I have had time to ponder Neil Apinall’s Apple departure. I have also read some of your comments here, and on other messageboards. It seems that half of you are happy that he is leaving and the other half are in utter shock and bewilderment. I am in the camp that, yes, he did drag his feet on certain projects, (Shea DVD, LIB DVD, Hollywood Bowl LP), but you have to remember that he was trying to be the ring leader, coordinating all opinions with the powers that be.
I can imagine it, Neil would have to get all of the Beatle representatives together and agree. That would mean Paul, Ringo, Olivia, and Yoko would have to assemble (in person or electronically), and try to agree on these releases. That is a huge undertaking to deal with each time you want to release something.
I can imagine Neil getting a little frustrated at times. To me his departure is a shock, and I am sad to see him go. It truly, as one reader here put it, is a new Era for The Beatles. I thought Neil would at least wait for the remastered albums to come out, but maybe there were various reasons for his departure. Maybe now we’ll all get a book of his account with Apple. That would be something.
Here’s a clearinghouse of many stories around Neil Aspinall’s departure. All of these articles give various reasons for his leaving the label. Some range from ill health problems to problems with the board to technological issues. Whatever reasons you give for his departure, the end result is still the same.
- UK Daily Mirror
- Daily Mail
- This is London
(There are scores of other articles, but this is simply a start.)
Here’s what we’ve read.
Apple Corps., guardian of the Beatles’ commercial interests, said Tuesday its chief executive, a longtime friend of the Fab Four, has quit.
Neil Aspinall, a school friend of Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison, was the band’s first road manager and would drive them between gigs in his van. He later became their personal assistant and in 1968 was given a management role at Apple Records, the band’s own record label.
Aspinall, now 64, was executive producer on the top-selling “Beatles Anthology” album and was behind other successes, including the “Beatles One” album.
The company said in a statement that Jeff Jones, a former executive vice-president at Sony BMG, has been appointed as Aspinall’s replacement. There was no explanation for why Aspinall decided to quit.
“This is astonishing news,” said former Apple press officer Geoff Baker. “Neil was the fifth Beatle and the architect of all the Beatles’ success over the past 15 or 20 years. I can’t see how the Beatles’ legacy will be looked after as well without him, and I’m amazed that Paul and Ringo are letting this happen.”
The Apple statement said Aspinall “had been with John, Paul, George and Ringo for a spectacular 40 plus years, during which he played an indispensable role for the four. He was there since the inception of the band in Liverpool and has meant so much to the Beatles’ family for all these years, and still does.
“However, he has decided to move on. Apple as a whole, and each member of this company, wishes him great success in whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue in the future.”
Source: Vancouver Sun