Allen Klein meets with The Beatles

Tuesday, January 28, 1969
Timeline More from year 1969
Apple headquarters, 3 Savile Row, London, UK

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On the previous day, January 27, 1969, John Lennon met with American businessman Allen Klein and decided on the spot he was the right man to manage him.

On this day, January 28, Allen Klein met Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr at Apple headquarters. From Allen Klein’s affidavit read in February 1971:

On 28th January 1969 at 3 Saville Row London W1 at about 9 pm I met Mr Lennon, the Plaintiff [Paul McCartney], Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) and George Harrison (the other Beatles) and had a general discussion about the proposed purchase of NEMS. I informed them that for my part I could not recommend Mr Lennon to proceed with the purchase while (as was the fact) the relevant information about the position of The Beatles (and their companies) themselves remained to be ascertained. The Plaintiff said that the proposal was strongly recommended by John Eastman and he (the Plaintiff) was pressing it. I therefore suggested that there was no point in debating the matter in the abscence of John Eastman and it was agreed that we have another meeting on Saturday 1st February, with John Eastman present.

During the meeting on 28th January I said that I was going to make enquiries into Mr. Lennon’s financial position. Mr Starkey and Mr Harrison asked me to do the same for them. (At this stage the Plaintiff had left the meeting) I spent the remainder of that week largely in the offices of Bryce Hammer & Co, chartered accountants, (who were The Beatles’ personal accountants) with Mr Harry Pinsker, a partner in that firm, obtaining the information that I required. By the end of the week I had a reasonable amount of information about the personal position of The Beatles but, as I had not had time to make a full investigation into the affairs of their companies, I was not really in a position to assess their true financial position overall.

Allen Klein – From and from The Beatles: Allen Klein’s Affidavit: Rockmine On-Line

I had to present a case, and Allen had to present — talk to them himself. But I just said, listen — and Eastman was there too — I just told them what I thought of him. And of course I promoted him in the — in the fashion of which I will — you see me promoting something, or talking about something. I was enthusiastic about him and I was relieved because I met a lot of people including Lord Beeching, who’s one of the top people in Britain and all that. And though he didn’t want to take the job, Paul had told me, “Go and see Lord Beeching.” So I went. I mean I’m a good boy, man. And I saw Lord Beeching and he was no help at all and he didn’t look nice. I mean, he was alright. He was alright, and everybody I interviewed for the… while Paul was in America getting Eastman, I was interviewing all these top so-called “people.” And they were animals. Allen was a human being. The same as Brian [Epstein] was a human being. It was the same thing with Brian in the early days. It was assessment, and I make a lot of mistakes character-wise. But now and then I make a … I don’t make… I make a good one, and Allen’s one, Yoko’s another one, Brian was one. And so I’m closer to him than anybody else, outside of Yoko.

John Lennon – From “Lennon Remembers” by Jann S. Wenner

We were kind of all in it together, and it wasn’t really ’til Allen Klein came in that we got really divisive and started getting our own lawyers and stuff. ’Cos he divided us. It was basically him that divided us. I didn’t see the strength of this guy other than he was a great chatter.

Paul McCartney – From “Baby You’re A Rich Man” by Stan Soocher

The very first thing that made me suspicious about him was meeting him, because he is a bit of a boy. I thought, ‘Okay,’ and treated it ordinarily. It was nine o’clock, and we had been meeting all day, so I said, ‘I think I’ll go home to Linda,’ and everybody said, ‘Oh no, man. How can you be so uncool? We are meeting this great guy and you are going home.’ I thought, ‘He’s a businessman, and you don’t do business past nine o’clock at night, do you?’ The crunch was when we came to discuss percentages. I thought, ‘We are big stars now, and Brian Epstein asked twenty per cent in the beginning.’ I even argued with him then. I said, ‘Twenty? I thought that managers only took ten per cent?’ He said, ‘No, it’s twenty these days.’ So, I said, ‘Okay, maybe I’m not very modern.’ But, we were pretty unknown in those days and Klein asked for the same. I said to the others, ‘He’ll do it for five. We are big boys now.’ Well, I thought we had had a bit of success. So, there would be John, George and Ringo with Klein and there would be me. I would be saying, ‘Listen, Allen, you said that that was going to happen. Where is it now?’ And he would say, ‘Oh well, we can’t do it today. That was two weeks ago. We could do it then.’ I think they were using this whole Eastman – Klein bit, and playing me off against the others.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

Neither ABKCO [Allen Klein’s company] nor Klein were acceptable to McCartney. McCartney, from the beginning, refused to allow ABKCO or Klein to act on his behalf in any capacity and vigorously objected to their acting in any capacity with respect to The Beatles or any of their companies.

John Eastman – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

Out of the clear blue, John Eastman was already there and the old man, Lee, arrived soon after. You can be sure they wanted to take over as managers. I baited Lee Eastman a bit. He blew his cool, and started screaming and cursing at me. That settled it. They knew what he was like then, all except Paul.

Allen Klein – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

Paul McCartney and John Eastman left the meeting early, Paul convinced that he didn’t like Allen Klein. This was a tactical error, as by doing that, he made sure Ringo Starr and George Harrison sided with John Lennon and Allen Klein.

Last updated on February 21, 2022

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