Sometime soon, I'll explain a tie-in with Dennis & Brian. I have some interesting stories about times with Klein
Former Beatles, Stones manager Allen Klein dies
Sat Jul 4, 2009 7:08pm BST
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Record label mogul Allen Klein, who handled the affairs of both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, died in New York on Saturday after a battle with Alzheimer's disease, a spokesman said. He was 77.
During a career spanning more than 50 years, the former New Jersey accountant secured a fortune as one of the savviest and most infamous players in the music business.
He played a key role during the bitter demise of the Beatles, coming on board in 1969 at the behest of John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Paul McCartney was fiercely opposed to Klein, preferring the legal expertise of his high-powered father-in-law Lee Eastman. The feud set the scene for the court battle that led to the group's dissolution.
Klein later reunited with Harrison to organise the all-star Concert for Bangladesh show in 1971 concert. It took a decade for the funds to reach the refugees because of complex tax problems. He also continued to work with Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Klein also managed the Rolling Stones during the 1960s and ended up owning the rights to their recordings and copyrights from that decade -- to the eternal regret of Mick Jagger.
He first made his mark in the music industry by auditing record labels on behalf of clients such as Bobby Darin and Connie Francis. When he invariably found that they were owed royalties, he took a percentage of the difference as a fee. he also managed Sam Cooke, helping the R&B star set up his own label and publishing company.
Klein's family-owned ABKCO Music & Records also handled the recordings of such artists as the Animals, Herman's Hermits, Bobby Womack, Marianne Faithfull, the Kinks, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell and many others.
He is survived by his wife and three adult children. His funeral will take place in New York on Tuesday.
So, he was an idiot was he?
And you know that how? Did you meet him personally?
Or is it just "what you've read"?
To answer the question: I did actually meet Allen Klein and he was far from an "idiot."
Here's the official obit from his publicist...
(1931 – 2009)
Allen Klein, iconic music business entrepreneur and founder of ABKCO Music & Records died early July 4th after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. New York-based ABKCO traces its origins back to Allen Klein & Co. the firm Klein started in the late 1950s. Today, ABKCO is one of the leading independent record companies in the world. It is home to critical catalog assets that include recordings by Sam Cooke, the Rolling Stones, The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Bobby Womack, Marianne Faithfull, the Kinks, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell and many others. The company’s music publishing division comprises over two thousand copyrights including songs composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack, Ray Davies, Pete Townshend and other legendary songwriters. In 2006, Klein was the recipient of the Abe Olman Publisher Award presented by the Songwriters Hall of Fame in recognition of his career-long leadership position in music publishing.
Allen Klein, the youngest of four children, was born in Newark, NJ on December 18, 1931. Tragically, his mother died before he reached his first birthday and at the age of four, he was placed in an orphanage where he stayed until he was nine. Thereafter, he was raised in part by his grandmother and an aunt. As a teenager, he had several jobs while attending evening classes and he worked at the Essex County News where he learned the basics of distribution. He graduated from Upsala College in East Orange, NJ with a degree in accounting. Following a stint in the US Army, he clerked for the Manhattan accounting firm of Prager and Fenton.
Through a friendship with publisher Don Kirshner, Mr Klein became involved in the music business. A meeting with Bobby Darin started him on the path of auditing record companies on behalf of recording artists and he developed a fervent following among these clients based on his uncanny ability to identify unpaid royalties. In 1962, Klein met Sam Cooke and would soon become his manager. On Cooke’s behalf, he secured an unprecedented agreement with RCA Records providing for not only artistic control but Cooke’s ownership of his own masters via Tracey Records, a label that Klein set up for this purpose. That contract forever changed the traditional relationship between label and artist that had been in place since the birth of the industry.
Now in its fiftieth year, ABKCO was founded in 1958 as an umbrella company involved in management, music publishing, film, TV and theatrical production. In 1967, Klein added Philadelphia’s Cameo Parkway Records to ABKCO’s portfolio. In the mid-1960s, Klein turned his sights to the UK where he became associated with producer Mickie Most (Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Donovan, etc). He worked with Rolling Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham to secure a new contract with Decca (UK) and would later purchase the band’s master recordings from Oldham. For a time, Klein managed both the Beatles Apple Corps Ltd. as well as the Rolling Stones. Klein represented The Beatles in re-negotiations between Apple and EMI in 1969 which resulted in their being granted the highest royalty rate ever paid to an artist up to that time.
In 1971 Klein co-produced The Concert for Bangladesh with George Harrison at Madison Square Garden, the first ever concert event at the facility and the forerunner of every rock fund raising benefit on behalf of a cause or charity. Following the Beatles split, he continued to work with his close friends John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Through ABKCO’s involvement in Broadway productions, Klein worked with such theater luminaries as Edward Albee, Rene Taylor and Joseph Bologna. ABKCO Films produced several movies, most notably The Greek Tycoon starring Jacqueline Bisset and Anthony Quinn as well as El Topo and Holy Mountain, the cult classics directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. ABKCO was awarded a Grammy® for the DVD documentary Sam Cooke: Legend in 2004 and an ABKCO-produced Sam Cooke film biography based on Dream Boogie, Peter Guralnick’s best selling biography of the soul and gospel star, is currently in pre-production.
Mr Klein is survived by his sister Naomi; his longtime companion Iris Keitel; his wife Betty; their three children Robin, Jody and Beth; his son-in-law Dan and daughter-in-law Jennifer; and his four grandchildren, Jeremy, Julian, Jade and Zachary.
A philanthropist of great breadth, he supported many causes including City of Hope, The Painted Turtle, The NYU Dept of Cardiology Lipid Treatment & Research Center, Sloane Kettering Children’s Hospital, the Juvenile Diabetes Association, Alzheimer’s Association, the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy and the Central Park Medical Unit.
In the music business, Allen Klein was both an icon and an enigma. While he had never sought the spotlight for himself, the company he created became one of the leading independent treasuries of copyrights and master recordings and will continue as a family-run business.
Services for Allen Klein will be held in New York this Tuesday, July 7 at 11:45 AM at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th Street. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Allen Klein may be made to The Alzheimers Association of New York and the Juvenile Diabetes Association.
Klein helped Lennon and Ono with their film Imagine, and helped Harrison to organize the Concert for Bangladesh. It was here that his reputation started to unravel. Rather than prearrange matters with UNICEF, Klein waited until after the concert to approach them, leading to questions about the proceeds, and finally a US tax investigation. While a check was cut at the time, additional proceeds meant for UNICEF were frozen in an escrow account until the 1980s. Also, Klein had sided with Harrison in believing Yoko Ono should not perform at the concert, wanting Lennon to appear without her, causing Lennon to cool on Klein. (He later took out his feelings toward Klein in "Steel And Glass," which appeared on his 1974 album Walls and Bridges.) After several suits and countersuits, Klein settled for a final payment of £3.5 million in 1977. In 1978, he was parodied by John Belushi as "Ron Decline" in the TV film All You Need Is Cash (a roman à clef with the Beatles' turned into The Rutles).
Klein and Harrison were not completely finished with each other. While Klein had supported and advised Harrison during the first phase of his "My Sweet Lord" lawsuit, Klein later bought Bright Tunes, the music publishing company that sued Harrison, thus becoming his legal opponent. A judge ruled later that Klein had unfairly switched sides of the lawsuit, and in the end it worked against Klein in court and Harrison ultimately became the owner of "He's So Fine," the song at the heart of the case.
I don't think Klein had alot of friends during this time!
Well, you're not completely nailing it, but you're close... The proceeds were diverted for years so that he could reap the benefits of the accrued interest. No one was ever certain how many lives would have/could have been saved, had the money been rushed there, rather than diverted for the extra shekels the interest provided to him.
However, he wasn't satisfied there; he had his record chain stocked with albums he had written off as cut-outs - 'promotional freebies'. This act got him nailed for tax evasion, and he served federal time on that one.