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New Musical Wants to Raid Beatles Catalog

Revolution Studios has designs on the Beatles. The Hollywood Reporter says the studio has purchased the screenplay for "All You Need Is Love," a musical love story set against the 1960s. Plans are afoot to acquire re-recording rights for Beatles songs.

This isn't just one or two songs. Reuters says Revolution is shooting for 17-18 classics.

"Everyone has a memory associated with the Beatles," says "Love" co-screenwriter Ian La Frenais. "Whether it was your first kiss or the first time you saw that girl standing across from you at the high school dance, chances are that the DJ was playing a Beatles song."

"The first time you saw that girl standing across from you at the high school dance"? Hold on there Ian -- you've gotta pay to use that paraphrased lyric. No sneaky stuff.

Speaking of payment, you'd think the rights to 17 or 18 Beatles songs would be pretty pricey, right? Not so. The rights to original Beatles recordings (i.e. songs sung by the group) require approval from the surviving band members, but the rights to cover those songs don't need the Beatles' thumbs-up. This same scenario played out in 2001 when "I Am Sam" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" worked around original Beatles recordings via cover versions. This technique was also used in the 1994 Beatles biopic "Backbeat," which featured Beatles covers performed by alt-rockers Dave Grohl, Mike Mills, Thurston Moore, Gregg Dulli and Dave Pirner. -- Mac Slocum

Posted by Mac on October 19, 2004 11:39 AM
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