Sunday, 28 October 2012

31st October 1966

The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust
~ Samuel Butler ~

In the second issue of the International Times, encompassing the dates 31st October (a Monday), 1966 through the 13th November (a Sunday) 1966, the following advertisement runs:

Yoko Ono's exhibition is re-titled "Unfinished Paintings", and the dates are changed to 8th November, 1966 through til the 18th November, 1966.

Speaking of the 13th November, 1966; this was the date that the Sunday Telegraph ran a front page article stating that two of The Beatles had approached Allen Klein for management representation. Which is interesting. As they still had Brian Epstein as a manager in 1966. The few things one can find on the internet regarding this matter, all mention that Epstein dismissed these claims almost immediately. John Lennon expressed anger that it appeared The Beatles were no longer happy with Brian. George Harrison and Ringo Starr were disturbed by these rumours. And Paul McCartney could not be reached for comment. As he was probably still searching for John Lennon somewhere in Spain. Allen Klein denied leaking this to the press. 

So who did leak this story to the press? Allen Klein may not be the one to trust on "who leaked what." Was this an early bid on The Beatles by Klein? It's not a tactic uncommon I imagine, because in truth, it's a competitive industry. The Beatles were on EMI, The Rolling Stones on Decca. And if one looks at The Rolling Stones Decca deal, it was pretty sweet! They had far more artistic control and residuals with Decca than The Beatles ever had with EMI. At the same time, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are friendly to one another, but in truth, their record companies don't have to be. It's about earnings and capital. So spreading a rumour that Klein was in negotiations with some of The Beatles, might serve a purpose. 

With the lull in Beatles proceedings that followed the release of Revolver in August 1966, The More Popular Than Jesus statements, and the last concert at Candlestick Park,  it seems Epstein was all over the place denying The Beatles were splitting, but also confirming that no tour dates were being set or planned. Rumours were flying all around.

There's also the matter that contract negotiations with EMI also took place in November 1966. Epstein allowed the contract to expire, then waited 17 months before renegotiating, keeping The Beatles receiving the very small royalty rate under that old expired contract the entire time. Did Klein get word of this? Were Epstein's managerial skills under question? And did two Beatles actually approach Allen Klein seeking a business manager that seemed to produce results?

All very interesting, as Klein would later represent 3 of The Beatles a couple of years later. But that's another story.

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