Home Celebrity How Jerry Seinfeld’s Ex Girlfriend Owns Six Beatles Songs

If this were a Seinfeld episode it would be called “How the Ex Girlfriend Came to Own Six Beatles Songs.” Yes, it seems that through a quirk of history, timing and legal maneuvering six very early Beatles hits are not part of the much vaunted Lennon-McCartney catalog at Sony/ATV Music Publishing. And now they belong, at least for now, to Josh Gruss, husband of ex-Jerry Seinfeld girlfriend Shoshanna Lonstein. Strange, but true.

The songs are “I Saw Her Standing There,” “I Feel Fine,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “She Loves You,” “From Me to You,” “Misery,” and “There’s a Place.” The songs were never part of the regular catalog because they were from the Beatles’ early and brief stay on VeeJay Records circa 1962. Last year, surprisingly, the owner of the song sold them for an unknown amount to tiny, new music publisher Round Hill Music.

This is where Shoshanna comes in: her husband, Josh, owns Round Hill. He partnered up with a financier called Adage. For some reason, the songs were not offered to Sony/ATV, or to Paul McCartney or Yoko Ono.

But the latter two may not mind so much. First of all, Round Hill only got the U.S. rights. And second, in 2018, as the songs turn 56, they will being reverting back to Lennon-McCartney under the Copyright Law of 1976. So Shoshanna is just babysitting them, via Round Hill, for the next five years.

What will happen in 2018? Paul McCartney will likely start taking back his rights to the songs he wrote with John Lennon. He has his own publishing company, MPL. Eventually he’ll get back everything Michael Jackson got when he bought the Beatles catalog in 1984. Jackson’s big Beatles part will be over by 2026. The loser could be Sony/ATV Music, unless they can strike a deal with McCartney to continue administering the songs and taking fees.

As for John Lennon: because he died during the term of copyright, his heirs have already been collecting a portion larger than McCartney. That’s thanks to the Songwriters Act of 1927. I’ve been told that the Lennon estate has already worked out a deal to stay with Sony/ATV even after 2018 kicks in. In that case, McCartney will be connected to the company anyway.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
8 replies to this post
  1. In addition to I Feel Fine (issued in late 1964 and therefore not a very early Beatles record), I Wanna Be Your Man and She Loves You were never issued by Vee-Jay (although She Loves You was issued by Swan). But to say that all of the songs mentioned were never part of the “regular catalog” (whatever that means) makes no sense. They were all issued by Parlophone, a subsidiary of EMI,in Great Britain upon their initial releases. In the US, it did, however, take until 1980 for “Misery” and “There’s A Place” to be issued by Capitol (on the LP entitled Rarities).

  2. Paul already owns four of the Beatles songs- “Love Me Do,” “Please Please Me,” “Ask me Why” and “P.S. I Love You.” Those were the A sides and B sides of the first two singles so they were not included in the later sale. I think he bought them awhile back. Also, when the songs were sold to Michael Jackson, the man who sold them took “Penny Lane” out and gave it to his daughter because that was her favorite song, so that is also not in the catalog.

  3. Not only does this article falsely list “I Feel Fine” as the seventh of six songs, but it also completely ignores that Josh Gruss’s partner in all this is the son of the man who turned The Beatles down at their Decca audition.

  4. Does this mean all the songs that McCartney has purchased over the years (show tunes, Buddy Holly’s catalog, etc.) revert back to their respective creators also?

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