DENVER - The new book Baby You're a Rich Man: Suing the Beatles for Fun & Profit (ForeEdge/University Press of New England) by music business professor and award-winning attorney and journalist Stan Soocher contains many unusual insights into the Fab Four's musical, personal and legal histories.
Soocher was recently interviewed on Colorado Public Radio, where noted of his book's title: "To me, it sounds like a cook book ... because some of [the Beatles'] books were indeed 'cooked.' There's no doubt about that in terms of their accounting and all the people around the Beatles who siphoned off tens of millions of dollars through the years."
In the radio interview, Soocher talked about the attempt by Beatles' former manager Allen Klein to seize ownership of George Harrison's songs - including "Something," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "My Sweet Lord" - for a relative pittance.
Fearing financial mismanagement, Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr had fired Klein in March 1973 from continuing to manage their post-Beatles careers. But Klein's ABKCO music company was a conduit for George's revenues. Soocher explained that, in 1974, Klein sued George claiming that ABKCO had been caught in the middle of a $22,000 tax dispute between George on the one hand, and the IRS and New York City on the other.
Soocher said Klein's position was: "'I'm in the firing line and I want out of this. I'm willing to pay these $22,000 in taxes, but in return I want ownership of all of George's songs from 1968 forward.'" Klein didn't end up owning the songs, however, because George came to his senses and settled with the tax authorities.
Check out Stan Soocher's interview on Colorado Public radio here.
Stan Soocher will be speaking further about Baby You're a Rich Man during the following tour dates.
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