A Beatles Associate Sought ‘Cold-Blooded’ ‘Revenge’ Against the Band

In 1969, Allen Klein took control of The Beatles and threw the band’s affairs into disarray. Paul McCartney vehemently disagreed with Klein’s appointment, wreaking havoc in the relationship among band members. Klein also fired many people who worked for The Beatles. Alistair Taylor, who worked with The Beatles for years, lost his job shortly after Klein took over. He shared how he sought revenge in the aftermath.

A Beatles associate wanted to get back at the band after he was fired

When Klein took control of Apple Corps, he drafted a list of people he wanted to fire. Taylor’s name was at the top of the list. He had been a loyal assistant to former manager Brian Epstein, and then helped the band run their affairs. His firing came as a shocking betrayal, especially because none of The Beatles contacted him afterward.

“But I think what bothered me, and still does now … I left,” he in the book All You Need Is Love: The Beatles in Their Own Words by Steven Gaines and Peter Brown, adding, “I went home and I rang all the boys in turn. I just wanted to make sure that they knew about it. But none of them would speak to me, and I know two of them, for sure, were there. They wouldn’t come to the phone.”

A black and white picture of The Beatles wearing suits and leaning close together. John Lennon plays the harmonica.
The Beatles | Harry Hammond/V&A Images/Getty Images

His subsequent attempts to get into contact with the band went unanswered. He felt this was a terrible way to treat someone who had supported them so wholeheartedly over the years. Taylor said the only time he did anything to hurt The Beatles was after he was fired. He wanted some form of revenge against them.

“They affected my philosophy of living, to a tremendous degree,” he said. “There was so much that I thought was right, and I believe now that I’m carrying it on much better than they are. You know, and I’m just sad for them, that they could treat someone like myself, when I could truthfully say that I never conned them for anything, except at the very end, which was quite cold-blooded. Revenge. I had a loan out from the company, and I said, ‘Stuff it, they can whistle for it.’”

Alistair Taylor never met the man who decided to fire him

Though Klein made the decision to fire Taylor, he never met him. Taylor said he was happy about this.

“I never met Klein,” he said. “One of my proudest boasts is that I never met him. I’d been fired. I’ve only been fired once in my life by a guy I’ve never even met. I thought it was beautiful. It’s classic. I never had a doubt about it. I just, frankly, head down, carried on. What I was doing. Um, which was trying to run the offices.”

Allen Klein said he focused on one Beatle when he wanted to get close to the band

Even before Epstein’s death, Klein wanted to manage The Beatles. When Epstein died, he seized the opportunity, realizing that his best option to get close to the band was to meet John Lennon.

A black and white picture of Allen Klein, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono sitting on one side of a table.
Allen Klein, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono | C. Maher/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“I took the time to analyze the situation somewhat Machiavellian and determined the best way for me to meet John,” Klein said, later adding, “But the appointment that I made was based upon a telephone call that I made to John, followed up by a desire on both John and Yoko’s part to protect themselves.”

Klein wholly won over Lennon, which set the stage for him to take control of the band.

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