Oddly enough a few weeks back a RK reader wrote to me to ask for my help in obtaining the royalties that Allen Klein managed to abscond with from his former clients. He represented Sam Cooke, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, ? and the Mysterians, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and many more.
The character of Hesch on the Sopranos was undoubtedly based on Klein and his tactics of tricking his less fortunate musician clients into signing deadend contracts. Rumor has it that Klein got Sam Cooke's drug addicted spouse to relinquish all rights to Cooke's music as well.
Allen Klein made a handsome living off the creative efforts of musicians for decades. It will be most interesting now to see the law suits pop up in court demanding those "rights" be turned back over to their rightful owners, the artists and their families.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Infamous record label owner Allen Klein, who played a key role in the demise of the Beatles and also nabbed control of some of the Rolling Stones' best-known songs, died in New York on Saturday after a battle with Alzheimer's disease, a spokesman said. He was 77.
During a career spanning more than 50 years, the New Jersey-born accountant enjoyed a reputation as a savvy gangster-like figure. His ruthless business practices were reviled by many, but he also earned grudging respect for bullying labels into giving rich deals to his clients.
"Don't talk to me about ethics," he told Playboy magazine in 1971. "Every man makes his own. It's like a war. You choose your side early and from then on, you're being shot at. The man you beat is likely to call you unethical. So what?"
It did not hurt his reputation when he was sentenced to two months in prison in 1979 for tax evasion.
He once said John Lennon hired him to protect his interest in the Beatles because he and wife Yoko Ono wanted "a real shark -- someone to keep the other sharks away."
2 readers turned me on to John Belushi's "Ron Decline" so I just had to share this video...