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Report: Michael Jackson Gets McCartney-Lennon Publishing Rights

April 15, 1990 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Paul McCartney blames Yoko Ono’s penny-pinching ways for a delay that allowed Michael Jackson to buy the publishing rights to many of the Beatles classics he wrote with John Lennon.

McCartney says in the May issue of Musician magazine that he heard the songs were up for sale four years ago. McCartney says he contacted the songs’ owner, British showbiz mogul Sir Lew Grade, who gave him a price of $20 million.

He then contacted Ono and suggested each of them put up $10 million to retrieve the rights he and Lennon had signed away years before, McCartney said.


″She said, ‘I think that’s too high a price. I think we can get ’em for five,‴ McCartney recalls. ″So it was very difficult.″

Meanwhile, Jackson bought the catalog.

Sam Havadtoy, a spokesman for Ono, told the New York Post on Saturday that the asking price for the catalog was actually $50 million, the price Jackson paid. He said Ono thought the price was too steep.

″Paul and Yoko may have had a phone conversation about the catalog, at which time she said she wasn’t interested, but if McCartney wanted the publishing rights he could have bought them himself,″ Havadtoy said.

″Yoko does not control Paul McCartney,″ he said.