>Yeah, what I heard and read in a number of places was that George was
>almost bankrupt from someone in his production company either embezzling
>or wasting all of this money; there was a lawsuit and everything.
George wasn't bankrupt, but his business partner in HandMade Films, Denis
O'Brien, pilfered money from the coffers. George won a judgment and I'm
not sure how soon the money has to be paid.
>the main reasons he went along with the Anthology project was that he
>really needed the money.
I don't think this is correct. I spoke to Derek Taylor about the Fabs'
motivations for "Anthology" shortly before the viewos and CDs were
released; I asked specifically whether finances motivated Starr or
Harrison. Take it as you will, but Taylor laughed and told me that George
was "down to his last twelve million". I believe I read a similar quote in
print as well. We should all be so poor. :-)
My impression, from talking to Taylor and reading the Fabs' interviews
about the project, was that the motivating factor was a need to tell their
own history for the first time, to embellish and counter the secondary
opinions and research about their lives and work. I don't think it escaped
their attention that there would be revenue from the sales of such a
telling, but I don't think it was the central desire.
And all three Fabs were also clearly interested in controlling the release
(as they wanted it released) of their archival material. Since the
bootleg market got the edge for a good decade or so, the Beatles seemed
intent on rectifying that "wrong" (as they saw it) and presenting their
oeuvre as they wanted it seen and heard. Of course some would argue that
Great Dane still did a better job on the BBC material than EMI did. :-)
For George in particular, and probably the other two to some extent, the
series seemed to provide a sense of closure or reconciliation as well---a
chance to make peace with the maelstrom of Beatlemania and perhaps to
comprehend the mystery of what had happened to them, and to us, as a
result of a musical phenomenon that we still struggle to define!
"She can play my guitar note by note."
Re: Derek Taylor died
Re: Derek Taylor died
In article <Pine.GSO.3.95.970908122815.25228Afirstname.lastname@example.org>,
Rob Hughes <email@example.com> wrote:
>...Derek Taylor has died. A terrible loss. I'm sure a complete report
>is filtering its way through rmbi...
Very sad news indeed in a week burgeoning with sorrowful news.
My memories of Mr. Taylor are personal ones. I was writing and article
several years ago on "Anthology". Mr. Taylor was my contact at Apple.
Great difficulties arose re: asking questions, much less getting them
answered. I had to fax my queries to Mr. Taylor first, to make sure the
Machine was ready with the correct spin. Or so it seemed.
Then it became very human.
Owing to the absurd time difference between the American west coast and
England's promised land, I had to set the alarm for 3am to make sure I
caught Mr. Taylor before luncheon (eight hours hence), after which (so I
was warned) I'd be less likely to find him ensconced at his desk but
rather captured in interminable meetings. Shades of "You never give me
So I did it all. Woke early to shake the cobwebs from my poor brain, to
think and speak clearly---without sounding incoherent, the legacy of a
once-innocent Beatles fan, and without the rapturous babble that would
surely suggest to the esteemed Mr. Taylor that he had made a dreadful
mistake in answering the phone.
I was calm. So was he. His voice was a mix of British gentrification and
grandparental solicitude. He was concerned about the time difference...and
also perhaps (now I realize!) he wasn't quite ready to answer all my
multi-layered questions without a bit more preparation!
So he told me, kindly, to go back to bed and rest. He said he'd promise to
be in his office if I called back at a decent hour of my morning (early
evening his time). And he was really there, ready to go down my list of
queries (not deviating from any of them, no matter how I noodged),
admitting that he'd passed the list onto Neil Aspinall, who *also* wasn't
quite sure...so they'd asked Mark Lewisohn to help out. Having stumped two
out of three Beatles people was a great thrill for me.
He was funny, witty, cautious, cordial, encouraging. It was the same
sensation I perceived in his prose---the lovely, light introductions to
each of the three "Anthology" CD packages. If you haven't read them
closely, or recently, I beg you to go back and do so now, as tribute to a
man who balanced the burdens of journalism and the intimacies
press-officership with pure fandom. Such juggling acts are rarely seen
A suitable ending, I think!
"It was the great glory of the Beatles that they could absorb
and transmute so much!"
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