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Paul Reignites Beatles Feud says Rolling Stone

McCartney / Lennon

COMMENT BY MIKE KOVACICH, MACCA-CENTRAL.COM
Below is a story from Rolling Stone that I feel tells a one-sided story. Other news media have not report fairly on this story and purposely neglected to mention a key fact in this and if ever brought to court as the Yoko camp seems to be threatening, this fact will become part of the defence. This isn't the first time Beatles songs have been credited to McCartney - Lennon on a Paul McCartney release. I have in hand my "Wings Over America" album released in 1976 when John was still alive and Beatle songs are credited "McCartney - Lennon". In the Rolling Stone article below, Yoko says "f John was here now, they could fight it out, or maybe they could never agree. But the important point is that John has to be here. He is not." John was alive then and obviously decided not to make an issue about it as Yoko is now. Just another power-play by Yoko, or a publicity stunt to help the sales of another re-packaging of John's material. Paul is still actively discussing The Beatles in the widespread media which is in fact benefiting finanically the estates of John, George and Ringo and Paul directly.
by Jenny Eliscu - rollingstone.com

Paul McCartney has sparked another Beatles feud with the release of his live album, Back in the U.S.. Against the wishes of John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, the nineteen Beatles songs included on the two-disc set are credited to "Paul McCartney and John Lennon" rather than the traditional "Lennon/McCartney." "What he did was absolutely inappropriate," says Ono's lawyer, Peter Shukat. "John and Paul had an agreement. This is very petty." Adds Ono, "John and Paul often disagreed on which songs were written by whom. If John was here now, they could fight it out, or maybe they could never agree. But the important point is that John has to be here. He is not."

Ono says Lennon and McCartney decided to credit all of their Beatles music to Lennon/McCartney almost forty years ago. McCartney disputes that claim. He would not comment for this story, but his spokesman, Geoff Baker, says that the two Beatles "had agreed in the Sixties that they could switch the names whenever they felt like it." (McCartney first made this claim in the Beatles' Anthology book, published in 2000, twenty years after Lennon's death.)

McCartney's contract with Capitol gives him control over the wording of the credits on his solo albums. In fact, five Beatles songs on his 1976 Wings Over America live album are credited to McCartney/Lennon. But for releases on the Beatle's Apple label, the surviving band members or their estates would have to unanimously approve any change to the credits.

This is precisely why the battle over who wrote what heated up in 1996, when the CD booklet for the Anthology 3 album was being written. McCartney's lawyer and brother-in-law, John Eastman, demanded that eighteen songs -- including "Blackbird," "Get Back" and "Hey Jude" -- be credited solely to McCartney, with Lennon's name omitted entirely. But George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Ono unanimously refused McCartney's bid, and Eastman later wrote a letter apologizing for his "zeal" and claiming he had acted "without Paul McCartney's instructions."

Writer David Sheff, who conducted a 1980 Q&A with Lennon for Playboy magazine, says the battle over authorship amounts to more than a spat between McCartney and Yoko. "Paul is rewriting history," says Sheff, who spoke with Lennon at length about how each Beatles song was written, including "Eleanor Rigby." Says Sheff, "There's something about 'Lennon/McCartney' that means more than just whose name comes first. For Beatles fans, this switch dishonors something that is cherished by so many people."

In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, McCartney revealed that the real sore spot may have been a decades-old bruise to his ego. "The minute John died, there started to be a revisionism," he said. "There were strange quotes, like, 'John was the only one in the Beatles.' Or 'Paul booked the studio.' Like John was the real genius, and I was just the guy who sang 'Yesterday.'"

Ono says that McCartney might be doing his own legacy more harm than good by trying to take credit for these nineteen songs. "If those songs are credited to McCartney/Lennon, and the rest of the 200 or so are credited to Lennon/McCartney, people may think that Paul wrote those songs and John wrote the rest," she says. "When the suggestion was first made by Paul, I said, 'This is like opening a Pandora's box, Paul. Don't do it.' I still stand by that statement."

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Paul Reignites Beatles Feud says Rolling Stone


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