Monday, May 17, 2010

U never give me yr $$$....

Here's the flipside 2 Mark Shipper's PAPERBACK WRITER, which I reviewed here a few days back: Peter McCabe & Robert D. Schonfeld's APPLE TO THE CORE (1972) purports 2 B a book about the financial & bizness troubles that broke up the Beatles, centering on their mismanagement of the chaotic Apple Records label.
But it takes the authors 80 pgs 2 even talk about what happened at Apple. The 1st 1/3rd of the book recounts the Beatles' story & how central their late mgr Brian Epstein was 2 their early success. McCabe & Schonfeld's position is that 1nce the Beatles stopped touring in 1966 & Epstein died late in 1967, the Fab 4 Bgan 2 fragment & the troubles w/ Apple just made their breakup that much more inevitable.
The material on the chaotic day-2-day operations at Apple is actually pretty thin. Apple was a supposedly altruistic effort by the Beatles 2 discover & nurture talent they thot was Bing overlooked by the Ntertainment bizness. But instead Apple Bcame the best place in London 2 stop 4 free drinks & food, & sometimes more.
All this is Xplored in MUCH more hilariously shocking Dtail in Richard DiLello's screamingly funny THE LONGEST COCKTAIL PARTY (1972) -- in which U get a close-up look at all the drinking, drugging & theft that happened during an avg day at the Apple office. Typewriters, tape recorders, food, drinks, record albums, tin off the roof -- cars! All gone! & no1 knows where they went.
There's no question the Beatles got robbed blind -- that even the group w/ more $$$ than Ghod didn't have THAT much 2 give away.
There is brief discussion here about some of the talent that got away -- James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, both of whom eventually felt ignored by Apple. Un4tun8ly there is no mention of Badfinger -- 1 of the most tragic stories of the era, whose real story started long after this book was published.
The rest of the book follows the breakup of the Beatles partnership thru the English court system, & Dtails how people like music publisher Dick James, media mogul Lord Lew Grade & attorney Allen Klein in their various ways wrenched control of the Beatles' songs outta the group's hands. These R the early chapters in the story of how Michael Jackson Nded up w/ control of the Beatles' catalog & how John Lennon's "Revolution" wound-up Bing used in a Nike commercial.
Old Beatles friends & associates like John Dunbar (who introduced John 2 Yoko), Chris O'Dell (a 4mer Apple office assistant) & even 4mer Apple press officer Derek Taylor R quoted at some length, & don't come across very well, as if they still had some axe 2 grind yrs after the events. The authors Cmta almost have their own grumpy agenda, as if it's dirt-simple obvious 2 them that the Beatles needed strong, unified mgmt & that w/o it their eventual breakup was equally obvious.
This isn't Xactly an Njoyable book, if NE1 cares at this late date, but the business reporting is pretty clear, Dtailed & solid -- tho complicated. U may learn a few things about the Beatles U didn't know, but they'd all B from a business standpoint. The authors also may B among the few reporters who have good things 2 say about Allen Klein. I'd instead recommend THE LONGEST COCKTAIL PARTY, which is a LOT more fun 2 read....

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