Friday, October 17, 2008
I don't know if anyone picked up on this item that can be found deep in the first Beatles White Album Special Issue of Mojo (Sept. 2008), but there is an intriging question in the "Ask Fred" section towards the back. Billy White was an aspiring drummer in the early 1970s when he signed up for lessons with an "English Jazzer" named Bill Marx at a shop atop a train station in Sidney, Australia.
Bill Marx grew up in South Africa with his good friend Manfred Sepse Lubowitz (later known as Manfred Mann) and even had pictures to prove that he knew the future "British" pop star. Marx also had a picture of himself with Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan.
Marx had two framed silver singles in his studio that were perplexing to his drum student. One was "The Fool On The Hill," and included the statement "Lyrics by Bill Marx," and the other was "Let It Be," which said, "Music by Bill Marx." Billy White explained, "He told me that he had sold all rights to both songs, obtaining £2,000 for Fool and £1,000 for Let It Be." (Click picture for larger version)
There was not a lick of proof provided, but Mojo's Fred appears to be looking into it. I seem to remember Paul mentioning the name Bill in an early run through of "Let It Be" during the "Get Back" sessions, but that was most likely directed at Billy Preston. I also clearly remember a "Mr. Marx" (actually Marks) being mentioned as the agent who could provide a "Temporary Secretary." Paul said that "Mr. Marks" referred to Alfred Marks of the Marks Employment Bureau, but denied their request to use the song in their advertising.