Legal Beatles structures changed their names to Apple

Friday, January 12, 1968

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On this day, Apple Music Limited changes its name to Apple Corps Limited. From Medium:

[…] On January 12, 1968 Apple Music Ltd, which had been in business since June 1963 as The Beatles Ltd, changed its name yet again, this time to Apple Corps Ltd, and The Beatles Film Productions Ltd changed its name to Apple Films Ltd. Apple Corps in turn controlled dozens of new companies: Apple Records Ltd, Apple Films Ltd, Apple Music Publishing Ltd and Apple Electronics Ltd; soon to be joined by Apple Wholesale Ltd, Apple Retail Ltd, Apple Television Ltd, Apple Publicity Ltd and more. The Apple School never got off the ground; it would have been run by Ivan Vaughan, an old friend who first introduced John and Paul to each other.

Neil Aspinall spent weeks incorporating these companies and registering them as trademarks in every country in the world where it was possible to do so. This paid off in spades when Apple Computers launched the iPod and moved into music distribution. A series of lawsuits netted the Beatles many millions for copyright infringement. […]

From Why The Beatles Created Apple Music | by Barry Miles | Cuepoint | Medium

Apple Corps also took over the 20% interest in Maclen Music previously held by NEMS Enterprises.

Paul was round at my house one day, and he was just talking about this side idea he’d had. It was him that thought of the name of things, and he had the idea for Apple. He wanted it to be huge. He wanted it to be just about everything. Films, theatre, television, records, and even space ships. There were just no limits to what it was going to be. We were talking about the record division and I was dying to produce records. I had already produced records for Paul Jones, and a couple of other people for EMI, although nothing had been a big hit. Paul had liked the things I was doing; in fact, he played drums on a Paul Jones single for me (‘And The Sun Will Shine’). He asked me if I would like to produce some records for Apple, and I, naturally, said yes. The next day, he called up and said, ‘Well, why don’t you become the head of A & R,’ and I said, ‘Sure, great. I would love to.’ This was the way that Apple was being set up at the time. The only other person appointed to the Apple Records in any capacity was Mal Evans, who was there in a general manager capacity. Then when Apple finally got going, it materialised that I really was head of A&R, so that was the start of my professional involvement.

Peter Asher – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

The great thing with The Beatles was always the surprises that they spring on you. You never knew what was going to happen. When Apple was starting to get together, and we all had a meeting, Paul said to me, ‘What are you doing, Mal?’ And I said, ‘Well, not much at the moment, ‘cos I’m not working.’ So, he said, ‘Right, you’re going to be president of Apple Records.’ I thought, ‘Great, but what does a managing director do? He’s got to be groovy and go out and find talent for the label.’ So, I found this group called The Iveys, which turned into Badfinger.’

Mal Evans – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

Paul said, ‘Right, let’s have a record label.’ They had heard about this American guy called Ron Kass, who was a big record man, and Paul found out that he was passing through London, through London Airport, one day, on his way to LA. So Paul rang him, and asked him to stop over, and have some lunch. So Paul and myself went out to the airport to meet this guy off the plane and we went to lunch. And there and then, over the lunch table, Paul offered him the job of head of Apple Records.”

Alistair Taylor – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

It’s Apple Blossom Time in Beatleland. Apple first appeared before the public eye last summer when the back of the “Sgt. Pepper” LP sleeve carried the words “Cover by MC Productions and The Apple”.

By December, Apple Music, the publishing firm headed by The Beatles’ Liverpool mate Terry Doran, was well under way. The same month the Apple shop at 94 Baker Street opened to the public, the book which went with the “Magical Mystery Tour” EP records contained a drawing of Apple’s trademark and the line “Apple Presents…” whilst the 1968 Christmas record sent out to fan club Beatle People had on its sleeve the bit about this being “another little bite of The Apple”.


Terry Doran is just one of many close friends involved in the network of Apple companies. With Apple Films there Is Tony Bramwell, at the Apple shop you’ll find Pete Shotton. And at the offices of Apple Corps, the headquarters of the entire operation, are Peter Brown, Alistair Taylor, Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans, all Liverpool folk who have been connected in one way or another with the Beatles’ progress since earliest days.

Why APPLE in the first place? That was Paul’s suggestion because he felt it was one of the very first words young people learn. A is for Apple… it’s right there at the beginning of most basic alphabet books. They haven’t puc B is for Beatles on age Two just yet but who

Without being too complicated about it, the simple explanation of Apple is that it represents a new way of putting The Beatles’ wealth to work. In the past John, Paul, George and Ringo have let wise old men of money invest on their behalf in giltedgers, safe and secure investments promising certain returns. Apple is The Beatles’ decision to put at least a few great chunks of their accumulated fortunes into things that please them and people they have faith in, personally supervised business ventures they would like to see do well instead of impersonal things like steel and oil.

Just because so many of their Liverpool buddies and pals are Involved you should not get the idea that Apple is nothing more than a Jobs For The Boys set-up. On the contrary it is designed to use the talents of clever men and women who have flairs for doing particular things. That’s why The Beatles decided they’d like to let The Fool have a hand in the designing of the Apple shop. Then there’s electronic genius Alex Mardas who is already preparing exciting inventions for Apple Electronics to produce.


How many slices of Apple are already operational? Apart from the Apple shop and Apple’s music publishing company, there are Apple Films, Apple Retailing, Apple Wholesale and Apple Records. Derek Taylor and Mal Evans are both involved with Apple Records for which George Harrison produced several recording studio sessions before he went off to India. Apple Records will be specially interesting to pop people because it is to be a production company designed to bring forward new pop talent on to the 1968 chart scene. It will have its own record label and first releases are to be expected quite soon.


I have not covered anything like the whole Apple panorama, But that’s it up to now. As you read this page probably there’s another important Apple conference going on somewhere in London to plan the latest phase of the operation. The possibilities for Apple are unlimited. The Beatles see this as a vast concept, a massive environment, capable of making and selling all kinds of assorted goods and services. There is no reason why we should not be buying Apple electric shavers or Apple detergents before the year is out. Yes, Apple apples even!!! And what about Apple discotheques and Apple motor bikes? As Paul himself has said “Everything is possible”.

It’s important to realise that these Apple ventures are all ADDITIONS to The Beatles’ existing activities. The introduction of Apple doesn’t change all the things The Beatles have been doing — it just gives them an impressive variety of new ideas to work on. Meanwhile they will still go on making records in the same way and they will continue to be associated very closely with NEMS Enterprises.

From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°57, April 1968
From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°57, April 1968

Last updated on August 24, 2022

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

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We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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stevenwkopp 2 years ago

The Beatles Monthly page and text shown above is not cited correctly. The page is from Beatles Monthly Book 57, April 1968, page 25. Cheers

The PaulMcCartney Project 2 years ago

Thanks Steven. This is now fixed!

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