Author: Stefan Grandos
Publisher: Cherry Red
Price: £16.99 (soft back)
Apple. It was glorious. It was a revolution. It was a triumph of art and truth over corporate greed and ladder-climbing backstabbing.
It was the answer. For about five minutes. Then it died.
But it should never be forgotten because its intentions were true. Its aims were valid. Its aspirations were worthy and its purpose served to shine a light on the talented, the visionaries and the dreamers.
It also showed how the individual could take control. It showed empowerment and it showed entrepreneurial endeavour.
This book looks at the entity that was Apple. The music, the artists, the clothes, the films and even those wacky inventions.
With Apple, anything was possible. Even when it wasn’t.
The book itself looks at the company before it was set up, during its existence and after it fell. Basically, 1968 to 1975 with a spill over before and after to tidy up loose ends that takes the story from The Beatles time with NEMs and up to the present day.
There’s also a useful discography which will be of use for collectors out there (I’ve known several Apple completists).
So we look at the Beatles’ business set up before Apple and how the maturing Beatles were due to renegotiate their business relationship with manager Brian Epstein (unfairly criticised I think for his early business deals – hindsight is wonderful thing). After Brian’s death, the Beatles tried to create Apple in partnership with Brian’s brother, Clive but, “…he didn’t believe in us, I suppose,” said Ringo.
Initially, Clive had a point. Business expertise in The Beatles entourage was a rare commodity. Faced with the notion of music publishing, Paul McCartney’s first response was, “What’s publishing?”
Staff was brought in to fill knowledge holes, though and The Beatles took a crash course. By 1968, the music publishing and retail wings were up and running.
From here were see the dawning of careers of the likes of Jackie Lomax, Mike Berry, Marie Hopkin, Billy Preston and James Taylor while soon-to-be-famous behind the scenes names are also established. People like Tony Bramwell, Ken Mansfield, Ron Kass and Derek Taylor.
I was intrigued to hear that the catalyst for closing the famed Apple boutique were scathing words from, of all people, legendary DJ, John Peel, who wondered why the Beatles would be mixed up in such a venture. Apparently his words got under John Lennon’s skin. It was Yoko Ono who suggested giving away the stock and walking away from the shop and it was Derek Taylor who saw this significant moment as the first signs that cracks were beginning to form in the entire venture.
He even wrote an impassioned letter, trying to save the shop and, by association, Apple itself. Nevertheless, Apple’s music publishing wing experienced success.
It was also Taylor who first introduced the idea of Alan Klein. The book looks at the arrival of Alan Klein (the ‘other three’ Beatles, prompted by Yoko Ono, were increasingly concerned about the supposed control imposed upon Apple by McCartney), the heavy-handed Klein tactics and then, suddenly, post Klein, McCartney’s exit, the group’s demise, tales of the band Badfinger, the early 70s struggles and transformation from record label to management and production office, the quiet time, the fight with Apple Computers and the resurgence of the company in the 90s with the ‘Anthology’ project.
Packed with fascinating detail, unique interviews (many of the interviewees have since passed) and tremendous insight, Grandos manages to successfully steer this momentous story to the present day.
Essential for Beatles fans Here, There and Everywhere.
USA – https://amzn.to/3LYdB6R
EUROPE – https://amzn.to/3KUf9x9
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