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Allen Klein, The Man Behind Beatles, Stones, Captured in New Book

Allen Klein, the man behind The Beatles and Rolling Stones finally comes out from behind the curtain in a new book by Fred Goodman. (Photo: Fred Goodman)

Allen Klein, the man behind The Beatles and Rolling Stones finally comes out from behind the curtain in a new book by Fred Goodman. (Photo: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Allen Klein was the man behind the curtain when The Beatles and Rolling Stones made it big. His influence on rock and roll is incalculable for someone who is largely unknown outside tight industry circles. But Fred Goodman is out to change all that.

I just finished Goodman’s book “Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out The Beatles, Made The Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll,” and it’s eye-opening.

Klein’s family actually approached Goodman to do the book; rather than the other way around, he says. They wanted the public to know exactly what he did and exactly what his successes were.

Klein, whom critics sometimes called Allen “Crime,” was the manager, at various times, for The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Phil Spector, the controversial inventor of the “Wall of Sound” production style.

Klein founded ABKCO Music & Records Inc. in 1961. While managing the Rolling Stones, he bought the rights to all of the band’s music composed before 1971.

Later, Klein cut a deal with Apple founder Steve Jobs that resulted in the addition of Stones; pre-71 catalog on iTunes.

But he is perhaps best known in the industry for his tough negotiating tactics and the way he revolutionized how artists were paid, greatly enhancing their income potential.

Full disclosure: I worked for the National Committee for John & Yoko when the United States was trying to throw Beatle John Lennon out of the country in the ’70s. As such, I often acted in tandem with the good folk at The Beatles’ label Apple Records, including Al Steckler and Pete Bennett.

I must admit, I always found them to be stand-up people, especially when we rode up in the elevator at 1700 Broadway in Manhattan with the likes of Lennon or fellow Beatle George Harrison. Heady times … to say the least.

So, I have personally heard the stories about Klein and his various nefarious practices. Goodman pulls no punches; he lays them out in vivid detail.

Klein did a prison stint in the ’70s for falsifying a tax return, and his company was involved in a huge scandal for allegedly selling Beatles records without the band’s knowledge. He was never implicated although company underlings were.

Despite all that, I also heard how fierce Klein was in protecting his artists.

Even after Klein was done with the Stones, he always made sure subsequent releases were not hastily thrown together and looked and sounded great. Believe me that kind of quality control almost disappeared when he did.

When the Stones wanted to put together their iconic Forty Licks album, a 40-song, two-CD compilation marking the band’s 40th anniversary, Klein made the songs he owned available to the band even though it cost him money.

He also slavishly rode shotgun on various Sam Cooke re-issues with producer Greg Geller.

Even Lennon, who had numerous court battles with him, said Klein was a thug, but his thug.

When The Beatles signed an agreement with Klein ending any further business with him, Klein, at the last minute, told their lawyers he wanted one last thing from Lennon–to have dinner with him.

The lawyers felt that would never happened, but Lennon agreed.

Klein died in 2009 at 77, from complications related to diabetes and a heart condition. Yoko Ono and son Sean Ono Lennon attended Klein’s funeral.

Goodman, who wrote “The Mansion On The Hill,” a revealing look at the music industry, is a rather brilliant writer. He’s not fazed by the music biz. He’s done a bravura job here on an important figure in the modern music industry. It’s a fascinating read.

Micky Dolenz Does Manhattan at 54 Below

Micky Dolenz (center) with (from left to right) Peter Asher, Bruce Grakal,  Jim Kerr and Carol Miller at Studio 54 Below. (Photo by DisCompany)

Micky Dolenz (center) with (from left to right) Peter Asher, Bruce Grakal, Jim Kerr and Carol Miller at Studio 54 Below. (Photo by DisCompany)

Monkee Micky Dolenz’s last show at 54 below (all three were SRO) brought out a bevy of stars, including manager-producer Peter Asher, Jim Kerr and Carol Miller from New York City’s Q104.3.

Kerr, who had previously introduced Dolenz for two shows at B. B. King’s Bar & Grill, did the same this night, referencing his work in his earlier TV-show “Circus Boy,” as well as the fact that the three-shows were all being recorded for a live album -to be released in September. It will share the show’s title, A Little Bit Broadway; A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll, on Broadway Records.

Dolenz blazed through the show with stellar support from his bad, led by Michael Moritz, Jr. Plans are afoot for Dolenz to return to the club in late-September.

Names in the News:

Mark Bego, Bence Bordas, Andrew Tobin, David Salidor, Lee Jeske, MA Cassata, Havasi, Tom & Lisa Cuddy, Chris Gilman, Allan Kozinn, Van Dean, Michael Moritz, Peter Asher, Jacqueline Boyd, Brit Brashear, Larry Bryant, Chip.

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