SECTION THREE

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COLUMN SEVENTY-THREE, JULY 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 Al Aronowitz)

RETROPOP SCENE:
BEATLES FACTOID


PAUL MCCARTNEY
(Photo by Linda McCartney from her book, SIXTIES: PORTRAIT OF AN ERA)

Way back in the early "70s when Paul McCartney said he was going to quit the band that had been the giants of pop music and the models for the trends, the tastes and the philosophies of much of the world's youth for the previous six years, he couldn't really quit---not contractually.

Contractually, Paul couldn't quit under any circumstances.  Along with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he was a party to a partnership agreement signed in April of 1967 that pledged his services to the Beatles for 10 years.  

According to the terms of the. agreement, all of Paul's rights in any branch of the entertainment industry belonged to Apple Corps Ltd., which was wholly owned by the four Beatles.

Constructed at a time when Paul himself was in command of establishing the Apple empire, the agreement provided that any monies earned by any of the Fab Four from any activity in the entertainment industry must be paid to Apple,


If Paul quit,
they all would've
gone broke


which still acts as a kitty for the four partners and their heirs and which still collects royalties from all intellectual properties of the years covered by the contract. At the time, Apple was under the managing directorship of Neil Aspinall, who started out as the Beatles? original road manager. When the four battling giants couldn't talk to one another, they all could talk to Neil. That's because he had the trust of all four.

For example the profits from John's Plastic Ono Band didn't go to John, but were paid into the Apple treasury to be shared with the other three Beatles.  Similarly, the fees earned by Ringo As a movie actor for his roles in Candy and in The Magic Christian also went into the general pool.

Specifically, the agreement provided that Paul or any of the other three Beatles "shall not, without consent of the company and of the other entertainers, appear alone or with any other person in any branch of the entertainment industry." This meant that if Paul did decide to take a walk, the other three, if they got angry enough, could have tied him up in the courts and kept him out of work until 1977.

And even if the other three Beatles agreed to call it quits and let Paul go off on his own they couldn't cancel their agreement without practically going broke themselves.

According to financial experts, the tax consequences of such a step would have been ruinous, not only to John, George and Ringo, but to Paul as well.

Today, Neil remains the managing director of the still prospering Apple Corps Ltd. It was Neil who oversaw the reissue of compilations of all Beatles products of recent years.  ##

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