Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatles' breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating. Read more...
Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatles' breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating. As the manager of the Stones and then the Beatles--not to mention Sam Cooke, Donovan, the Kinks, and numerous other performers--he taught young soon-to-be legends how to be businessmen as well as rock stars. In so doing, Klein made millions for his clients and changed music forever. But Klein was as merciless with his clients as he was with anyone else, earning himself an outsize reputation for villainy that has gone unchallenged until now. Through unique, unprecedented access to Klein's archives, veteran music journalist Fred Goodman tells the full story of how the Beatles broke up, how the Stones achieved the greatest commercial success in rock history, and how the music business became what it is today.
- ISBN-13: 9780547896861
- ISBN-10: 0547896867
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publish Date: June 2015
- Page Count: 302
- Dimensions: 1.25 x 6.5 x 9.25 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-05-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Allen Klein revolutionized the rock and roll business, spinning money out of record sales, song publishing rights, and forceful readjustments of contracts that were wildly unfair to artists. "Pugnacious and foul mouthed," Klein and his ABKCO Records became one of the first independent record labels and music publishers, persuading artists that he "can get you a million dollars." It wasn't purely altruistic, as his many enemies noted. "He robbed from the rich and kept it," an approach that contributed to his lasting negative reputation. His hard-nosed negotiations with Andrew Loog Oldham, the first manager of the Rolling Stones, both ensured the band's financial fortunes and eventually gave him a huge percentage of their early royalties as well as control over their early back catalog. Klein's greatest fame came in the four years he served as manager of the Beatles, bringing some financial order to the chaos of their hippie business umbrella, Apple Corps. Goodman (Fortune's Fool), an accomplished journalist, goes over these triumphs in exhaustive detail, painting a portrait of a man with horrific impulse control and a combative personality who got embroiled in ruinously expensive litigation with his most famous clients. While the ins and outs of Klein's wheeling and dealing are well documented here, Goodman rarely provides adequate context for how his approach differed from the practices of the time, and it's tough to see an obvious audience for this book-length portrait of the accounting behind the music. (June)