The Daily Herald from Chicago, Illinois on January 28, 1977 · Page 13
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The Daily Herald from Chicago, Illinois · Page 13

Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, January 28, 1977
Page 13
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THE HERALD medley Friday, January 28, 1977 Section J Can 200 million fans reunite the Beatles? by BRUCE MEYER George Harrison, former Beatle and veteran interviewee, leaned back into a soft hotel room sofa and lit a French cigaret, sensing the inevitable question. Me answered without being asked. "When are the Beatles getting back together?" he said with a grin. "I've no idea." "Will it happen? I suppose so. There is definitely no reason why it's absolutely out for the rest of our lives." Hardly a firm commitment. But it is as close as any ex-Beatle has come to saying "yes" since Paul McCartney five years ago this month filed suit against Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and manager Allen Klein. KLEIN, a show business high-roller, was dropped two years later by the other three, who apparently There's been a lot of talk of reuniting the Beatles. But talk is all it is. Promoter Alan Amron is finding it difficult organizing Beatle fans and even Muhammad Ali (page 4) is discovering his pleas don't carry much weight. arrived at the same conclusion McCartney had about Klein's handling of the Beatles' affairs. In fact, the Beatles' problems really began on Aug. 27, 1967 -- the untimely death of their first manager, Brian Epstein, at age 32. In a Rolling Stone interview published about the time of McCartney's suit, Lennon said: "After Brian died, we collapsed. Paul took over and supposedly led us. But . . . we went around in circles. We broke up then." Thus, barriers to a reunion are long-standing -and as personal as they are legal, despite public mellowing of the bitter feud between McCartney and Lennon and a growing clamor from both promoters and fans for even a one-shot concert or album. Wheeler-dealer Sid Bernstein recently outlined a public plan designed to gross at least $400 million from a single Beatles appearance, including revenues from closed-circuit TV, 'a live album and a movie. McCartney and Harrison immediately said no. But Alan Amron has a different idea. He thinks money is important, but what will really get the Beatles together is love -- not for each other, but for and from fans. AMRON, 28, is a self-styled entrepreneur from Long Island, who started a furor last spring with an ad in New York's Village Voice newspaper, calling on fans to unite under the banner of his International Committee to Reunite The Beatles. He asked that every fan -- "there are countless millions of us ... who love the Beatles" -- send him $1 in exchange for a "Let It Be" decal. That single ad didn't exactly produce an outpouring of support, but it got Amron a lot of print space and air time. "I'm a businessman," ss 4 vs Amron, "and I'd definitely like to be involved in the promotional end of getting the Beatles back together again. So I'm trying to show that here's a guy who thinks enough of the Beatles to go out and try to get the support of the poeple and show the Beatles that support in dollars collected, like a straw poll." AMRON IS nothing if not ambitious -- and opti- NEW YORK ENTREPRENEUR Alan Amron sits in his Chicago office where he is busy trying to reunite the Beatles. Amron took an ad in mistic. He has set a tentative deadline of June to raise between $40 and $50 million. "There are 200 million Beatles fans in the world. This is a fact," he says. "And if there are 200 million Beatles fans, it could reach 100 million of them and only half send in a dollar, that's $50 million." Amron says he and his partner, Joel Sacher, have put about $30,000 into the committee so far. He says he has received thousands of letters -- but few contained the dollar. New York's Village Voice to urge fans to send in a dollar to use for this purpose. He's received many letters but not very much money. It seems an impossible task. But for all its tilting- at-windmills flavor, Amron's scheme is also the only current one that holds even a hint of promise for bringing the Beatles back together. "NONE OF THEM have come right out and made a statement against what I'm doing," Amron says, hope glittering in his eyes. "They haven't said no." Neither have they said yes. (United Press International) The four remain cool to the idea A WELL-KNOWN PICTURE from the past. The Beatles rehearse for a television show in New York in February, 1964. "It's really overwhelming that the Beatles still mean so much to everybody," said George Harrison when asked whether the Beatles would ever perform together again. "It's very flattering. A lot of people grew up during that whole Beatle'music period. "But to me, watching old Beatles film clips, it's like watching the old Laurel and Hardy movies -- it's so dated already. So getting together again . . . is a bit like asking me to go back to school again. It's very limiting." For Harrison, 33, the past five years have been a crazy quilt of success and disappointment. IN SUMMER 1971 he put together the benefit concerts for Bangladesh which, with the Woodstock festival, rank as the most important big events in the history of rock V roll. His music, while sometimes uneven, is still very -popular and his records sell well. But the past year has been a difficult one. Early ui 1976 he developed hepatitis, which kept him bedridden for more than two months and delayed delivery of a planned new album. Before he recovered, he was hit with a song plagiarism case over his big hit, "My Sweet Lord." He lost the case, though the judge ruled the melody-stealing unintentional. THEN HE WAS SUED for $10 million by AM Records for failing to deliver the new album on see it happening. We've all gone over eight years separate, gone so far that for each one of us, it would probably take a year from when we committed ourselves . . . to actually get to the point of doing it." OF ALL THE Beatles, Paul Neither Paul, George, John or Ringo have completely nixed a Beatle reunion. But they say "probably not." Individually they have little to gain except money, and their own careers are pretty much supplying them with all the green they need. time. That cost Harrison $4.4 million to settle. Now, however, Harrison has moved his Dark Horse Records label to Warner Bros., his financial difficulties seem nearly resolved, and his new record, "33 1-3," is riding high on the charts. It seems likely he will have time for little outside his own career. "Maybe for some reason in the future, we will all come back together. But at the moment I don't McCartney has been the most spectacularly successful alone. He had a slow start but put together Wings, a band that evolved into a top-notch performing group and served as an all but perfect vehicle for his well-proven abilities as a pop songwriter. And Wings has established itself as more than McCartney's backup group, though it is clear the band would not exist without him. Wings' tour of the United States last summer was a highlight of one of the best concert seasons in memory. McCartney and his wife, Linda, were asked the familiar question about a Beatles reunion when they performed last summer in Chicago. He spoke specifically of multi-million dollar offers made by some promoters for even a single reunion appearance. "IT'S A GREAT deal of money, yeah," he said. "But someone would give you a great deal of money to jump off the Empire State. They'd give you money for any kind of thing. "I don't think we'd do it for money. We'd do it if we really loved the idea of doing something, if someone thought of a great thing that we'd like to do and everyone kind of got together on it. You can't fake these things. "So the answer is, probably not. Probably not -- but no one wants to close any doors on it. Just cool the rumors." John Lennon has spent much of the past few years fighting for the right to remain in the United (Continued on Page 4) takes a new shape "Page 5

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