Thursday, January 19, 2017

Paul McCartney sues Sony/ATV over Beatles royalties: Looking at the suit

Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit Jan. 18 against SONY/ATV Music Publishing and SONY/ATV Tunes LLC for declaratory judgment seeking to confirm he will get back his portion of the Beatles song copyrights from SONY/ATV in October, 2018. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.

The complex main document seeks to allow him to reclaim the ownership interests in the copyrights for many of the songs McCartney wrote for the Beatles that were credited to him and John Lennon in the 1960s and early 1970s. The suit states that McCartney had filed termination notices to get back his copyrights to the Beatles songs beginning in October, 2008. Most of the catalog was originally published by Maclen Music, but some songs were published by other companies, like Beechwood Music Corp. (“Love Me Do,” “P.S. I Love You”) and EMI Unart Catalog Inc. (“Bad To Me”).

Those termination dates that effectively give him back his copyrights become effective on Oct. 5, 2018. McCartney's legal brief asks a declaratory judgment to make it clear that he will get back his copyrights on that date. The pages of the lawsuit goes into the history of the music, going back to the days of the Beatles and the history of McCartney's many legal maneuvers to try and get back his copyrights.

The suit asks for a declaration that McCartney exercising his termination rights does not breach the publishing agreements, a ruling that the publishing agreements that conflict with McCartney's termination notices are unenforceable, plus legal costs. The suit also requests a jury trial. You can download the full complaint from The Hollywood Reporter. There's been no word of any reaction from any of the other Beatles.

Sony/ATV issued a statement replying to the suit that was published Wednesday by Billboard: “Sony/ATV has the highest respect for Sir Paul McCartney with whom we have enjoyed a long and mutually rewarding relationship with respect to the treasured Lennon & McCartney song catalog.  We have collaborated closely with both Sir Paul and the late John Lennon’s Estate for decades to protect, preserve and promote the catalog’s long-term value. We are disappointed that they have filed this lawsuit which we believe is both unnecessary and premature. Sony/ATV will not be commenting further.”

McCartney announced a long-awaited reissue of his Flowers in the Dirt album in December. The reissue, to be released March 24, will include previously unreleased demos done by McCartney and his collaborator on the album Elvis Costello. It will be released in several configurations including an expensive four-disc (3 CDs, 1 DVD) version. .  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Paul McCartney's new 2017 album ... what's really up?

The first tip of a new Paul McCartney album came last February in the UK Sun, which reported both the album and that he was working with Adele's producer Greg Kurstin. McCartney confirmed the news in a story in the Washington Post in July, saying "I’d like to get an album by next year." Then, in August, he told Rolling Stone, “I’ll put out my next album, but I won’t think I’m gonna sell a lot. I’m putting it out because I have songs that I like. And I will do my best job."

Here's how it stands now, as sources tell us: The album is timed for the summer with a single to be released in June. And he may preview some of the songs at his upcoming dates in Japan in late April. 

The most recent new music from McCartney, by the way, was the new song in October, "In the Blink of An Eye," from the soundtrack to the film "Ethel & Ernest."  

(Be sure to check out our That's What I Want Beatles store on Amazon. Great selection and stuff you won't believe.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Beatles pics from Abbey Road sessions

(Be sure to check out our That's What I Want Beatles store on Amazon. Great selection and stuff you won't believe.)

Just announced! George Harrison vinyl collection .. here's the press release


Vinyl Box Set Includes Thirteen Albums From 1968-2002, plus 12” Picture Discs

59 Additional Handwritten Lyrics, Photographs and Memories to be Published in New Extended Edition

The Harrison family is proud to announce the release of GeorgeHarrison - The Vinyl Collection (USM) box set featuring all of George Harrison’s solo studio albums in one collection for the first time. (Order link for in the United Kingdom, in Canada and in Japan. FYI, the Canadian price converted to U.S. dollars is $387, which is quite a bit less than the $486 price for the U.S.)
The vinyl box set includes all twelve of George’s studio albums with exact replicas of the original release track listing and artwork. Also included in the box set are George’s classic live album Live In Japan (2LP), and two 12” single picture discs of ‘When We Was Fab’ and ‘Got My Mind Set On You’. All the discs are 180-gram heavyweight vinyl and are housed in a high-quality two-piece rigid slipcase box. The original analogue master tapes were used for the new re-masters and were cut at the legendary Capitol studios to ensure exceptional audio quality throughout. The individual albums from the collection will also be available separately, with All Things Must Pass as a limited edition title.

George’s autobiography I Me Mine – The Extended Edition
(Genesis Publications)

George Harrison’s I Me Mine was originally published by the specialist book publisher, Genesis Publications in 1980. It became the first of many collaborations between George and Genesis founder, Brian Roylance. In conversation with his friend and former Beatles press officer Derek Taylor, and in a first-person commentary that accompanies his songs, Harrison's own words recount everything from his upbringing in Liverpool, to early Beatlemania, his spirituality and philosophy. This new extended version of the book now spans the complete length of Harrison’s career in music, told in his words and through 141 songs with hand written lyric sheets faithfully reproduced in full color. Now stretching to 632 pages it features lyrics to more than 50 songs not previously included, as well as new photographs, many unpublished until now.

GeorgeHarrison - The Vinyl Collection vinyl LP box set contains:

Wonderwall Music (1968) | 1 LP
Electronic Sound (1969) | 1 LP
All Things Must Pass (1970) | 3 LP *limited edition piece
Living In The Material World (1973) | 1 LP   
Dark Horse (1974) | 1 LP
Extra Texture (1975) | 1 LP
Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976) | 1LP
George Harrison (1979) | 1 LP
Somewhere in England (1981) | 1 LP
Gone Troppo (1982) | 1 LP
Cloud Nine (1987) | 1 LP
Live In Japan (1992) | 2 LP
Brainwashed (2002) | 1 LP
12” Picture Disc Singles of ‘When We Was Fab’ and ‘Got My Mind Set On You’ (only available as part of the box set)

Also available, the perfect companion for the vinyl set is the George Harrison Essential III turntable. This elegant piece is manufactured and designed by Pro-Ject Audio Systems, one of the world’s leading suppliers of record players. The artwork was designed by Studio Number One based on an exclusive 2014 art-print lithograph designed for the Harrisons by Shepard Fairey. This turntable is limited to 2500 worldwide.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Report: Beatles' Magic Alex dead

We're checking this, but there's a report from a French news agency that Alexis Mardas, aka Magic Alex, has died. According to the report, he was 74.

Update: This has now been confirmed. We've written a story for Billboard that will be up soon.
Update #2: My story on

(Be sure to check out our That's What I Want Beatles store on Amazon. Great selection and stuff you won't believe.)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

What do Beatles fans want? "Let It Be" on DVD

One of the many bootleg "Let It Be" DVDs. 

We conducted an unscientific poll last week on Twitter on what people want the Beatles to release in 2017. (See the actual poll below). We gave four choices to choose from: Shea Stadium on DVD, "Let It Be" on DVD, a Sgt. Pepper 50th anniversary package or the Beatles music on Blu-ray.

The results weren't too surprising. Of the 194 votes that registered, "Let It Be" won by a landslide with 60 percent. Shea Stadium came in second at 20 percent. The "Sgt. Pepper" set was third with 16 percent and the Blu-ray Beatles audio was last at four percent.

This was kind of a test of the Twitter poll and we probably should have run it longer. But "Let It Be" is always coming up as a strong choice whenever these discussions arise. ("Hollywood Bowl" on CD was also in demand before its release last year.) The only question is how much longer we'll have to wait for "Let It Be" -- and whether it'll come while all of us are around.

(Be sure to check out our "That's What I Want Beatles Store" for a huge selection of everything Fab.)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Carrie Fisher supported Sean Lennon's music and activism

Capitol Records

When Carrie Fisher passed away, Sean Lennon posted several comments about their friendship, including a lengthy statement on Instagram. She was very supportive of him. She appeared in at least one of his videos (see below) and was also one of the Artists Against Fracking who supported his campaign against it. A great lady, she was indeed. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Paul McCartney rockin' on New Year's Eve with The Killers: Two clips

Two videos of Paul McCartney rockin' on New Year's Eve (thanks to Lynn Woznicki for posting the Instagram video in our Beatles News and Commentary group). 

Longer version of the first clip.