London—The latest Beatle break-up brouhaha is rubbish. Ominous wire service stories claiming that Apple Records is going broke and that George Harrison and John Lennon are having fist fights are untrue. No one has a black eye and Apple Records looks like it is enormously successful.
This latest break-up story was based on two separate incidents connected by an over-anxious news bureau of Associated Press in London. John Lennon gave a short interview to one of the smaller London pop papers, in which he said that if the Beatles went on spending money at the present rate, “all four of us will be broke in six months.” The pop paper (Disc and Music Echo) used this quote as their headline, calling the story something like “We’re Going Broke!”
“THERE WAS NO PUNCH-UP. WHEN WE FALL OUT, WE SAY MORE BY KEEPING QUIET.” —GEORGE HARRISON
At the same time, rumors were flying about activities inside London’s Twickenham Studios where the Beatles were working every day in preparation for their now-cancelled “live” concert and a filming project still in the works. Rumor had it that there was a fist fight between George and John.
“There was no punch-up,” George claims. “We just fell out. We got over the punch-up bit when we were in Liverpool. We just stopped speaking. When we fall out, we say more by keeping quiet.”
The two items were put together into a story claiming great tensions inside the group, especially between George and John over the possible bankruptcy of Apple and the Beatles themselves.
The story about Apple is on the surface absurd. With two huge hit singles (“Hey Jude” and “Those Were The Days”) and the enormously successful The Beatles set, Apple’s problem is what to do with all the money.
There is a disagreement, though, on how to operate Apple and what direction it should take, and it is John and George who stand at opposite sides. The dispute is over the style and purpose of operations, and is one that will likely take some time to resolve.
Meanwhile, the Beatles indefinitely postponed their “live” concert, but have gone ahead with the filming of their rehearsals for it, recording and writing new material for a one hour documentary film. Dennis O’Dell, formerly the head of Apple Films, is producing the show. This may end up being their “TV concert,” and they have already completed eight new songs for it.