINGS (BLL) (FRAGMENT ON)
THE BEATLES/ NEMS RECORDING CONTRACTS' HISTORY
•US promoter Mike Belkin offered the group $2.4 million
for a 12 city tour plus 65% of the gross which he estimated would
earn them $6.4 million. They turned the offer down.
•When John announced that he'd be leaving soon he agreed
to not make it public knowledge because it might interfere with
Allen Klein's negotiations with Capitol Records for a new royalty
•The Financial Times reported that Dick James couldn't persuade
John and Paul to accept £9,000,000 offer from ATV for Northern
•On touring: Ringo was afraid that after taxes and other
deductions, "We'd be left with a fiver and a packet of ciggies
each (Daily Mirror June 69).
•On behalf of the Beatles and their company, Apple Corps,
their business manager Allen Klein of ABKCO Industries, after discussion
with the Beatles, announced in New York today that all negotiations
between the Beatles, Associated Television, and Northern Songs have
been terminated by the Beatles. All of the Beatles and their companies
intend to sell their shares in Northern Songs to Associated television
at a price in accordance with the terms laid down by the takeover
panel. John Lennon and Paul McCartney have no intention of involving
themselves in any further relationship with Northern Songs or Associated
Television beyond the fulfillment of their songwriting contract
to February 1973. The Beatles intend to keep all their rights with
their own company, Apple, which has divisions in records, music,
publishing, motion pictures and television. After discussions with
the Beatles' solicitors and after taking advice of counsel, the
writ served upon Northern Songs by the Beatles-owned Maclen Company
will not be withdrawn and a statement of claim will be served within
the next few days.
•£697 2s (£697.10) was spent on the musicians
for 'Golden Lumbers/Carry That Weight, The End, Something, and Here
Comes The Sun' (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 330).