DENVER - The Beatles have been the subject of countless books - but none like attorney/award-winning journalist Stan Soocher's new book, Baby You're a Rich Man: Suing the Beatles for Fun & Profit (ForeEdge/University Press of New England).
Part Beatles history, part legal thriller, Baby You're a Rich Man delivers a fascinating, inside look at key court battles that shaped the Beatles' music, their personal lives and business ventures. "My goal was to place readers right in the center of the action," Soocher said, "from backroom negotiations to detectives chasing the Beatles through concert halls and hotels with lawsuit summonses, to eye-opening courtroom scenes that revealed the band members' inner thoughts about who they were and what their music meant to them."
Through extensive research into rare court documents and from fresh interviews, Soocher has uncovered significant new information about the most popular group in music history. The book takes a look at everything from early legal problems over Beatlemania merchandise to relationships with the band's first fully dedicated manager, Brian Epstein, and notorious last manager Allen Klein, Paul McCartney's lawsuit to break up the Beatles, John Lennon's immigration fight to become a U.S. citizen, and song copyright-infringement suits filed against Lennon over "Come Together" and George Harrison over "My Sweet Lord."
Baby You're a Rich Man begins in the era when Epstein opened the Pandora's box of rock 'n' roll merchandising, making a hash of the band's licensing and inviting multiple lawsuits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The band's long breakup period, from 1969 to 1971, provides a backdrop to the Machiavellian grasping of new manager Klein, who unleashed a blizzard of suits and legal motions to take control of the band, their music and Apple Records. Unsavory mob associate Morris Levy first sued John Lennon for copyright infringement over "Come Together," then sued him again for not making a record for him. Phil Spector, hired to record a Lennon solo album, walked off with the master tapes and held them for a king's ransom. And from 1972 to 1975, Lennon was the target of a deportation campaign personally spearheaded by key aides of President Nixon (prodded on by a drug-addled Elvis Presley) that wound endlessly through the courts.
In all, what emerges from Baby You're a Rich Man is a stirring portrait of immense creative talent thriving under the pressures of ill will, harassment and greed.
Baby You're a Rich Man hits stores in September 2015.
Stan Soocher is an entertainment attorney and the long-time Editor-in-Chief of the publication Entertainment Law & Finance. He is also Associate Professor of Music and Entertainment Industry Studies at the University of Colorado's Denver Campus. In addition, Soocher has won national journalism awards for his music law articles in Rolling Stone and The National Law Journal, and is the recipient of the "Texas Star Award" from the State Bar of Texas. He previously authored the book They Fought the Law: Rock Music Goes to Court. His website is www.stansoocher.com.
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