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Old May 05, 2011, 06:02 PM   #1
DevonAokiFan
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Default Lost Weekend Question 10

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Chuck Berry's publisher sued Lennon... why ???



easy...
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Old May 06, 2011, 02:28 AM   #2
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In the meanwhile, Lennon had split with Yoko Ono and was living in Los Angeles with his personal assistant, May Pang. To avoid returning to New York for the court case, Lennon agreed to record at least three songs that Levy published on his next album (after Mind Games) and Levy dropped the suit. Browsing Levy's music publishing catalog, Lennon found so many of his old favourites that he decided to do a full album of cover songs, by Levy's artists and others.

Lennon initially teamed up with producer Phil Spector to record the album, but the sessions quickly fell into disarray with alcohol. Spector then disappeared with the session tapes and would not be heard from for several months. Spector made one cryptic call to Lennon, claiming to have the "John Dean tapes" from the recent Watergate scandal; Lennon deduced that Spector meant he had the album's master tapes.[2][3] When an auto accident on March 31, 1974 allegedly left Spector in a coma, the project was put on indefinite hold.

In May 1974, Lennon returned to New York with Pang and began writing and recording a new album of original material, Walls and Bridges. Just as these sessions began, Al Coury, A&R and vice president of promotion of Capitol Records, retrieved the Spector tapes for $90,000. Not wanting to break stride, Lennon shelved the tapes and completed work on Walls And Bridges.[4]

With Walls and Bridges coming out first, Lennon had reneged on his deal with Levy. To add insult to injury, Lennon included a snippet of the Levy published "Ya Ya" on Walls And Bridges (featuring son Julian on drums) with the snide remark "O.K, we'll do sitting in the la la, that'll get rid of that!" in the song's intro. This infuriated Levy who threatened to refile his lawsuit. Lennon explained to Levy what had happened and assured him that the covers album was indeed in the works. Lennon then recalled the session musicians from Walls and Bridges to complete the oldies tracks. Levy offered the use of his farm in upstate New York for the band to rehearse.[5]

In a show of good faith, Lennon gave Levy a rough copy of the tracks to review. Levy offered to directly market the album via television mail order, through his own Adam VIII record label, bypassing Capitol and EMI, giving both Lennon and Levy a larger share of the album's profits. Lennon gave his assent, and even considered appearing in a TV commercial to promote the album, but knew he would need the approval of EMI, Capitol and Apple Corps for the deal.

With so much money and time invested in the sessions, neither Capitol, EMI nor Apple wanted to give it up, insisting Lennon release it according to his recording contract and turn Levy's proposal down. Feeling betrayed, Levy pressed an album from the rough tape Lennon had provided, then proceeded to sue Lennon, EMI and Capitol for $42 million for breach of contract. Lennon and Capitol/EMI countersued.

Lennon finished work on his version of the album, omitting two songs from the final selection. In February 1975, Capitol Records rush-released the official Rock 'n' Roll, and Lennon also reconciled with Yoko Ono.

In February 1976, the case was heard in New York District Court. Lennon (sporting a crewcut) and Ono attended the proceedings, which were at times amusing. When asked by Levy's attorney if he had cut his hair as to not resemble the cover photo of "Roots," Lennon replied, "Rubbish! I cut it every 18 months." Later on in the trial, the same lawyer asked Lennon to autograph a copy of his Mind Games album "for my daughter, I can't account for her taste."[6]

By June, Lennon and Capitol/EMI had prevailed. Though Levy was awarded a token payment for the infringement on "You Can't Catch Me", he had to pay EMI $109,700 in lost revenue and $42,000 to Lennon for "damages to his reputation" -- due to the poor sound quality of the album (besides the rough mixes, some of the songs were sped up to fit more tracks on the album) and the "horrible album cover."

Production and distribution of Roots was halted and the albums were ordered destroyed. With only 3000 copies of Roots reportedly pressed, original copies are rare and sought-after collector's items. Copies in mint condition have sold for US$2000.[7] Lennon was disappointed at how poorly the mail order setup had actually worked, having ordered his own copy as follow-up and waiting almost a month to receive it.
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Old May 06, 2011, 02:59 AM   #3
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Maybe the reason is in there somewhere,
but there's a lot of complicated stuff that makes it hard to find.

Assuming someone asked my question at a party (or whatever)...
what is the short and punchy answer ???



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Old May 07, 2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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OK... here come the clues again...

Clue #1: Its got something to do with the Beatles song, 'Come Together'.



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Old May 07, 2011, 09:50 PM   #5
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Because the line "Here come ol' flattop/He come groovin' up slowly" was similar to "Here come a flattop/He was movin' up with me" from 'You Can't Catch Me.'
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Old May 07, 2011, 10:14 PM   #6
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Yep... Lennon was sued for 'lifting' a line from a Chuck Berry song.



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Old May 15, 2011, 02:36 PM   #7
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That explains John's covers of pioneer rockers.
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