66 Facts About Allen Klein


Allen Klein was an American businessman whose aggressive negotiation tactics affected industry standards for compensating recording artists.


Allen Klein first scored monetary and contractual gains for Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen, one-hit rockabillies of the late 1950s, then parlayed his early successes into a position managing Sam Cooke, and eventually managed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones simultaneously, along with many other artists, becoming one of the most powerful individuals in the music industry during his era.


Allen Klein was born in Newark, New Jersey, the fourth child and only son of Jewish immigrants.


Allen Klein's mother died of cancer soon afterward, and Klein lived for a time with his grandparents, then subsequently in a Jewish orphanage, until his father remarried shortly before Klein's 10th birthday.


Allen Klein enlisted in the US Army in 1951 where he served as a clerk typist on Governors Island, New York.


Bill, Allen Klein majored in accounting at Upsala College, graduating in June 1957, and was hired by a Manhattan accounting firm, Joseph Fenton and Company.


Allen Klein was assigned to assist Joe Fenton in an audit of a music publishers' organization, the Harry Fox Agency, and several record companies, including Dot Records, Liberty Records, and Monarch Records.


Allen Klein wrote to the State of New Jersey urging officials not to approve him as a Certified Public Accountant, and Klein chose not to take the examination.


Allen Klein briefly attended law school but soon dropped out.


Allen Klein's clients included Ersel Hickey, Dimitri Tiomkin, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Sam Cooke, Buddy Knox, Jimmy Bowen, Lloyd Price, Neil Sedaka, Bobby Darin, Bobby Vinton, Scepter Records, and the estate of Mike Todd.


In June 1958 Allen Klein married Betty Rosenblum, a Hunter College student seven years his junior.


Allen Klein acquired a reputation as a tough negotiator who could bring money to his clients.


Allen Klein was known to pay artists as little as possible.


Allen Klein persuaded him to pay Knox and Bowen the royalties they were owed over a four-year period.


In 1963, Allen Klein began a business partnership with Jocko Henderson, an urbane black disc jockey who had daily radio shows in both Philadelphia and New York.


Henderson hosted lavish, profitable live rhythm and blues shows at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and formed a partnership with Allen Klein to begin doing the same in Philadelphia.


Allen Klein forced the reluctant label to open its books for a thorough audit.


Sam Cooke trusted him to protect him against crooked music executives but Allen Klein used that trust to his advantage.


In 1964, Allen Klein became the American business manager of Mickie Most, a former singer who was the savvy producer of hits for the Animals and Herman's Hermits.


Allen Klein extended to Most a million-dollar promise, adding that if he failed to deliver in only one month, Most owed him nothing.


Allen Klein did deliver, through strategic re-negotiations of existing contracts and new producing opportunities for RCA, including offers for Most to produce for both Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley.


Allen Klein eventually negotiated vastly improved deals for The Animals, Herman's Hermits, the Kinks, Lulu, Donovan, and Pete Townshend of the Who.


Allen Klein invested that money, which earned far more than Allen Klein was obligated to pay to his clients, and he kept the difference in the accounts, thereby maintaining control over the money.


Allen Klein countered with, and quickly secured, an arrangement paying the Stones twice as much, in the form of an advance.


Allen Klein forced London Records, Decca's American subsidiary, to sign a separate contract.


Allen Klein offered the Stones a million-dollar minimum guarantee, paid over a 20-year period to reduce the Stones' tax liability, to let him become their music publisher, based on his faith in the Jagger-Richards songwriting team.


Allen Klein arranged for a level of tour support and publicity far above anything the band had ever previously experienced for the Stones' 1965 American tour in support of the album December's Children.


In 1970, on the occasion of needing to negotiate a new contract with Decca, Jagger announced that Allen Klein would be replaced as manager by Loewenstein.


In 1972 Allen Klein alleged that some of the songs on their album Exile on Main Street had been composed while the Stones were still under contract with ABKCO.


In 2003, Allen Klein negotiated with Steve Jobs to make ABKCO's Rolling Stones songs available on iTunes.


In February 1967, with an eye toward producing films and finding a way to invest his clients' money, Allen Klein attempted to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


Allen Klein then turned his attention to Cameo-Parkway Records, a Philadelphia-born, Los Angeles-based label which had enjoyed hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, thanks to Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Dee Dee Sharp and others, but which by 1967 was no longer prospering.


Allen Klein contacted John Lennon after reading his press comment that the Beatles would be "broke in six months" if things continued as they were.


Once in charge of Apple, Allen Klein fired a large number of the organization's employees, including Apple Records president Ron Kass, and replaced them with his own people.


Allen Klein closed Apple Electronics, which was headed by Alexis Mardas.


Allen Klein was hit with his first crisis in managing the Beatles when Clive Epstein, brother of Brian Epstein and chief heir to NEMS, the management company his brother had founded, sold NEMS to Triumph, a British investment group managed by Leonard Richenberg.


Allen Klein worked feverishly to pull together a consortium which would beat Grade's offer, but ultimately his efforts were derailed by infighting between McCartney and Lennon themselves.


In September 1969, while Allen Klein was in the midst of renegotiating the Beatles' unsatisfactory recording agreements with EMI, Lennon told him of his plans to quit the group.


Allen Klein wanted to be released from his partnership with Lennon, Starr, and Harrison, who had in recent months proved a steady three-to-one majority against McCartney's proposals.


Allen Klein decided that the combined financial affairs of the former Beatles should be placed in the care of a receiver until mutually acceptable terms for their break-up could be found.


Allen Klein thereby retained a position in the post-breakup solo careers of Harrison, Starr, and Lennon, but was no longer in charge of their affairs as a partnership.


Allen Klein's November 1970 three-disc set, All Things Must Pass, was a sales triumph, and produced hit singles in "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life".


Allen Klein had failed to register the shows as a UNICEF charity event, however; as a result, the proceeds were denied tax-exempt status in Britain and the US.


Allen Klein responded by suing the Beatles and Apple in New York, in order to recoup the loans he had made to his three former clients and other costs owing to ABKCO.


Allen Klein attempted to influence the outcome of Lennon's arrangement with music publisher Morris Levy regarding an alleged copyright infringement in Lennon's 1969 Beatles composition "Come Together".


The judge initially assessed damages of $2,133,316, which Harrison would have to pay to Allen Klein, then reduced the figure to $1,599,987, but finally ruled in 1981 that Allen Klein still had a fiduciary responsibility to Harrison and should not be allowed to profit from his acquisition of Bright Tunes.


Allen Klein was ordered to hold "He's So Fine" in trust for Harrison provided that Harrison reimburse him the $587,000 that it had cost Allen Klein to purchase the company.


The multi-Academy Award-winning 1955 film Marty, an independently produced movie that undercut the Hollywood studio system, provided a business template which Allen Klein closely studied and later adapted to the recording industry.


Allen Klein absorbed much from Kamber on how the producers had structured their business model, a paradigm whose strength derived from the fact that artists, not film studios or record labels, drove marketplace success and that intense preparation and canny negotiation could lavishly reward artists and their representatives.


In 1961 Allen Klein did accountancy work for an independent film, Force of Impulse, where he formed lasting relationships that he would turn to for many film projects of his own.


In 1962 Allen Klein produced a film called Without Each Other.


Allen Klein took it to the Cannes Film Festival and later claimed that it had won the "Best American Picture Award" there, though no such award actually existed.


Allen Klein utilized actor Tony Anthony, whom he'd met on Force of Impulse, in all four.


The first two "Stranger" films were released by MGM the studio where Allen Klein produced Mrs Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter starring the popular Herman's Hermits.


Allen Klein, who had tried to purchase MGM in the mid '60s, became involved with a lawsuit against MGM with each accusing the other of not performing on their contracts with each other.


Allen Klein then produced and financed Jodorowsky's next film, The Holy Mountain, an allegorical journey with psychedelic overtones.


Allen Klein retaliated by withdrawing both El Topo and The Holy Mountain from distribution.


Allen Klein's legs appeared in Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1971 film Up Your Legs Forever.


Allen Klein produced the 1978 film The Greek Tycoon, in which Anthony Quinn and Jacqueline Bisset played characters based on Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy.


Allen Klein testified that he had not instructed Bennett to sell promotional copies of albums and that although he'd received cash payments from Bennett the payments were a return of cash advances which Bennett had been given.


In 1988 Allen Klein began managing Phil Spector's business affairs, including his publishing and recording assets.


Allen Klein's goal was to get Spector all the money owed him, and to wrest a concession allowing Spector to co-administer the future licensing of his music.


Allen Klein, who owned the copyrights to the Rolling Stones' early work, refused clearance for the sample; following a lawsuit, the Verve ceded the songwriting credits and royalties.


Allen Klein suffered several heart attacks over the years, of varying severity.


In 2004, the same year that ABKCO collected a Grammy Award for a Sam Cooke documentary, Legend, Allen Klein fell and broke bones in his foot, requiring surgery.


Andrew Loog Oldham commented at a subsequent memorial service that Allen Klein had greatly magnified the success of the Rolling Stones.