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Author Topic: The selling of the SOT catalogue  (Read 5099 times)
Autotune
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« on: October 06, 2015, 09:06:05 AM »

Seeing the L&M movie made me think about the episode of Murry selling the SOT catalogue and its impact on Brian. I think that in BB historiography it is an episode that is taken for granted and not much explanation is given. Why did Murry do what he did? Are the reasons his character gives in the movie valid? Was it mere spite?
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2015, 09:20:11 AM »

My opinion, based on nothing more than my brain, is that Murry probably did genuinely think that they were at their highest price. Nostalgia sales is a relatively new thing (obviously, if you think about it) and the Endless Summer record was one of the first examples of retro-selling pretty much rescuing a still performing and writing band's career.

 As for keeping all the money........I reckon spite probably had a fair bit to do with that....
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2015, 11:55:16 AM »

My opinion, based on nothing more than my brain, is that Murry probably did genuinely think that they were at their highest price. Nostalgia sales is a relatively new thing (obviously, if you think about it) and the Endless Summer record was one of the first examples of retro-selling pretty much rescuing a still performing and writing band's career.

 As for keeping all the money........I reckon spite probably had a fair bit to do with that....

speaking of selling at their highest price...i'm sure at the time it looked as if that were the case amidst the beach boys hype screeching to a halt for a number of years
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2015, 01:32:39 PM »

My opinion, based on nothing more than my brain, is that Murry probably did genuinely think that they were at their highest price. Nostalgia sales is a relatively new thing (obviously, if you think about it) and the Endless Summer record was one of the first examples of retro-selling pretty much rescuing a still performing and writing band's career.

 As for keeping all the money........I reckon spite probably had a fair bit to do with that....

Not to mention almost certainly forging Brian's signature on the documents.
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2015, 01:38:58 PM »

My opinion, based on nothing more than my brain, is that Murry probably did genuinely think that they were at their highest price. Nostalgia sales is a relatively new thing (obviously, if you think about it) and the Endless Summer record was one of the first examples of retro-selling pretty much rescuing a still performing and writing band's career.

 As for keeping all the money........I reckon spite probably had a fair bit to do with that....

speaking of selling at their highest price...i'm sure at the time it looked as if that were the case amidst the beach boys hype screeching to a halt for a number of years

 Absolutely, also that around half the members were deep into harmful addictions. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I don't think that after the demise of smile and the band struggling to sell gig tickets many people would've predicted the happy(ish) ending and career revival that happened.
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 06:12:43 PM »

Murru Wilson had also bought a very expensive house and his income may have been (relatively) limited since the loss of his "job" managing the BBs and the tanking of the Sunrays. He may have needed cash.
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 10:31:02 PM »

My opinion, based on nothing more than my brain, is that Murry probably did genuinely think that they were at their highest price. Nostalgia sales is a relatively new thing (obviously, if you think about it) and the Endless Summer record was one of the first examples of retro-selling pretty much rescuing a still performing and writing band's career.

 As for keeping all the money........I reckon spite probably had a fair bit to do with that....

Not to mention almost certainly forging Brian's signature on the documents.

It's really terrible that the sale couldn't be contested because of that.
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 11:26:14 PM »

My opinion, based on nothing more than my brain, is that Murry probably did genuinely think that they were at their highest price. Nostalgia sales is a relatively new thing (obviously, if you think about it) and the Endless Summer record was one of the first examples of retro-selling pretty much rescuing a still performing and writing band's career.

 As for keeping all the money........I reckon spite probably had a fair bit to do with that....

Not to mention almost certainly forging Brian's signature on the documents.

It's really terrible that the sale couldn't be contested because of that.

I believe that it was by Brian several years later
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 01:15:25 AM »

The whole deal is a huge gray area to me.  Not to make a virtue of ignorance, but I've read what most Beach Boy enthusiasts have said and wish to believe about the SOT as it relates to Brian's narrative -- as a layman I'm still unclear how the sale could have gone through without a notarized signature, what rights were actually being sold, etc. 

I'm inclined to believe that Brian signed despite fundamental misgivings, that his signature being acquired was how he was informed of the sale, and that he could have stopped it if he wanted.  I've certainly heard the rumors of a forged signature, but 1) these accusations seem to have started with Team Landy trying to maximize Brian's fiscal worth in conjunction with making Landy Brian's prime beneficiary and 2) and people have tended toward similar accusations about every contract and loan agreement of this era except the Warner contract, where we have photographic evidence of Brian signing.  I'm not closed at all to the idea of Murray doing it -- as Al Jardine and Gary Usher could tell you, petty stuff like this was the order of the day with Murry -- but the accusations lose their sting when you read similar stuff about forging Brian's signature putting up the Bellagio house as collateral to raise petty cash for the Brother machine.  That's way harder to swallow.

In all humility, I'd be interested in hearing the in-depth reasoning behind the "forged signature" scenario from someone like AGD.  Too much innuendo about stuff like this, not enough hard facts.
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 04:00:14 AM »

In all humility, I'd be interested in hearing the in-depth reasoning behind the "forged signature" scenario from someone like AGD.  Too much innuendo about stuff like this, not enough hard facts.

Very simple - the accusation came up as a consequence of Brian's lawsuit to get his publishing back from Almo/Irving, when the sale documents were examined. That a hard enough fact for you ?
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2015, 07:36:20 PM »

In addition to the forged signature, songs like Caroline No were dated from 1962. It was all screwed up. And Murray should have split the 750k with Brian, but Murray thought he deserved it all.
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2015, 09:58:07 PM »

My opinion, based on nothing more than my brain, is that Murry probably did genuinely think that they were at their highest price. Nostalgia sales is a relatively new thing (obviously, if you think about it) and the Endless Summer record was one of the first examples of retro-selling pretty much rescuing a still performing and writing band's career.

 As for keeping all the money........I reckon spite probably had a fair bit to do with that....

Not to mention almost certainly forging Brian's signature on the documents.



It's really terrible that the sale couldn't be contested because of that.

I believe that it was by Brian several years later

Yeah, I guess I should have said overturned, I suppose. If they could legitimately prove the signatures were forged, you'd think something could be done, but that's not the way the law works. There's justice, and there's the law.

That's why we need to start a superhero vigilante group to get Brian and Mike their songs back!
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 04:59:23 PM »

In all humility, I'd be interested in hearing the in-depth reasoning behind the "forged signature" scenario from someone like AGD.  Too much innuendo about stuff like this, not enough hard facts.

Very simple - the accusation came up as a consequence of Brian's lawsuit to get his publishing back from Almo/Irving, when the sale documents were examined. That a hard enough fact for you ?

That's not a simple answer, it's a vague and insulting one that restates my premises and doesn't speak to any of my points at all.  I'm aware of the accusation and when it came up.  What I'm asking is: if it was determined in a court of law that the signature wasn't Brian's, if anyone without a reason to lie has outright said that the signature wasn't Brian's, if it was notarized and what the notary would have gained from a criminal conspiracy, etc. 

I think these are questions I'd like to have resolved before we accuse a dead man of a felony, and if they can't be answered then the idea needs to be downgraded from "[almost] certainty" to "apocrypha originating from the Landy Camp" and treated as such.   I think you if anybody could give substantial answers to these questions instead of yelling at clouds over an imagined slight.
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 04:13:28 AM »

1 in the early 90s Brian's people initiated a court case to regain the publishing Murry sold behind his back in 1969.

2 on examination of the relevant documents, there was overwhelming suspicion that Brian's signature was forged, not least because Brian denied signing any such document.

3 outcome was that although it was agreed the sale was illegal, the publishing wasn't restored.

Trying to understand why this is so important to you. Others have said much worse about Murry.
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2015, 08:42:23 AM »

There are yards of documents that still exist from Murry's Sea Of Tunes business archive that IMO only add to the perception of his shadiness regarding the BB's songwriting and publishing interests. I've been hired by the owners of the archive to examine and verify these among hundreds of other Murry & BB's business documents from the mid 1950's through the 70's. I've spent major portions of the last two years doing this work for a private ownership group that includes BRI as an interest holder in the archive of material. Again IMO Murry seemed to backdate and fudge legal documents as a routine practice. So, I would not be surprised that the document in question regarding the sale of the Sea Of Tunes catalog might have integrity issues. I have not seen the specific document in question, or if I have it hasn't been verified as such, but the trend in the SOT paper trail definitely leaves me wondering about Murry's way of doing business.
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2015, 09:24:06 AM »

That sounds like interesting work Jon.

I thought the notion of Murry having sold the catalog without Brian and Mike knowing had been around long before that lawsuit. Am I rembering wrong, or is it a separate issue from the forged signature ?
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2015, 10:27:24 AM »

IMO Murry seemed to backdate and fudge legal documents as a routine practice.
Underscoring one of the obvious ironies in the May 1965 Murry letter.

Cool job!
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2015, 10:36:59 AM »

I'd like to add more background to this issue of Murry selling the song catalog to A&M in 1969, and suggest grabbing a drink of choice while reading through this thread from a few years ago which is at this link I'll post. It's the details going beyond the surface of what happened and how Brian's legal team came to win that suit (among others) based on the sale of Sea Of Tunes. Here is the link, it starts around this page but goes forward too with more details:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,16619.msg411770.html#msg411770

And a few excerpts from some of the background digging and research I did at the time on those cases:

Special note - Cam, you had asked earlier about some details. One of the issues filed by Brian's legal team in 1989 was that under the law at the time he and Murry agreed on forming Sea Of Tunes, Brian was a minor and therefore unable to agree to a legal contract. Therefore, if the terms of that contract were used by Murry in 1969 to assume he had the legal authority to sell the full catalog, the original contract's validity would be called into question. Since a minor cannot legally agree to a contract. Take that for what it's worth.

And, another issue was that the law firm representing Brian and the Boys in 1969 had given them (or him as in Brian) faulty legal representation and wrong advice in the matter, which led to agreements that were not what was described to the client. And it also got bizarre, introducing points like Murry and the glass eye, as well as charges that on some papers, Brian's signature had been forged, not to mention he had signed other documents that his legal team failed to properly advise him on, therefore he agreed to terms he wasn't fully informed about. Then they introduced mental state at the time, which is where the glass eye part was brought in.

Ultimately, just like in Mike's case, Brian's team won that 1989 case and the court found that indeed he had been duped and misled, not just by his own father but also by the legal firm and specific lawyers he and BRI was paying to represent their interests. The exact details are far more involved, again there were multiple suits in several courts which many of them got consolidated during the actual process.


It's not that simple. The case suggested it was some kind of a legal partnership that wasn't actually legal from its inception since Brian was legally a minor at the time it was agreed to. And the definition of a "minor" gets really confusing too, because in some states it's 18, in others it's 21...all kinds of legal nonsense notwithstanding.

Take the issue of the law firm in 1969 which was named in the suit alongside A&M, Irving, et al. This was the same firm, if you recall, that represented the Boys in their suit against Capitol in 1967, when they sued successfully and the results helped form Brother Records. The advice and counsel they gave Brian and all involved was flawed, the charges said, and the rights Brian may or may not have had were not made clear.

What Brian thought he had rights to may not have been so, what he thought he was signing may not have been what he was told he was signing, and those advising him and having him sign or agree to things he wasn't clearly advised of back in 1969 ended up on the hook for millions based on those issues as decided in June 1992.



- Brian's team had a number of lawsuits, to repeat again, filed in Sept 1989 and again in Sept 1990. Among the claims used to take them to court was fraud, conflict of interest, breach of contract, validity of the contract due to the age of the participant, the fact that a court never recognized the original 1962 "agreement" as a valid contract due to those issues, legal misconduct, advising Brian to sign documents which contained false information, the validity of an agreement signed by a person under mental duress, and many, MANY more issues.

They won, too. Based in some ways on the fact that Brian had been the victim of fraud, misleading or incompetent advice both legal and business, a conflict of interest between his legal representation and the company buying the songs from Murry (the Brother lawyer at that time (1969) was affiliated with A&M and was on their board, and apparently did not disclose that fact which is a conflict of interest case), and the sale of property based on what could have been an invalid contract from the day it was agreed to.




It goes WAY beyond Murry's actual sale of the catalog and even beyond the claims of forged documents. Those issues only scratch the surface of all that happened, and I'd argue as much information as you'll find on the various deals (even though it's only a summary of a very complex legal affair) can be found in that thread linked above. I did a lot of searching and reading on this, and that's just the summary, so there are many facets to it beyond saying a signature was forged.

The parts that you don't see discussed too often, up to and including in this current thread topic, involve things like the conflict of interest between the law firm supposedly representing and advising Brian (and the band in general) during this situation in 1969 and how they were found to have direct interest in A&M who stood to profit from any such sale or deal (if one principle member sitting on the board of A&M at the time of the deal would be considered a conflict of interest...and the court 20+ years later ruled that it was). It involves the validity of the "contract" Brian signed with Murry which established Sea Of Tunes in the first place being null and void due to Brian being considered legally underage at the time of the legal partnership (legal age in CA was 21 at that time, Brian was not 21 when he signed with Murry). It involves what the court in 1989-90 etc found to be deliberately misleading and inaccurate information and advice being given to the client (Brian, for one) regarding these deals, to the point of charging that documents being offered for permission or agreement regarding these deals were deliberately misleading...

And consider in one specific, Steve Love took certain papers to Brian to be signed, and that seemed to be among the documents that the court found were basically not what the client thought or was told he was actually agreeing to...

And a whole host of other issues surrounding it, including the claims of certain signatures being forged.

But for Brian's case to win, it went beyond the notion of forgery or going "behind someone's back" and into situations where fraud, deception, misconduct, conflict of interest, and a host of other legal issues were used to decide the case and award the judgement in Brian's favor.

If the saga of this episode is being reported, I hope as close to the full telling of it will happen. It wasn't a simple case, and it was a pretty dirty affair that caused a lot of people to profit from and take advantage of Brian Wilson, for one.

For me, opinion inserted here, the fact that Murry apparently pocketed the entire profit he made on the sale says it all as far as he was concerned. Then when it came out the lawyers supposedly representing and advising Brian on the deal had close ties to A&M who was the buyer who made the deal with Murry...I mean, how much worse does it get?
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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2015, 11:05:44 AM »

 Bow
Definitive. Thank you, guitarfool2002.
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2015, 05:27:57 PM »

Interestingly enough, this seems to debunk the established narrative of Murry showing up one day and blindsiding Brian by telling him he sold the catalog, with Brian reacting with shock and dismay.

If I'm understanding this correctly, Brian must have been aware some sort of sale was being brokered, but was victimized into unfavorable terms via coercion from attorneys at Mitchell Silverberg Nup who had conflicting interests by also representing Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss. Or was it really as simple as them saying, "here Brian, sign this", to which he did without examining the documents, not being aware that he was signing away his own publishing?
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« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2015, 06:41:06 PM »

It doesn't debunk or challenge that, it does however add other layers to the case and exposes more of what led up to the sale. Likewise, it shows what the attorneys in the 1989-90 case presented as evidence to the courts that were proven by the decision and then further in the awarding of the lost income and other moneys that the court judged to be due to Brian Wilson.

The evidence that helped win the case for Brian included all that I listed above, everything from conflict of interest (one of the lawyers at the firm representing Brian and the band's interest at the time also sat on the board of directors at A&M when the deal was struck and stood to profit from the deal moving forward, that's basic conflict of interest), to misrepresentation if not outright fraud (documents presented to Brian did not accurately represent the terms of the deal, or misstated terms and ramifications of the deal, so he really didn't know what he was signing but was advised by his legal representation to sign), to the validity of the original Sea Of Tunes contract that established the company, which Brian consented to give his father certain rights in the company (Brian was under 21 when he signed the original contract papers with Murry, considered a minor at that time in California, and therefore unable by law to enter into a contract agreement which challenged the validity of the contract from its inception), to outright forgery of signatures on certain documents (those documents could be found in the legal transcripts if we looked for them, let's say, minus any specifics at the moment), all the way to Brian's mental health and well-being at the time the already questionable documents were presented to him for his approval.

So basically, Brian got screwed over in a number of ways, in several directions, by those he trusted to be honest with him in these business and legal dealings...and ultimately the court(s) agreed and ruled in his favor. A massive award for the time, as we can all look up.

And as far as him not knowing Murry sold the SOT catalog, if his lawyers presented him with false or misleading documents to sign, if his father misrepresented terms and effects of his dealings with SOT to Brian, if as in that one case Steve Love couriered a document for Brian to sign that wasn't on the level if not outright fraudulent and Brian signed it unaware what it was he was giving permission for Murry to do, or what he was signing away...

...then definitely, I think when he got word that Murry had unloaded his entire catalog of songs and the publishing rights to them, after he was led to believe otherwise (never mind the forged signature claims), he'd be as shocked and as upset as all the accounts report he was.

He was lied to and taken advantage of on several fronts by those he trusted, and he lost his rights to those songs and got nothing in return since Murry pocketed the money. The courts agreed.
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« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2015, 06:50:17 PM »

With this one move Murry wiped away his claim to everything good he had ever done for Brian/ the BBs.
There's absolutely no reason to give him praise for past moves and he showed himself to be a despicable louse
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« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2015, 08:50:50 PM »

I would call Murray a prick, but that would be an insult to all the other pricks. To quote Mike Love, "The worst thing about my uncle? The worst thing is that he didn't die soon enough!"
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« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2015, 09:33:58 PM »

With all of that evidence, how is it that the publishing rights were not returned to Brian? (The 10 million that Brian won ,most of which went to his lawyers was a paltry sum compared to the publishing rights)
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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2015, 08:04:42 PM »

They took too long to challenge it...and the rights would have not gone to only Brian, but considering Mike co-wrote a huge chunk of songs that were-for years-credited to only Brian, should have gone to Wilson/Love....but again, taking 20 years to file a suit is my opinion on why it didn't happen.
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