How big a mistake is not paying a $859.00 bill? It depends on what the bill was for. If it was to pay off a gambling debt, it might be important to pay it and maybe let another bill go unpaid. Of course that might be the wrong decision also if the rights to The Beatles are involved.
I heard this story on Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius Radio. VeeJay Record Company in Chicago had moderate success in the 1950s with mostly blues records. They ended up with Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons in the early 1960s. But a big break was when they signed an English singer and were ‘given’ the rights to another band as a throw in for the favor. that band did some recordings in 1962, enough to fill an album, but the company wasn’t convinced that they were that good. The president of the company was heavily into gambling and the company floundered.
In early 1964 someone recognized that there was a group that was dominating the charts with ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and ‘She Loves You’. The record executive remembered that the company had recordings by this group and rushed to release them in anticipation of an appearance on Ed Sullivan’s show. So VeeJay released ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘From Me To You’ which raced to number one. VeeJay also released ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’ and ‘Thank You Girls’ as well as an album ‘Introducing The Beatles’ which Capital Records sued over since they were releasing ‘Meet the Beatles.
Because of the presidents gambling issues, although VeeJay did quite well with those records, the company was in disarray, and somebody in 1963 did not pay the royalty registration fee of $859.00 for Beatle music which would have given them 10% royalties on ALL Beatle recordings through 1968. Since the Beatles broke up in late 1969 and early 1970, a majority of their music would have been covered with this agreement.
Take whatever lesson you like from the story. Don’t gamble. Keep a close eye on your bills. Pay attention to what is happening in the world around you. I assume a majority of the president’s financial issues could have been alleviated had he done those three things.
So on this, the second anniversary of George Martin’s death, who was known as ‘the fifth Beatle’ for his production work, take time to listen to some old Beatles records.
Which is you favorite song?