“Did litigation kill the Beatles?”

As the most successful band in history, the Beatles generated not only a record number of music hits but probably more legal disputes than any other music group before or since. As the first international rock band brand in a still nascent music business – and guided by a neophyte personal manager – the Beatles became entangled in a distracting series of legal problems nearly from the start of their career.

ABA Journal runs an excerpt from “Baby You’re a Rich Man: Suing the Beatles for Fun and Profit,” a new book by Stan Soocher.


  • It does appear that the Fab four, like a lot of other bands, had poor management, and possibly poor legal representation. Nevertheless, the real reason why they were sued so much, and found it necessary to sue so much, is because they were making money.

    Money attracts litigation. That, I guess, would be the point from the “overlawyered” point of view.

  • Part of their legal vulnerability may have involved attempts to avoid Britain’s 90% income tax brackets of that era.

  • I blame Yoko Ono!

    • I blame the record labels. They tried to replicate the Beatles’ success with label built bands and failed, so they set out to destroy the Beatles

      /conspiracy theory

  • Yoko Ono didn’t break up the Beatles, the Beatles did. They broke up for the same reason they were successful, they were innovators interested in trying new things.

    Brian Epstein was like the glue that held the band together. Once he was out of the picture, nature took its course.

  • Yoko was a contributor with her constant presence in the recording studio. But business was the final blow with Apple lacking a strong leader Klein was brought in against Paul’s desires. Paul was proven right to the other 3 but not until after the breakup.

    PS Ringo George and John left the Beatles before Paul did, and John was not a beatle for those last six months but agreed to keep it quiet to his later regret.