Can't Buy Me Love: Post-Breakup Beatles In A Tangled Web

Categories: Get Lit

You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup
By Peter Doggett

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It says something about the market for books about the Fabs that this is one of many dedicated to the group's breakup, financial story and legal battles. However, Doggett (Are You Ready for the Country?) not only presents a story that could be drier than Ringo's list of recent hits with informative panache, he offers new tidbits on the band's interpersonal relationships, especially since the 1980 death of John Lennon.

Most of the story has to do with money and not music, as Doggett attempts to unravel the tangled web of Beatles contracts and companies. After all, this is a band that broke up in 1969, but didn't formally dissolve their partnership until 1975.

Their squabbles, suits, and countersuits against others and each other at one time required the full-time attention of no less than five different law firms. Doggett also provides new details and anecdotes on the demise of Apple and its explosion of sub-companies, an almost doomed-from-the-start endeavor.

Perhaps the most interesting character to emerge in the story is Allen Klein, the pugnacious, street-wise lawyer who went from being the group's deliverer to demon for real and imagined indiscretions. And while other books treat him as an almost cartoonish character - all pudge, turtlenecks, and greasy hair - You Never Give Me Your Money has a more nuanced (and probably realistic) portrayal.

The narrative is sprinkled throughout with courtroom testimony, sniping interview clips, and stories. Thus, the Smart One, Cute One, Quiet One and Funny One in the '70s became the Zoned-Out One, the Cloying One, the Bitter One and the Drunk One.

Tantalizingly, Doggett notates numerous times when the band might have gotten back together in the '70s, save for the ill feelings created by business and not musical matters: none of the members wanted to close the door, but none wanted to open it first either.

This includes the planned 1975 meeting of Lennon and McCartney to try and hammer out some tunes in New Orleans, a visit squashed by the former's scurrying back to Mother Yoko after "The Lost Weekend" - proving that, apparently, Lennon could only have room for one partner in his life.


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