Julian Lennon’s Beatle Deal Proves That It’s Not Too Late For Good Buys

Apr 13th, 2007 // 8 Comments

jules.jpgToday’s Wall Street Journal is reporting that Julian Lennon has sold his financial interest in the Beatles’ music-publishing royalties. The company that scooped it up is none other than Primary Wave–and why does that name sound so familiar? Oh yeah!

Primary Wave made headlines last year when it paid an estimated $50 million for a 50% stake in the music-publishing catalog of Kurt Cobain, which it bought from his widow, Courtney Love. It has since licensed the songs the late rocker wrote for his band, Nirvana, to videogames and other outlets. As part of the Lennon deal, the company has committed to help Julian Lennon market a forthcoming album, yet to be titled; it is to be his first since 1999′s “Photograph Smile.”

Primary Wave’s song catalog is limited in size, but the company has been aggressive in marketing its holdings to film and television producers, videogame makers and other outlets.

That doesn’t mean you’ll hear “Helter Skelter” on Guitar Hero in the near future–as the story notes, the new deal “doesn’t signal any shift in control over the way the Beatles’ compositions and recordings can be sold or licensed.” But we can’t help but wonder why Julian decided to sell now: Is he need of some quick cash? Did he just want to get his new album out? Or is this the first step toward a more aggressive Beatles licensing strategy? Because people really need to hear about these guys!

Julian Lennon Sells Stake in Beatles Songs [WSJ]

  1. Paul D

    “too late for good buys”

    Oh the headline.
    It hurts my thinking place…

  2. mike a

    I’m surprised Julian even has a publishing interest to sell. Wasn’t he saying in interviews that he had to sell his dad’s memorabilia to get cash, and that he was getting the runaround from Yoko on Beatles royalties?

  3. NickEddy

    Speaking of “Valotte,” what’s the deal with “sitting on a pebble”? This has driven me crazy since 1984.

    Isn’t it/wouldn’t it be more “sitting on a stone” or “there’s a pebble on my jeans, I should brush it off”?

    to rhyme with “set loose the Kalashnikov [sp., probably]…”

  4. Chris Molanphy

    I suspect this is Julian’s share of Lennon the Elder’s mechanical rights, i.e., recording royalties, which I believe the Fabs still own some title to, right? What Michael Jackson/Sony ATV have owned for the last 20 years (and Northern Songs before them) is publishing, i.e. songwriting.

  5. Hyman Decent

    I found this:

    The deal relates to the songwriting income generated by the compositions, as opposed to the publishing rights. The rights to most of the compositions John Lennon wrote with Paul McCartney are owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

    By the way, I thought Northern Songs was the entity George Harrison set up to hold the publishing rights to his compositions.

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