Monday, July 06, 2009

Another Bastard Bites the Dust

Though McNamara was the far bigger prick, it's always good to see the bad die. Saturday marked the end of Allen Klein, one of the most egregious bastards in the history of the entertainment industry. As business manager of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, he signed them to deals that screwed them, buying up the publishing rights for himself through his Abkco brand. He swindled John Lennon, maybe not so hard to do by 1969, and Lennon, completely in the man's thrall, led him to other artists he could bamboozle. I wouldn't have cared much about Klein at all were it not for the specific screwjob of Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose El Topo Lennon loved. He convinced Klein to buy the rights to the film and then finance Jodorowsky's next film, The Holy Mountain, one of my favorite films ever made. Because Jodorowsky refused to make a porno adaptation of the "Story of O" for Klein, audiences were only ever able to see either of these films on cheap bootleg copies. Klein suppressed the two films for over thirty years, releasing them after a settlement (that was not his idea) in 2004.

Klein died of complications from Alzheimer's Disease, an affliction that, unfortunately, likely caused him to forget all of the artists he screwed over and all the money he stole in the name of advocacy. He's no bastard on the level of the orchestrator of the Vietnam War, hardly even in the same world, but the world is a little brighter today as a result.