Beatles win historic ban on bootleg CD

IT WAS the "crummiest" recording ever to be associated with The Beatles. It brought the reclusive George Harrison into a courtroom in high dudgeon. And it resulted yesterday in a landmark victory for musicians.

The former Beatles have won their High Court case to stop a CD produced from a 36- year-old tape of the band being released.

The judge paid particular tribute to George Harrison who had told the court that the recording was the "crummiest" ever made in the group's name and then went on to reminisce about the earliest days of the world's most famous group.

Harrison's evidence in the case transcended the legal battle and will be a delight for Beatles historians. The 54-year-old, making a rare appearance and donning reading spectacles to pore over documents, was also unusually forthcoming about the group's early days, describing the seedy, drunken scenes in the Hamburg club where they were then performing, and even digressing to talk about his teenage days with John Lennon.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Neuberger gave a short ruling after a settlement of the four-day hearing. Lingasong Music Ltd, which had claimed it had the rights to exploit the tape because John Lennon gave his permission in 1962 at the Star Club in Hamburg, agreed to abide by an injunction stopping the sales and to hand over the original tape.

The judge said he accepted all the arguments put forward for the members of the Beatles "with particular reference to the evidence of George Harrison".

The group, then at the beginning of their fame, having signed with EMI Records, and enjoying their first hit, "Love Me Do", were fulfilling an old contract to perform at the notorious club. They shared the bill that night in December with King Size Taylor and the Dominoes, whose leader, Edward Taylor, used his own reel-to-reel machine to record the bands on stage.

"One drunken person recording another bunch of drunks does not constitute business deals," Harrison told the judge. He added: "The only person who allegedly heard anything about it is the one person who is dead, who can't ... say it's a load of rubbish."

The judge ordered that all copies of the recording be delivered up to the Beatles' solicitors and that the group should be paid their legal costs and damages to be assessed at an inquiry.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Website Editor

£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

Primary Teachers needed for supply in Ipswich

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: We are looking to rec...

Primary Supply teaching jobs in Stowmarket

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

Year 1 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments