Saturday, July 4, 2009

RIP Allen Klein

Former Beatles, Stones manager Allen Klein dies

Record label mogul and film producer Allen Klein, who handled the affairs of both the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Tony Anthony, died in New York on Saturday July 4th, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease, he was 77. During a career spanning more than 50 years, the former New Jersey accountant secured a fortune as one of the savviest and most infamous players in the music and film business. He played a key role during the bitter demise of the Beatles, coming on board in 1969 at the behest of John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Paul McCartney was fiercely opposed to Klein, preferring the legal expertise of his high-powered father-in-law Lee Eastman. The feud set the scene for the court battle that led to the group's dissolution. Klein later reunited with Harrison to organize the all-star Concert for Bangladesh show in 1971 concert. It took a decade for the funds to reach the refugees because of complex tax problems. He also continued to work with Lennon and Yoko Ono. Klein also managed the Rolling Stones during the 1960s and ended up owning the rights to their recordings and copyrights from that decade -- to the eternal regret of Mick Jagger. Klein produced a trilogy of spaghetti westerns starring and written by Tony Anthony copying Clint Eastwood's The Man With No Name. A Stranger In Town and The Stranger Returns were released in the USA by MGM. A dispute with MGM over the last one, The Silent Stranger, led to it not being released for seven years after production. Klein and Anthony also collaborated on the film Blindman featuring Ringo Starr as a Mexican bandito. Klein also appeared briefly on camera, in a similar role. In later years Klein refused to allow the films to be released on video and DVD much to Anthony's dismay. He first made his mark in the music industry by auditing record labels on behalf of clients such as Bobby Darin and Connie Francis. When he invariably found that they were owed royalties, he took a percentage of the difference as a fee. he also managed Sam Cooke, helping the R&B star set up his own label and publishing company. Klein's family-owned ABKCO Music & Records also handled the recordings of such artists as the Animals, Herman's Hermits, Bobby Womack, Marianne Faithfull, the Kinks, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell and many others.

He is survived by his wife and three adult children. His funeral will take place in New York on Tuesday.


  1. May he R.I.P., but I can't help feel when he gets blown up in 'Blindman', many people had that fantasy long before the film was made.

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head. He seemed to control everything he was involved with.