Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jul 6th 2009 9:45AM by Steve Baltin
As the founder of ABKCO Records, Klein worked with some of music's biggest names, including Herman's Hermits, Bobby Darin, and legendary soul singer Sam Cooke. But the Newark, NJ native became a music industry titan when he signed the Stones in the mid-'60s, securing them a rich record deal. However, the band became furious with him when he purchased the rights to several of the band's songs from a former manager. Mick Jagger testified against Klein at a 1984 trial over royalties and Keith Richards once described the band's five year relationship with Klein as "the price of an education." In the aftermath, Klein walked away with the rights to many of the band's songs that were written before 1971, including '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' and 'Jumping Jack Flash.'
Despite, or perhaps because of his reputation, Klein signed the Beatles in the late '60s after manager Brian Epstein passed away. Persuading John Lennon to hire him but never Paul McCartney, Klein is often cited as a reason for the breakup of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. As with the Stones, Klein's relationship with the Beatles eventually led to court, with McCartney suing his former bandmates to escape Klein's grip. He went on to co-produce George Harrison's 'Concert for Bangladesh.'
Klein perhaps best summed himself up with an infamous holiday card. Playing off the 23rd Psalm, Klein said, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, because I'm the biggest bastard in the valley." He is survived by his wife, Betty, three children, four grandchildren and his longtime girlfriend, Iris Keitel. His funeral will be held Tuesday in New York.