Richard Ashcroft's manager reveals how he won back rights to 'Bitter Sweet Symphony'

Virgin Radio

26 Jun 2019, 12:54

One of The Verve's managers has revealed how Richard Ashcroft managed to win back the rights to 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' from The Rolling Stones.

John Kennedy, who was hired by The Verve frontman last year explained how they approached Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to regain the publishing rights to the classic anthem.

"Songwriters often talk about their songs as if they are their children and to have one of your children taken away from you has been brutal for Richard," Kennedy said. "He has endured it, not always patiently or in silence, but it has been terrible for him."

Famously, neither The Verve or Ashcroft ever made a penny out of the publishing for Bitter Sweet Symphony, because the albums had already been made before their label approached The Stones Business Manager/Lawyer Alan Klein to clear the string sample which was lifted from a cover of , by The Rolling Stones.

Kennedy also revealed in the interview that Richard Ashcroft has only ever received $1000 in publishing money from 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' which was part of the settlement deal, estimates state that the song's total publishing revenue over the years is at almost $5 million.

At the beginning of 2019, Kennedy approached Allen Klein's son Jody about the rights to the song. He suggested he spoke to The Rolling Stones manager Joyce Smyth who then agreed to speak to Jagger and Richards.

In April, Smyth called John Kennedy to say that both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had agreed to return the rights and their share of the royalties to Richard Ashcroft, and have their names struck from the song's writing credits.


The Rolling Stones give Richard Ashcroft full Bitter Sweet Symphony royalties

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