Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Debt

There's this article in the Times today, on the front page of the online edition, about how Michael Jackson is putting together some huge financial deal to rescue him from bankruptcy. He's got to pay off $270,000,000 dollars in loans that the Bank of America just sold to some other company who "specializes in distressed debt."

This makes me feel better about still paying off Christmas presents in April.

Anyway, part of the whole arrangement involves the Gloved One selling off 25% of the Beatles catalog. He owns 50%. His portion is worth $500,000,000. The entire Beatles catalog is worth roughly $1,000,000,000.

A billion freaking dollars.

I'm not saying that the Beatles weren't visionary, and that they didn't change the face of music, and that they weren't a cultural zeitgeist yet unparalleled in talent or popularity. But a billion freaking dollars is a lot of money. I mean, a lot. I think there are countries whose gross national product is less than a billion dollars. Though I'd be hard pressed to put an actual dollar value on the entire Beatles catalog, I have decided I am qualified to put a price on the line "I am the egg man."

Ten dollars.

"I am the egg man" is stupid. Even if you love the Beatles, take those five words out of context and concede that that is a stupid sentence. Clause. Whatever. If that line was written by an up-and-comer right now, "I am the egg man" would earn maybe ten dollars in tips playing in a coffee shop, or maybe sell one self-recorded CD.

Ten bucks for "I am the egg man."

Now, ready for some fabulous math?

The Beatles catalog has been valued at $1,000,000,000. According to their discography on Wikipedia, they released twelve albums as The Beatles in the United Kingdom. (I'm going to use the UK discography instead of the one for the United States because the UK list included song titles.) Those twelve records had 181 songs on them.

181 songs. Now, let's assume that each of those songs has about 20 original lines in it (that's an average I came up with sort of out of my ass...but consider repeated lines, and short songs versus long songs, and I think it's a pretty solid number). Twenty lines in each of those 181 songs means that the Beatles wrote 3,620 lines of music.

Now, let's assume that the monetary value of each of those lines is equal. Yeah, maybe people in general will remember stuff like "She's got a ticket to rii-hiiiide" better than some boring line in the midle of "Act Naturally," but given the number of Absolute Beatles Fanatics in the world I think there's enough love for their entire catalog to say that every line is equally cherished by a whole lot of people. So. By some simple division, one can see that the financial value of one line in a Beatles song is:

$276, 243. And nine cents.

"I am the egg man" is worth roughly $276,243.09.

And MJ's worried about bankruptcy. All he's got to do to keep all the carnival ride operators at Neverland employed is sell the rights to a winner of a line like "I am the egg man." You wanna get a new monkey? Just sell "egg man." Ship the Elephant Man's bones to Bhutan or wherever it is you're skirting the law? Just sell "egg."

I, on the other hand, would have to sell "all of my actual eggs, by which I mean my ova," if I wanted rent an apartment overlooking Central Park.

I want a raise.


Anonymous brad said...

it's bahrain. god, sometimes you're SO stupid. you stupid bitch. bahrain, stupid. god, you're stupid.

2:01 PM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...


2:12 PM  
Anonymous anonymousmom said...

i am the egg man could have a deep hidden meaning. have you ever seen pink flamingos?

your math skills do impress, you are a girl after all.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous gabeatron said...

"act naturally" has got to be the worst recorded song by the beatles. literally the worst. i wouldn't pay a nickel for it.

12:41 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

It's a terrible song! And doesn't it just kill you that "Might win an Oscar, you can never tell..." is worth almost three hundred thousand dollars?

10:52 AM  
Blogger secretsekertary said...

this is the kind of entry that makes me love the common bonds of disinterest and ennui. oh.
xoxo ms. texas

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

I think that any deeper meaning to "I am the eggman" is really unlikely, given that it's followed by "goo goo ga joob." which, though it never bothered me until just this minute and probably won't again, is apparently worth more than my life up to this point. Thanks, Kathy. Now I'm pissed.

9:47 PM  

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