.

The Big Business of Rock Estates

Page 3 of 3

janis
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Artist: Janis Joplin

Estate manager: Jeff Jampol, president of Jam Inc., on behalf of the late singer's brother, Michael, and sister, Laura.

Major projects: One Night with Janis Joplin, a musical written directed by Randy Johnson in partnership with the estate, premiered last year in Portland and could do a broader tour.

Recent or upcoming milestones: Big Brother and Holding Company's Live at the Carousel Ballroom came out on March 13th. It was mastered by original soundman Owsley "Bear" Stanley before his death about a year ago.

Philosophy: The estate tries to approve or reject projects based on criteria Janis herself declared during her life. "During Janis' lifetime, she drank a lot of Southern Comfort. She's known for that," Jampol says. "In Janis' case, aligning with an alcoholic beverage would be OK, because she did it."

etta james
Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Artist: Etta James

Estate manager: Artis Mills, who married James in 1969. Late last year, when James was still alive, Mills and James' sons Donto and Sametto reached an agreement about managing the blues heroine's estate.

Major projects: The singer's four-disc box set, Heart & Soul, came out last year.

Recent or upcoming milestones: None.

Philosophy: "Etta's always had criteria – it has to fit with what she believes and doesn't offend her," says Jay Cooper, the estate's attorney. "But the estate's brand new, so you only have past history, when she was alive and doing everything well."

bob marley
Michael Putland/Getty Images

Artist: Bob Marley

Estate manager: Bob's widow, Rita Marley, and his nine children. Since Marley died of cancer in 1981, lawsuits over his estate have been plentiful – including one last year in which the family corporation sued Bob's half-brother, Richard Booker, for attempting to trademark the phrase "Mama Marley" for a fish-selling business. But generally the estate's affairs have been stable in recent years.

Major projects: Marley, a documentary film directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), is due in theatres April 20th and recently made its debut at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Recent or upcoming milestones: The 30th anniversary of Marley's death was last May, but Marley's estate didn't sponsor formal events.

Philosophy: "Bob belongs to the people," Rita Marley told Rolling Stone in 2004. "If his music doesn't go to the people, that's no use to him."

whitney houston
Lester Cohen/WireImage

Artist: Whitney Houston

Estate manager: Pat Houston, Whitney's sister-in-law and manager. Houston's will left everything, including clothes, jewelry and cars, to 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina, her only child, and nothing to her ex-husband Bobby Brown, according to reports. Bobbi Kristina will receive the balance of the money when she turns 21, 25 and 30.

Major projects: Nothing yet, but more posthumous releases are a given.

Recent or upcoming milestones: In the two weeks after Houston's death on February 11th, her albums sold a reported 500,000 copies, and several of them remain on the charts.

Philosophy: It's too early for anything like a mission statement, but Bobbi Kristina recently told Oprah Winfrey: "I've got to keep moving. I've got to carry on her legacy."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com