Today’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!