Allen Klein Playboy Interview, 1971

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Michael Gerber

Publisher at The American Bystander
is Blogmom of Hey Dullblog. His novels and parodies have sold 1.25 million copies in 25 languages. He lives in Santa Monica, CA, and runs The American Bystander all-star print humor magazine.
Michael Gerber
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Allen Klein, John Lennon, Yoko Ono

“Scuse us, folks. It’s the 70s.”

Ladies and gents, I have a treat. It seems the proprietor/tress of the wonderful Beatles tumblr Amoralto was reading our comment thread, and shot me a link to the entire scan of the Allen Klein Playboy interview. This link will take you to a site where you can download it.

(A natural word of caution: Of course download at your own risk, etc etc. I have not had a chance to download it myself.)

Thanks Amoralto! Million h/ts in your general direction.

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36 Comments

  1. Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

    Thx Michael and Amoralto,
    the download succeeded and so far so good. Readable copy… I am going to dwell on this.. and will be back when I’m done reading.

  2. The Trump is strong with this one.

  3. Avatar Chantal wrote:

    Having read about half of it, I’m hating Klein more than I ever have. What a terrible windbag… And does anyone seriously believe Paul ever tried to talk the Eastmans into handing Klein the keys to the office, so to speak? I wonder how many more lies and half-truths the interview contains.

  4. Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

    I started to download this and then realized I have no more f*cks to give for Allen Klein after reading just the excerpts from this interview in the previous post. It really depresses me that Lennon got snowed by this guy.

  5. Avatar Ruth wrote:

    He was a scumbag … but that seems to have been a big part of his appeal to John and Yoko — and Ringo, as he talks in this interview about Klein “the hustler” and how he wanted someone “hustling” for him. I’ve heard other people reference Ringo’s statement that if Lee Eastman had been Lee Northman — that is, anyone except Paul’s father-in-law — he might have chosen differently in the Eastman/Klein conflict. But *when* Ringo said that is pretty key: if he said that in 1971, that makes it a lot more valid. if he said it after he, John and George were all suing Klein and backtracking from what they had sold as a brilliant business decision, it loses a lot of its value.

    • Avatar Drew wrote:

      The other thing to keep in mind about Ringo’s wanting a manager who would hustle is the context: Ringo made the remark at time a time when they were all a bit down on Brian Epstein’s more “gentlemanly” approach to management and business negotiations. They were having major financial troubles and they had all begun realizing just how much money (millions and millions!) they had lost as a result of gentleman Brian’s poor business deals. Little wonder that this hustler who talked a good game and seemed aggressive would appeal.

      Perhaps the last thing they wanted — at that time — was yet another upper-middle-class gentleman manager like Lee Eastman, who seemed too similar to Brian Epstein.

    • Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

      Yeah, Klein’s coming off as a tough guy/hustler was evidently a big — probably should make that “the main” — source of his appeal to Lennon et. al. But believing that a hustler is always going to hustle on your behalf is crazy, IMO. As Maya Angelou said in another context, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

  6. Avatar Chantal wrote:

    Wow… That was quite a read.
    .
    The things I take away from this interview are,
    1) Klein quite possible had the biggest ego in the world. How many times can a person say ‘I am the best’, ‘I am the greatest’, ‘I did everything first and nobody ever surpassed me’, in one interview? I lost count, but I never read a more self-aggrandising interview in all my life.
    2) Klein blames everything on everyone else. In this case, he blames everything on Paul and the Eastmans. No matter how many people sue him, no matter how many enemies he made, it’s all *their* fault. The man obviously lacked any sense of perspective. But then, that fits perfectly into his ‘I am the best’ meme.
    3) He had no respect for Paul whatsoever and didn’t mind telling outright lies, even about verifiable facts, simply to make himself look better. We have long since learned that much of what he had to say about Paul and the Eastmans was bullshit. What I would like to know is, how did J/G/R feel about those comments in hindsight? Have any of the comments subscribed to them ever been denounced? Have any of them ever called BS on the things Klein personally had to say about Paul?
    4)The man was pretty delusional. But then, points 1, 2, and 3 already showed that.
    .
    I tried to read the interview with an open mind, and all I ended up doing was yell at my monitor all the time. What a lying, scheming, devious POS that guy was. He really must have had the gift of gab, it’s the only explanation I have for the way J/G/R allowed him to pull the wool over their eyes. I hope they ended up thanking Paul for seeing through Klein and standing his ground. John probably never did, but I hope George and Ringo did. Paul has his faults, Klein wasn’t wrong about that. And I’m sure he can be hell to work with whe he’s in one of his moods. But in this case, he was right. And that deserves to be said as well.

  7. Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

    First impressions:

    From my experience the Playboy interview with Allen Klein has been unreachable. The main reason I wanted to read it was to establish what was really new – yet unknown, or at least not shared understandings or facts.
    .
    .
    J/G/R & Allen Klein vs Macca
    .
    What I found is nothing new, just common knowledge of the flow of discussions and events regarding the fight between McCartney alone against J/G/R and Allen Klein as the representative and manager of Apple – first not The Beatles, and than including The Beatles.
    .
    The sulky and emotional responding Eastman folks, there’s nothing new about it. There is not too much bullshit about people in this part of the story, events and facts were more complex than what we find here, but that is quite normal, the court-case was imminent and the interview is part of that process. That is where Playboy or Craig Vetter failed miserably. On the second page it is suggested Vetter had
    .
    “a month on and off with Klein going through the Abko files in New York to untangle the business and legal spider webs of his (Klein’s, rg) professional relationships with Beatles and the Stones. Research done…”.
    .
    .

    Allen Klein – the money-maker
    .
    Those who think Allen Klein is only bragging are overreaching. Klein’s handling of EMI to change the contract of 9-years or 70 sides and his audits were very successful and brought The Beatles loads of money, and McCartney provided his signature with great confidence in the work Allen Klein had done.
    .
    .
    Allen Klein – the man
    .
    Interviewer and writer Craig Vetter painted an informative, beautiful and credible portrait of Allen Klein Beasty Glanglemutton gives a hint of how to understand the man’s personality: “The Trump is strong with this one.” Spot on and I love it. As a fan I assume I don’t know nothing or next to nothing about the personalities of all concerned, and that includes The Beatles, all we have is circumstantial proof for assumptions. In his report and interview, however Vetter provides us with speech, perceptions, behaviors and ways from which we can draw explicit conclusions.
    .
    I found the comments quite interesting and surprising. Are people mad about a psychopath, hating him, calling him a scumbag? Get a grip, or should I say ‘get a life’?
    Chantal’s comment gives a fitting summary, but I wonder what he or she does in life, as she uses phrases to suggest this is all quite new and appalling to her. Aren’t there any high level managers among the commenters or folks working in or close to board levels? Let’s take Chantal’s response to find directions to understand the problem Allen Klein.
    1) … the biggest ego…
    2) How many times can a person say ‘I am the best’, ‘I am the greatest’, ‘I did everything first and nobody ever surpassed me’, in one interview?
    3) a self-aggrandising interview
    4) Klein blames everything on everyone else… No matter how many people sue him, no matter how many enemies he made, it’s all *their* fault.
    5) He had no respect for Paul whatsoever
    6) didn’t mind telling outright lies, even about verifiable facts, simply to make himself look better.
    7) We have long since learned that much of what he had to say about Paul and the Eastmans was bullshit. What I would like to know is, how did J/G/R feel about those comments in hindsight? Have any of the comments subscribed to them ever been denounced? Have any of them ever called BS on the things Klein personally had to say about Paul?
    .
    Allen Klein appears from this interview and the information Yoko Ono and John Lennon gave in interviews: a sociopath and narcissist pur sang. To be honest dear Beatles-fans there is nothing to hung about and be surprised about, in the business world the problem with sociopathology and narcissism is quite common. Go out and check literature e.g. by Manfred Kets de Vries:
    https://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/Inseadwp1985/85-19.pdf and https://www.insead.edu/facultyresearch/research/doc.cfm?did=2219
    .
    In a world where maniacal and religiously dogmatic praise for individualism is the norm, anti-social behavior or ditto opinions are considered reasonable, the risk for superlative escalation are sociopathologies, e.g. narcissism. This attitude among normal folks has prevented medicine to take these problems serious. The idea of power having a relationship to psychopathology is still new to medicine, but things are changing, at least in Europe and some Asian states.
    .
    To understand the problem better let’s play: check out the 10 signs your Boss/Manager is a narcissist and find out how Chantal hits bull’s eye. It is actually an interesting exercise to find examples for all ‘10 signs’ in Craig Vetter’s portrait of Allen Klein.
    Sadly, it is now widely accepted, that “each manager needs a certain dose of narcissism. A problem only arises if narcissism turns into self-conceit, arrogance and hubris.” The lovers of individual decision-making and powerbrokers have soften the problem by proposing that a proper dose of narcissism combined with some humility creates great leaders.
    http://knowledge.insead.edu/leadership-organisations/humble-narcissists-make-great-leaders-4193
    .
    Manfred Kets de Vries once noted : the more powerful you become the more you are surrounded by “…walls, mirrors and liars.” There is nothing to learn from people who agree with you. When all you hear from people around you is how great you are, this is a clear sign your derailment has begun.
    This appears as clear as a bell from the interview including the implied responses from others to Klein’s actions and judgements.
    The phenomenon of exuberant overconfidence (hubris) and subsequent humiliation or destruction (nemesis) of powerful leaders has played out throughout history.
    .
    HS was first described in 2009 by Lord David Owen, a neurologist and former Foreign Secretary. With US colleague Jonathan Davidson, he described its characteristic pattern of exuberant overconfidence, recklessness and contempt for others, displaying Bertrand Russell’s ‘intoxication of power’.
    .
    Four British Prime Ministers (Lloyd-George, Chamberlain, Thatcher and Blair) and one US President (George W Bush) met the clinical diagnosis of HS. It is not just political leaders who are vulnerable to HS but those in positions of power in any area of society: business, education, health and many others. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/power-corrupts-but-it-also-plays-with-your-mind-lloyd-george-chamberlain-and-thatcher-all-suffered-8831839.html

    • Avatar Chantal wrote:

      Great response, Rob (goedemorgen, trouwens). It’s nice to see how my points are being analysed further, and in some cases, being overruled. I don’t mind getting it wrong, but it would seem my general impression wasn’t far off the mark.
      .
      I believe your psychological analysis (Klein being a sociopath and a narcissist) is spot-on. This doesn’t surprise me, but what did take me aback was the sheer *level* of these traits. I have never worked in, or with, top management. Therefore, I have no first-hand experience of what people in the kind of simulation tend to be like. I do, however, think that even though narcissism is a trait many powerful people possess, and you and I needn’t look very far to name some striking examples, I also think it’s not a trait people have to have in order to make it big.
      .
      I am fairly new to Beatledom. I didn’t grow up listening to the Fab Four, although (and this is the root of my pro-Paul bias) some of Paul’s solo work has been paramount in me surviving my youth. I owe that man a lot, and therefore I can’t always be completely objective where he is concerned. But, I digress. It wasn’t until I was twelve that I got introduced properly to the Beatles, and though I ended up being familiar with most of their catalog, it wasn’t until I was 35 or so that I started to consider myself a Beatles fan. I’m the same age as Dhani Harrison, so that should tell you how recently I became truly interested in the band. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the whole Klein debacle was something I heard of, but didn’t really know the full scope of. Now, I do. And yes, it appalled me, you are absolutely right about that. I am the kind of person to find beauty and goodness in everyone, and being unable to find any of significance in Allen Klein definitely shocked me.
      .
      The only conclusion I can arrive at, aside from the psychological analyses you made, is that Allen Klein may have been a good, or clever businessman, he was also a terrible person. Let’s not forget, this interview was meant to put him in a positive light. If he comes across this horrid in an article meant to make him look good, how bad was he in reality? The thought of four of my favourite people in the world having had to deal with that, particularly during an already stressful time in their lives, makes me cringe. Knowing my favourite Beatle not only had to fight Klein to save himself and his brothers from disaster, but having to become his best friends’ enemy in the process, is just heartbreaking. Knowing more about this whole drama explains so much.
      .
      Allen Klein is dead, but so are John and George. There aren’t any more chances for the former Beatles to restore the famous JohnPaulGeorgeRingo entity they once were. The damage Klein did can’t be reversed and is still present in Paul, and possibly in Ringo as well. He played a big role in the longevity of John&Paul and Paul&George’s feuds. John and Paul never became truly close ever again, and George only got over his anger when he was dying. Yes, I know there were many factors contributing to those estrangements, and we can’t put it all on Klein. We can, however, acknowledge he made things worse than they already were, and he did so consciously and deliberately. That’s the true legacy of Allen Klein. Not the money, but fanning the flames of the Beatles break-up and actively helping to destroy one of the most remarkable friendships in modern history. And yes, that appals me. Very much so.

    • Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

      In my response above I mentioned an article in Psychology Today ’10 signs your Boss/Manager is a narcissist’ – however the embedded link wasn’t published, so here’s the link:
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/communication-success/201505/10-signs-your-boss-manager-is-narcissist

      This morning I gave a leadership class and copied the Allen Klein interview and added this little article and assigned some homework for tonight, to discuss tomorrow.

      • Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

        Rob, you wrote of Chantal: “I wonder what he or she does in life, as she uses phrases to suggest this is all quite new and appalling to her.”
        .
        It’s important to make a distinction between “new” and “appalling.” “New” would suggest the person reacting is naive, and doesn’t realize there are plenty of sociopathic narcissists in the world, whereas it’s perfectly possible to be well aware of this and still find the behavior of such people “appalling.” Count me in.
        .
        I’ve had ongoing encounters with at least two people I’d count as major-level narcissists, and I have no patience with those who defend their actions by saying “this is just the way the world works, don’t be a baby.” No, it’s only how some people operate.
        .
        I also don’t give Klein much credit for negotiating with EMI or improving Apple’s finances. That he got a better deal with EMI had far, far more to do with the band in question being the Beatles than with his negotiating skills. And from accounts of what Apple was like, employees were basically throwing money in the air like confetti and few had adequate job descriptions. Anyone with a couple of brain cells to rub together could have improved that cash flow situation.
        .
        When it came to the Beatles, Klein abjectly failed as a leader. He walked into a bad interpersonal situation and made it infinitely worse. And rather than own up to his part in the band’s implosion, he blamed others.

        • “I’ve had ongoing encounters with at least two people I’d count as major-level narcissists”

          LOOK, I SAID I WAS SORRY

          • Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

            HA! Actually I encountered one professionally, and the other was married to a friend of mine. Still shiver when I think of either.

          • Karen Hooper Karen Hooper wrote:

            I want to vote for this as the funniest response in a post ever. 🙂

        • Said it before: if you’re the Beatles’ manager in 1969, your only job is to keep the goddamn group together and making records. Everything else is so secondary it’s not even worth mentioning. The amount of money the Beatles would’ve generated with one, two or three more Abbey Road-level albums dwarfs any forensic accounting that Klein might have done.

          Allen Klein is like a guy in a burning home who’s looking for change in the sofa cushions.
          “Save the Renoir! Help put out the fire!”
          “Nah nah nah — I think I feel a quarter.”

    • Karen Hooper Karen Hooper wrote:

      “I found the comments quite interesting and surprising. Are people mad about a psychopath, hating him, calling him a scumbag? Get a grip, or should I say ‘get a life’?”
      .
      A scumbag is a person who acts unethically in the primary pursuit of his own agenda. Clearly a term that applies to Klein. A leader is someone who acts ethically in the interest of others for a common goal. Clearly, NOT a term that applies to Klein. You wondered whether there were other commentators who had management experience. I have a Masters Degree and was a senior manager for over 20 years. I assure you that Klein was not my role model, and, indeed the antithesis of leadership.
      .
      And just so you know, I have a grip and also have a life, but thanks for the suggestion.

      • Yes, @Rob — I noticed that, too. Your passion is great, we all love and respect that, but do try not to personalize things.

        • Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

          @Michael
          You can blame me for personalizing anything, but I wasn’t doing that. Those who write ‘ i hate him’, calling Klein ‘a scumbag’ are personalizing they are projecting their feelings on another person. I object to that, and framed that in a question, because what some commentaries blame Allen Klein for, is actually a big problem in the world of management and leadership. So my question was how come the responses give the impression this behavior Allen Klein so clearly shows in the interview, without Vetter being able to identify it, appears an exception people are unable to deal with, and resort to cereal scuffle… calling someone names.
          .
          And then I admit, I put my observation and question into a context of a societal problem the USA has more than most of the Atlantic countries, formerly called the West. I have done that before and some reaction were similar, but left the issue undiscussed.
          .
          and b.t.w. I see the appreciation of my comment in the response by Chantal, which offers great insight of how she comes to a conclusion, an insight in how a fan experience the events in the career and lives of the Beatles, that’s worth a lot to me.

          • @Rob, it is simply rude to tell someone who disagrees with you to “get a life.” You’re a professional writer; I know you can express your thoughts without sniping at the other commenters. Please do that. And anybody who crosses that line — it costs nothing to apologize, and it’s SO RARE on the internet.

            People comment here because they know we keep it civil. That will continue.

          • Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

            @Michael
            I wrote:
            “I found the comments quite interesting and surprising. Are people mad about a psychopath, hating him, calling him a scumbag? Get a grip, or should I say ‘get a life’?”

            Really Michael, my response was and still is not about disagreeing, just wondering and surprised that something so common as narcissism and sociopaths fully functional in life, cause people going mad expressing emotions like hate and calling people scumbag.

            To me that is sort of inappropriate and in my humble culture it is a sign of immaturity, but hey unless it was a joke, but I didn’t see it that way. At the same time these were fascinating emotions, that psychologist can explain. That is the reason why I like and love the response of Chantal who explains so clearly why fans respond the way they do, and that the response is much more a thing of perception and projection than sound, fair and honest judgements. That is why Candy Leonard is so different, wise and interesting with her book Beatleness. It talks about how we experience and respond to anything Beatles-related. Sharing THAT is much more appropriate and fitting to this fan’s blog, than picking your enemy and throwing jelly beans or rocket propelled bombs at him or her. Again I luv Chantal’s response for that honesty and openness and I’m sorry I am projecting my expectations on unmentioned others and protest in apparently inappropriate ways.

            If anyone besides Chantal feels hurt I’m sorry if I caused you that. Maybe I should be more aware of the level of emotional attachment here and the internet habit that calling someone a scumbag (to an outsider) seems to be appropriate and telling that person: ‘hold on for a second, maybe it is wiser to start dealing with this, instead exclude yourself of the beauty of the human species that includes murders, thieves and thugs and crazy artists, you probably have elected into offices. Start looking around – it is there all the time, we can’t live together if someone who behaves inappropriate is met with name-calling, imprisonment and social exclusion. There is a more realistic window to internet-screaming and yelling.’ Maybe I am wrong. Here. Still I think: ‘have some class’.
            .
            Sniping at me, is less problematic for me than sniping at folks who are not here, but hey I am from another part of the world and a different person.

  8. Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

    @Karen and @Nancy
    .
    @Karen, I am not sure whether a definition of ‘leader’- depends on anyone’s personal or individual qualifying criteria. That kind of criteria give a glimpse of the kind of leadership anyone individual or group appreciates more than other leadership styles, that doesn’t make them validated defining attributes for a commonly shared concept.
    .
    You suggest that “A leader is someone who acts ethically in the interest of others for a common goal.” Does your definition imply ‘others’ vs ‘I, Me, Mine’? Than most Allen Klein doesn’t seem to meet the requirements, unless we of course acknowledge he made money, ‘the common goal’, for his clients first and then a took a significant percentage of it as agreed fee.
    .
    My problem with your leadership definition is a problem the world today has to deal with: define the scope of the set ‘others’ because ‘in the interest of others’ rationally means not in the interest of others that do not belong to your set of ‘others’. Today much more people and parties are stakeholders in the commons, something as far as I can see, we have come to grips with politically, economically and humanistically.
    .
    Or…
    maybe you make a distinction between a manager and a leader… I would understand that differentiation, though I’d rather avoid individual preferences and valuing in defining common notions and concepts as ‘manager’ and ‘leader’ are. Like I wrote above, that seems unhelpful to me. I do realize though that I am quite unable to articulate myself well enough, to make this clear with plenty of nuance and softening layers. Your response makes clear I appear to have failed in this respect.
    .
    For me a leader is 1) a person 2) holding a position within a group in which 3) he has responsibility to influence behaviors of others (4) to serve other groups in various ways and degrees (stakeholders, etc.). Of course then there are attributes I would prefer to be part of ‘leading’ or ‘leadership behavior’.
    .
    .
    @Nancy the distinction between ‘new’ and ‘appalling’ is clear to me, I did not mean to merge both linguistically. If behaviors of others appall, I think the use of the verb ‘appall’ comes across quite strong, and to be negative about someone in this case implies the accuser feels it self standing on higher moral ground. Well fine, I think taking the higher moral ground is not helpful in a world that serves us all best, when values and valuing are so diverse that we lose sight of all alternatives and we can only survive socially and professionally if we learn to accept and adapt to these differences, without the need or drive to amend them.
    .
    Rejection of others or their behaviors and beliefs is to a certain extent unavoidable, but in these cases to me the culprit is most likely the one that rejects and accuses. In the end we need to be able to live together with the highest variation of everything we can think of – if individual freedom means anything to us. The world works for various people in various ways, my hunch is that we really need to learn to accept and embrace diversity, when/if we want peace, and not enforce our beliefs with the strongest armies and smartest illegal and groundbreaking violence.
    .
    Regarding the EMI contracts, Nancy, you might be right, yet it was Klein who re-negotiated contracts and came up with results that everybody seemed to appreciate. At the time the Beatles were not in a position to create a new business model like Led Zeppelin could. Klein’s hand were tied. The four ads ideaswere glued together, every album by any of the Beatles sold was income for all three other Beatles. Contractual these were albums recorded by the member of the contract-party: The Beatles, John, Paul, George and Ringo together.
    .
    You write: “When it came to the Beatles, Klein abjectly failed as a leader. He walked into a bad interpersonal situation and made it infinitely worse.”
    .
    I think you’re right… I do hope I live to read a viable proper analysis of Klein on the artistic processes and social interaction of all four. What makes me very curious is the following passage, that if it were true is the most stupid, if not treacherous…
    .
    Craig Vetter (Playboy): John has said that around that time, you had him sit down and figure out exactly which lyrics he’d written and which ones Paul had written. Why?
    .
    Allen Klein: I thought John was losing confidence in himself, and I really didn’t know who had written exactly what, so I couldn’t give John the encouragement he needed. If Paul was really the main factor in the making of the records—I mean, if things were really going to fall apart without him—I needed to know that and be able to deal with it. It turned out, of course, that John had written most of the stuff. He’d forgotten a lot of what he’d contributed and had assumed, say, on Michelle, that because Paul sang lead, Paul had written it. Well, John wrote the entire middle eight for Michelle and 60 or 70 percent of the lyric on Eleanor Rigby. He just didn’t remember till I sat him down and had him sort through it all. And he pointed out that George had contributed that no one knew about. Everybody thought McCartney was this genius songwriter who did it all by himself, and it just wasn’t true. Not that Paul isn’t a good writer; he’s a great writer. But he wasn’t the Beatles. They all did it—John, George, Paul and Ringo. And I just thought we ought to get that straight. I wanted to cut through the bullshit and get to the substance, so that when it got nasty there would be no surprises.”
    .
    I wonder: is this true? Every Beatles fan knows that this feud started with the interview with Jann Wenner for Rolling Stone, Wenner and Lennon went through many songs, checking who wrote what. I never understood that. Was that destructive action by John fed by Allen Klein? What’s the timeline?
    .
    So with Allen Klein’s role, Nancy, we’re on the same page, the difference is I want details, not assumptions and general impressions…

    • Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

      Rob, I agree that we all have to wrestle with the balance between tolerance and drawing ethical boundaries. In general I am for more effort to understand people before condemning their actions, and I’m for condemning actions rather than people. But I definitely think there are behaviors worth condemning, and worth seeking to amend rather than accept. Based on the evidence that I have read, I judge Klein’s behavior with the Beatles to have been both unethical and destructive.
      .
      If you want more details about Klein’s specific actions, I recommend Doggett’s “You Never Give Me Your Money” and Gilmore’s Rolling Stone article on the breakup. Doggett in particular delves into Klein’s dealings with the Stones as well as the Beatles.
      .
      Edited to add: Please don’t assume that you want details while I am satisfied with general impressions and assumptions. Not the case.

    • Karen Hooper Karen Hooper wrote:

      “For me a leader is 1) a person 2) holding a position within a group in which 3) he has responsibility to influence behaviors of others (4) to serve other groups in various ways and degrees (stakeholders, etc.). Of course then there are attributes I would prefer to be part of ‘leading’ or ‘leadership behavior’.”
      .
      The nature of that influence is important. Good leaders try to inspire collaboration and cooperation among the stakeholders, even when those stakeholders have disparate objectives. Leadership isn’t a zero-sum game. Good leaders don’t start a campaign of disinformation and disparage stakeholders when they think they’re not getting their way or when they get their egos bruised . Process is equally important as outcome. This distinguishes leadership from its evil twin, dictatorship–or from the likes of Allen Klein.

  9. Avatar Drew wrote:

    I’m sure someone has made this point before but I think a key reason why Paul rejected Klein was because Paul knew from the get-go that Klein would be just another manager who was going to be firmly in John’s corner. And Paul was like, “Been there, done that.” With Lee and John Eastman, Paul finally had a manager who had HIS best interests at heart. And who came blame McCartney for that when John Lennon had done the same thing with Epstein.

    This was, IMO, a critical mistake of Brian Epstein’s management. It was unprofessional and mostly just selfish of him to sweep John off to Spain. And Brian should have known better but he was thinking with his other head, as they say. That trip triggered internal band resentments that only festered, and ultimately ended with the band’s breakup. In hindsight, it was almost inevitable that Paul would look to an ally like the Eastmans — someone firmly in his corner. After all, Paul felt betrayed by both John and Brian Epstein over the song credits issue (and with good reason) and Brian’s clear bias toward John destabilized John and Paul’s friendship and partnership for years to come. I always suspected that John and Paul made their partnership agreement official in Paris. And then not long after that, John goes off to Spain, looking out for No. 1. With the Eastmans, Paul abandons the all-for-one mentality and decides to look out for No. 1 as well.

    A better more experienced manager would have known better than to choose sides so early and so decisively. But Brian wasn’t experienced in that regard and may have only realized his critical mistake too late. I know people think Brian was, in many ways, a great manager for the Beatles. And he was. But his crucial mistakes also laid the groundwork for the band’s collapse, IMO, and make Paul’s resistance to going along with a another manager who favors Lennon almost inevitable.

    • Avatar ChelseaQW wrote:

      Drew, I LOVE your take on this. Thanks for posting!

    • Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

      Hey Drew,
      help me out, how come you think Epstein was John’s corner? Going off to Spain may indeed have been silly, but Paul never blamed Epstein, he was quoted saying this was John’s power-play.
      .
      Where do you find that Paul felt betrayed over the song credits issue (an with good reason)?
      Lennon and McCartney really sounds better than McCartney and Lennon. Do you think a songwriter like McCartney who is used to choosing words that come out of your mouth sounding better and more fluently doesn’t know that?
      .
      The most fascinating snippet in your comment is: “I always suspected that John and Paul made their partnership agreement official in Paris.” What does Lewisohn have on that? What’s your argument?
      .
      what kind of crucial mistakes do you think Epstein made that ‘laid the groundwork for the band’s collapse’
      .
      Paul’s resistance to go along with Klein makes sense all along.
      a) McCartney is more cautious, check the paraphrased interview Hunter Davies had with Paul in 1981. https://www.heydullblog.com/biography/paul-and-hunter-davies-1981/
      and
      b) Allen Klein was John Lennon’s private business-manager, and that of Ringo and that of George. Allen Klein doesn’t lie about that in the Playboy interview with Vetter, even though some suggest it is all a lie. Allen Klein was manager of Apple, but never, not in one second of The Beatles.
      .
      As representative from George, John and Ringo Allen Klein had the opportunity to represent The Beatles, and with a lot of individual contracts Paul did go along and signed on the dotted line. Still Klein formally never was the manager of the partnership the Beatles (which does not equal Apple) had, and Paul was right that if J/G/R wanted their own business manager running their affairs that is fine, but please do not let the guy run The Beatles affairs…

      for whatever reason The Beatles had to end: a) to get rid of Allen Klein, and as J/G/R claimed their right a majority of votes it apparently ending that was not going to happen Klein was going to have a dominant influence on The Beatles financial past, present and future. A risk to big, and beyond Paul’s control.

      It can’t see how the experience with John and Brian prepared Paul being on alert for this situation. Any suggestions?

      • Avatar Drew wrote:

        Rob,
        1. Paul’s long-simmering resentment over the song credit is common knowledge and has been written about in many many Beatles books and articles, and mentioned often by Paul himself. How can you have missed this? Are you feigning ignorance about this? I can’t tell.

        Anyway. it’s been well established that John and Paul’s initial agreement was that whoever was a song’s primary writer would get his name first: so EITHER Lennon-McCartney or McCartney-Lennon. Then John goes off to Spain with Brian, and when they come back, Brian pressures Paul to agree to “Lennon-McCartney” for all the credits. Why did Paul agree? He was young, eager for success, and allowed himself to be talked into it by his manager — who Paul thought had his and the band’s best interests at heart. Perhaps gradually, Paul began to see that Brian had John’s best interests at heart and then the other Beatles.

        Paul clearly never stopped resenting the song credit, and he also clearly know that John had broken their personal agreement in order to get HIS name first on ALL the songs. In Tune In, Lewisohn reported finding a document from Brian to EMI explaining how the song credit would switch depending on who was the primary writer of a song. So that agreement is fact. We’ll no doubt find out in more detail in Volume 2 of Lewisohn’s opus how, exactly, that agreement was broken and how “Lennon-McCartney” became the credit on all the songs. But obviously Brian sided with John on this.

        I doubt buy the “Lennon-McCartney” credit “sounds better.” We’re used to it. It’s familiar. So of course it “sounds right.” if we were used to “McCartney-Lennon” for 50 years, we’d think that “sounded right.” And if it had been “McCartney-Lennon,” you can bet that after John’s death, his most rabid fans would have demanded the credit be switched to “Lennon-McCartney” on “John’s” songs. And I’m sure, in that alternate universe, if Paul had resisted, he would have been ripped to shreds — just as he was harshly criticized for wanting his name first on his own songs. You can’t win this sort of a battle with a martyr. But I digress.

        Paul has never had a problem with aggressive people. He partnered with John Lennon, for goodness’ sake. He married Heather Mills — an uber-aggressive person. He wrote songs with Kanye!! So Paul’s being cautious would not necessarily have made him object to Klein’s aggressive style. What Paul objected to about Klein — in my view — was the fact that yet again here was a manager who favored Lennon — much like Brian had.

        I’m saying that Paul didn’t resist Klein because he was a shark. He resisted Klein because the shark was biased in favor of John. And Paul had been down that road already. He would have been alerted to that after seeing how Brian’s attachment to John had directly hurt Paul’s interests in terms of the song credit.

        Paul had every right to protect his own interests — just as John had protected his own interests from the band’s beginning.

        • Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

          @ Drew I am not ‘feigning ignorance about’ Paul’s long-simmering resentment over the song credit. I have heard people saying it a lot, I also know he is very much into the business of music-publishing and there is is utterly unimportant. Who wrote ‘BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND’? Who wrote ‘Make You Feel My Love’? The song -credit is less important than who had the biggest hit with it, and if lots of people had a hit with it, only then the composer might come back into the spotlight again – but only maybe. Paul’s live shows are proof for your argument.
          As a follower of The Beatles I have never been aware of real arguments or actions from Paul not until after John died and Paul wanted a change on Yesterday, or something like that.
          .
          What is true though, is that Klein, Wenner and Lennon have opened up an immature band-and-balls-breaking-genie that cannot be put back into a bottle the discussion who wrote what and what specific contributions were. Not out of artistic curiosity, but to set the record straight (what record?), to give John’s confidence a push.
          .
          Thanks for pointing back to Lewisohn… hope to find it easily in the extended version.
          .
          It seems we agree on the Klein…

  10. Karen Hooper Karen Hooper wrote:

    ” Maybe I should be more aware of the level of emotional attachment here and the internet habit that calling someone a scumbag (to an outsider) seems to be appropriate and telling that person: ‘hold on for a second, maybe it is wiser to start dealing with this, instead exclude yourself of the beauty of the human species that includes murders, thieves and thugs and crazy artists, you probably have elected into offices. Start looking around – it is there all the time, we can’t live together if someone who behaves inappropriate is met with name-calling, imprisonment and social exclusion. There is a more realistic window to internet-screaming and yelling.’ Maybe I am wrong. Here. Still I think: ‘have some class’.”

    .
    Describing a public figure as a scumbag, based on that person’s history of questionable behaviour, isn’t inappropriate, and is no different than describing them as a sociopath and a narcissist IMO (which, if I’m not mistaken, is how you described Klein in an earlier post). And, in addition to having a grip AND a life, I also have some class. Any more questions, or should we sic Mike on you again? 😉

    • Easy now, you two. 🙂

      @Rob, PLEASE don’t say things like “get a life” or “have some class” to other commenters. Just make your points, and people can agree or disagree. The objectionable part isn’t your theory of business as rewarding sociopathy, or of the need not to exclude people. We all get that. It’s the shots you’re taking at the end. Please restrain yourself. It’s like if I said things like, “RAM’s great, and anybody who doesn’t think that is an asshole.” Somebody’s going to react negatively to that, and it’s not necessary.

      Be gentle, everybody, please. Even when you don’t feel you need to, go out of your way to be gracious and apologize. Our comments are great because people feel safe to speak, and people feel safe to speak because everybody, myself included, thinks an extra second before they post, doesn’t comment mad, and apologizes at the drop of a hat.

    • Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

      Dear Karen,

      I concluded based on the text of the interview and the comments John and Yoko have given in their interviews “appears” “a sociopath and narcissist” – and these labels have an objective validation. I never met Allen Klein in person, did not make a profile and I provide an analysis and information and arguments for my impression, because other commentators and Beatles-fans in general blame Klein for behaviors in general and specifically that can be put together under the header ‘narcissistic’. Then I pointed out my amazement that people get mad about that because ‘hello, it’s everywhere out there’.
      .
      I do not agree with you that scoffing at people: ‘scumbag’ etc. to those out of sight is inappropriate and indecent and I experience that as offensive. As I wrote in an earlier response maybe that belongs to accepted Beatles-fan-talk. Today, fifty years after the Stones vs Beatles verbal battles, I find myself in a similar place for the first time?
      .
      Anyway if you felt personally attacked, I am sorry, I am not sorry for me standing up against someone calling names. I wish you well.

  11. Karen Hooper Karen Hooper wrote:

    No worries Rob. We will, as they say, agree to disagree.

  12. Karen Hooper Karen Hooper wrote:

    Thought I’d post an interview of Harrison regarding Klein. He was less than complimentary.

    http://undercover.fm/news/8619-what-george-harrison-thought-of-allen-klein

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