Imagine - NZ tycoon's Lennon deal

By Jane Phare

Yoko Ono and John Lennon. Photo / AP
Yoko Ono and John Lennon. Photo / AP

Sir Douglas Myers has secured the rights to John Lennon's music and some early Beatles records.

The ailing former beer baron owns Downtown Music, a New York recording studio and music publishing company. This year it secured the US administration rights to all of Lennon's music after he left The Beatles, and to Yoko Ono's song catalogue.

As well, it has the rights to two 1962 Beatles singles, featuring four songs, including Please Please Me and Love Me Do.

Most of the Beatles back-catalogue was bought by US pop superstar Michael Jackson.

But after Lennon was shot dead in New York in 1980, his widow Yoko Ono kept control of his solo recordings - including such anthems as Instant Karma, Give Peace a Chance and Imagine.

Now the wealthy expat New Zealander's company has bought them.

He invested in the downtown New York studio when his son Campbell became interested in music but Sir Douglas has since taken a controlling interest in the company and expanded it to include the publishing company.

The 75-year-old is having chemotherapy for terminal cancer, but that hasn't undermined his zest for life and music.

And now, in an exclusive interview with the Herald on Sunday, Myers reveals his company has done a deal with Yoko Ono for all her late husband's music subsequent to the break-up of the Beatles.

"We're quite small but we have three young guys and they're very good," he says. "We're looking at expanding that."

- Herald on Sunday

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