Friday, April 8, 2011

A Sour Note

April 8, 1961

In any relationship between numbers of people, and especially where money is involved, there are going to be differences of opinion.  Sometimes, these differences can expand and disrupt, even destroy, otherwise important and satisfying relationships.  Now is just such a time for the  Beatles.

Since he found them their first job in Hamburg and even before at the Jacaranda and around Liverpool, Alan Williams has considered himself their (quasi) "manager".  I don't think there is much evidence that this relationship was ever really formalized legally.  When we are talking about a couple of quid here and there, it doesn't seem worth the effort.  In the rough and tumble world of Liverpool beat music, these things are handled more on a handshake basis. But now, in 1961, we are talking about 15 English Pounds a week!  Substantial money in anybody's book.

In his book "The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away", Alan presents his case that he should have been paid a commission for the 1961 Top Ten engagement.  However, the Beatles themselves have other ideas.

It is their contention that they have obtained this engagement through the efforts of Pete Best and his mother Mona, who did, indeed, contact Peter Eckhorn.  It is Mr Eckhorn, as a result of this contact, who has hired them and made arrangements for having the ban on Paul and Pete lifted after the "arson" incident at the Bambi Kino

From little acorns, mighty oaks do grow.

The Beatles collectively decide to tap Stu Sutcliffe for the task of notifying Alan of the bad news.  (It doesn't take a long leap to imagine that Mr Williams has already been trying to discover when his payments would begin.)  Stu is making his way out of the Beatles and into a career as a painter of pictures, and so has the least to lose personally from the bad blood that is sure to result.

No comments:

Post a Comment