Neil Aspinall

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The Beatles' Company Floundering Without Aspinall


Beatles Neil Aspinall

THE Beatles' company Apple Corps is reportedly suffering following the loss of the band's business manager Neil Aspinall who died of cancer last month (Apr08).


Aspinall was at the helm of the group's business empire from 1968 until his retirement last year (07).


And now Apple Corps has reportedly failed to crack down on a string of illegal sales of the band's work, amid rumours the company is failing to cope without Aspinall's expertise.


A source tells British newspaper the Daily Express, "Neil Aspinall had a reputation for keeping his eye on the ball when it came to protecting the band's interests.

Continue reading: The Beatles' Company Floundering Without Aspinall

Townshend Pays Musical Tribute At Aspinall's Funeral


The Who Neil Aspinall

The Who'S PETE TOWNSHEND paid a moving musical tribute to Neil Aspinall at his funeral on Monday (07Apr08) - by performing two of Aspinall's favourite songs at the ceremony.


Townshend played Bob Dylan's Mr Tambourine Man and late Beatle George Harrison's My Sweet Lord at the service in St Mary-the-Virgin church in Twickenham, England.


Aspinall was widely acknowledged as the 'Fifth Beatle' because of his close ties to bandmembers Sir Paul MCCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. He served as the former road manager and business advisor for the Fab Four for over 40 years, and even sang backing vocals for the group's hit Yellow Submarine.


Mourners at the funeral included MCCartney's children Stella and James, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and their son Julian Lennon, Ringo Starr's wife Barbara Bach, Beatles producer Sir George Martin, and the band's original drummer Pete Best.

Continue reading: Townshend Pays Musical Tribute At Aspinall's Funeral

'Fifth Beatle' Aspinall Dies


Neil Aspinall

LATEST: Neil Aspinall, the man widely acknowledged as the 'Fifth Beatle', has died. He was 66.
Aspinall had reportedly been receiving treatment for lung cancer at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York before his spokesperson announced his death on Monday (24Mar08).
The 65-year-old had been fighting for his life at the weekend (begs21Mar08) when he received a visit from longtime pal and school friend Sir Paul MCCartney, according to reports.
Aspinall is fondly referred to as the fifth member of the Fab Four because of his close ties to bandmembers MCCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
He served as the former road manager and business advisor for the Fab Four for over 40 years, and even sang backing vocals for the group's hit Yellow Submarine.
He continued to look after the Beatles' interests as head of their record label Apple Corps until he stepped down from the post in 2007 to start up his own production company.
In a joint statement, MCCartney, Starr and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono say, "Neil's trusting stewardship and guidance has left a far-reaching legacy."
Aspinall is survived by his wife of 39 years, Suzy - the daughter of film producer Bud Ornstein - and a son, Vincent 'Roag' Best, from his relationship with Mona Best, mother of original Beatles drummer Pete Best.

Mccartney Visits Aspinall As He Fights For Life


Sir Paul McCartney Neil Aspinall

Sir Paul McCartney is holding a bedside vigil for his old pal Neil Aspinall, the man widely acknowledged as the 'Fifth Beatle'.
MCCartney flew to New York this weekend (begs21Mar08) after learning that Aspinall's condition had worsened. Aspinall is alleged to be suffering from lung cancer and is currently receiving treatment at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre.
But the 65-year-old's illness has reportedly left him fighting for his life.
A close friend of the Aspinall family says, "I understand that Paul saw him in hospital in New York. Paul will be devastated if he doesn't beat this. They have been mates ever since they were schoolboys in Liverpool (in England)."
Aspinall is fondly referred to as the fifth member of the Fab Four because of his close ties to bandmembers MCCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
He served as their business manager and chief confidante for over 40 years, even singing backing vocals for the group's hit Yellow Submarine, and continued to look after the Beatles' interests as head of their record label Apple Corps until he stepped down from the post in 2007.

Mccartney: 'No Apple Connection To Label Change'


Sir Paul McCartney Neil Aspinall Beatles

Sir Paul McCartney has dismissed reports he quit his longterm record label EMI because his childhood friend Neil Aspinall left Apple, the label the singer set up in the late '60s with THE Beatles.
MCCartney ditched EMI after 43 years in March (07) - his latest album Memory Almost Full is being released on coffee chain Starbucks' new record label Hear Music tomorrow (05Jun07).
When Aspinall quit his position as Apple boss in April (07), many assumed the two events were connected, something MCCartney denies.
He says, "(Neil) wanted to retire. Simple as that.
"I've known Neil longer than I've known anyone in the music business, including all the Beatles. Neil was at my school when we were 11, he was in my class.
"But he just wanted to retire. He's 65."

'Fifth' Beatle Quits Over 'Cash Cow' Row


Beatles Neil Aspinall Sir Paul McCartney George Harrison

LATEST: The 'fifth BEATLE' Neil Aspinall has reportedly quit as Apple Corps chief executive over fears the legendary band were being turned into a "cash cow."
Aspinall, a longtime friend of Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison and the Fab Four's first road manager, stunned the music world when he walked away from the group's Abbey Road headquarters in London yesterday (10APR07).
The 64-year-old, known as the guardian of The Beatles' commercial interests, was the mastermind behind the BEATLES ANTHOLOGY package and the BEATLES 1 hits album.
The Apple Corps spokesman added Aspinall "had been with John, Paul, George and Ringo for a spectacular 40 plus years, during which he played an indispensable role for the four".
However, a music insider tells British newspaper the Daily Mirror, "Neil quit because he couldn't deal with the interference from the board at Apple.
"They want to make as much money as possible. There is a plan to flood the market and put out a newly-remastered Beatles back-catalogue.
"Neil was against making the Beatles a cash cow."

'Fifth Beatle' Aspinall Quits


Beatles Neil Aspinall Sir Paul McCartney George Harrison

The 'fifth BEATLE' has stunned the music world by quitting his job as Apple Corps chief executive.
Neil Aspinall, a longtime friend of Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison - and the Fab Four's first road manager, gave no reason for his decision to walk away from the group's Abbey Road headquarters in London when he quit yesterday (10APR07).
The 64 year old, known as the guardian of the Beatles' commercial interests, was the mastermind behind the BEATLES ANTHOLOGY package and the BEATLES 1 hits album.
In a statement confirming his departure, an Apple Corps spokesman has announced that former Sony BMG executive vice president JEFF JONES has been appointed as Aspinall's replacement.
The Apple Corps spokesman added Aspinall "had been with John, Paul, George and Ringo for a spectacular 40 plus years, during which he played an indispensable role for the four.
"He was there since the inception of the band in Liverpool and has meant so much to the Beatles' family for all these years, and still does.
"He has decided to move on. Apple, as a whole, and each member of this company, wishes him great success in whatever endeavour he chooses to pursue in the future."

Man Found Guilty On Stolen Beatles Recordings Charges


Beatles Neil Aspinall Bob Dylan

LATEST: A British man was convicted at London's Southwark Crown Court yesterday (13JUL06) of trying to sell stolen Beatles recordings.
NIGEL OLIVER, 55, faced charges of handling stolen goods and seeking to obtain GBP250,000 ($450,000) for the tapes dating back to 1969, when the STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER icons laid down tracks for their LET IT BE album.
The 504 tapes make up 80 hours of material, including more than 200 cover versions, and were in the possession of two unknown Amsterdam, Netherlands, men before a 2003 Dutch police raid recovered them. Oliver acted as a middle man in the deal they were brokering.
Neil Aspinall, who manages The Beatles' Apple Corps label, told the court, "These tapes have a huge commercial value. There's lots of very unknown stuff and music they wouldn't have recorded in a normal session.
"For example, they covered over 200 songs on these tapes. Songs of the day, such as Bob Dylan."
Oliver, who was found unfit to enter a plea, will return to court for sentencing.

Brit On Trial Over 'Stolen' Beatles Recordings


Beatles Neil Aspinall Bob Dylan

A British man accused of trying to sell stolen Beatles recordings appeared in London's Southwark Crown Court yesterday (11JUL06).
NIGEL OLIVER, 55, faces charges of handling stolen goods and seeking to obtain GBP250,000 ($450,000) for the tapes dating back to 1969, when the STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER icons laid down tracks for their LET IT BE album.
The 504 tapes make up 80 hours of material, including more than 200 cover versions, and were allegedly passed to Oliver by two unknown Amsterdam, Netherlands, men before a 2003 Dutch police raid recovered them.
Neil Aspinall, who manages The Beatles' Apple Corps label, told the court, "These tapes have a huge commercial value. There's lots of very unknown stuff and music they wouldn't have recorded in a normal session.
"For example, they covered over 200 songs on these tapes. Songs of the day, such as Bob Dylan."
Oliver, who has been certified unfit to plead, was acting as a go-between for potential buyers in the UK.
Dutch investigator RACHID BOURAMMANI, who discovered the recordings in a raid on a house in Lisse, Netherlands, says, "The tapes were stacked up in boxes on the floor of the house. There were lots and lots of them."

Beatles Catalogue To Be Digitally Released


Beatles Neil Aspinall

THE Beatles' entire back catalogue will soon be available for download - but only when each track has been digitally remastered to perfection. The Fab Four are one of the few acts to have resisted making their work available on Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store up to now. They were similarly the last stars to release their catalogue onto compact disc. But the boss of their record label Apple Corps, Neil Aspinall, revealed the development in London's High Court, where the company is currently battling Apple Computer over its logo. He said, "We're remastering the whole Beatles catalogue, just to make it sound brighter and better and getting proper booklets to go with each of the packages. "I think it would be wrong to offer downloads of the old masters when I am making new masters. "It would be better to wait and try to do them both simultaneously so that you then get the publicity of the new masters and the downloading, rather than just doing it ad hoc."

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