Thursday, 8 October 2009

Don't Pass Me By

Just listened to The Beatles 'White Album' all the way through whilst thinking about whether or not to buy the 'Remastered' version. As with most albums there's a duff track which isn't up to scratch compared with the rest of it, and in this case it's 'Don't Pass Me By', written and sung by Ringo.

As all you Beatle-nerds will know, Ringo wrote this song at least four years before the White Album sessions and Lennon & McCartney didn't think much of it - at the time, they had 'Can't Buy Me Love' etc in the can. However, during the White Album sessions tensions between John and Paul were beginning to show and this led to Ringo getting fed up with all the arguing and he stormed out. He was enticed back eventually, mostly by George who decorated Ringo's drum kit with flowers to welcome him back.

I suspect that another thing they did was allow Ringo to have his song on the album even though they still didn't think much of it, thus enabling Ringo to get a publishing royalty on every copy sold. The song is published via Ringo's own company 'Starlight Ltd' and was never part of  Northern Songs that is now famously co-owned by Sony and Michael Jackson's estate. Consequently, Ringo still gets all the publishing and composer's royalties, whereas Yoko (as John's heir) and Paul only get a fraction for their songs. Moreover, Ringo held on to his shares in Northern Songs when John and Paul sold theirs in 1968, so he's getting a slice of John and Paul's royalties too (albeit a very thin slice).


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