23 March 2013

Oldham: Richard Ashcroft received $1000 for "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ first manager and early producer told QMI Agency, he’ll check out a date on the band’s [The Rolling Stones] rumoured 2013 tour if he’s on “same continent.”

“Of course, I would,” said Oldham after a chat in Toronto for a Canadian Music Week (CMW) appearance, Oldham, 69, who divides his time between Columbia and British Columbia, specifically Vancouver since 2003 (because his son is at school in L.A.), said he last saw them in 2005 in Seattle.

When asked during his CMW “fireside chat” with Alan Cross, what led to him leaving the Stones, he deadpanned: “Drugs. Money. Fame. Girlfriends. Wives, Accountants. Electric Shock Treatment...You become redundant and it’s better that you recognize it, rather than embarrassing the artist that you work for into recognizing it for you, and you leave at least 48 hours before they ask you to.”

Otherwise, Oldham has a new album coming out Tuesday (March 26), called The Andrew Oldham Orchestra and Friends Play The Rolling Stones Songbook, Volume 2, featuring such varied guests as his former ‘70s protege Vashti Bunyon, The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, and Montreal’s The High Dials.

It comes 47 years after The Andrew Oldham Orchestra album, The Rolling Stones Songbook, which came out in 1966. “Enough people were doing orchestral albums of John (Lennnon) and Paul (McCartney) songs, which was giving them respectability or recognition as songwriters and I wanted to do the same for Mick (Jagger) and Keith (Richards),” said Oldham of the 1966 record. “I did the record and 800 people bought it and one of them, fortunately later was Richard Ashcroft (frontman of The Verve).”

In fact, during Oldham’s CMW session, the classical version of the Stones song, The Last Time, featuring such players as Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, was played for the audience followed by the Verve’s biggest hit, 1997’s Bittersweet Symphony which famously sampled the tune without proper copyright permission.

Oldham got a piece of the action due to his involvement with the Rolling Stones “songs that were created during that period of 1963 to 1971.”

Ashcroft got a mere $1,000 for the lyrics and a co-credit. “It must have devastated him,” said Oldham. “They f–king raped him. And then Keith put more salt in the wound by going, ‘Serves you right for playing with the big boys.’

Oldham has also written three books about the Rolling Stones between 1998 and 2011, and has a new book, Stoned3, coming out.

He was only 18 and 19, respectively when he was a publicist for Bob Dylan and The Beatles, before he hooked up with The Rolling Stones knowing nothing about producing or recording.

“If you leave school at 16, 30 is the new 16,” he told the CMW chat. “I mean one of the most oppressive forces there is, is this education for no actual reason. It’s a joke. Education is the new mafia man. There’s nothing wrong with doing what we did, which was dive into the swimming pool whether there’s water there or not.”
  • Written by Jane Stevenson for Canadian Online Explorer (Caneo.ca) Music
  • The article incorrectly states the band "sampled the tune without proper copyright permission." For more details on the controversy, read this recently-updated post.