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The story of Stan Polley…


Lew Bundles

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Stan Polley (1922- 2009) is a retired American music entrepreneur who, for a time, managed the business ventures of several musicians. His clients were mostly American artists, including Al Kooper and Lou Christie, but Polley is mostly known for his alleged mismanagement of the British band Badfinger. Polley reportedly began his managerial career in New York's garment industry. He began artist management after he met Christie in the mid 1960s. Although Badfinger had a personal UK manager, they did not believe he was capable of properly conducting business in America. With Badfinger's success in 1970 with the single "Come And Get It," the group was pressured to seek professional business management. Polley represented many artists by 1970 and had experience in arranging large U.S. tours for clients. Polley set up a New York-based business on behalf of Badfinger called Badfinger Enterprises, Incorporated. The revenues from the band's recording and touring efforts were funneled into this business, presumably for reinvestment. The band members were paid a salary, rather than receiving immediate income from contract advances and tours. Beginning in 1971, and reported in the New York Times, a Senate Investigation Committee conducted hearings on an accusation that New York State Supreme Court Justice Mitchell D. Schweitzer had accepted a bribe in 1955. According to Judicial Court Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh's 1971 charges, convicted stock manipulator Michael Raymond (also suspected in at least five murders), paid Polley $25,000 to "exert improper influence on Justice Schweitzer." The charges did not say that the Justice ever received any of that money but that he conspired with Polley and Raymond to obtain a lenient sentence. In July 1971 Michael Raymond told a U.S. Senate subcommitee that Polley was "well connected with organized crime." Justice Schweitzer was charged with misconduct but retired before the investigation was completed. Polley was not charged with a crime. The incident had taken place 15 years earlier. (The state's statute of limitations put a 2 year limit on the prosecution of such offenses.) However, many of Polley's clients (excluding Badfinger) said they became aware of his background due to the publicity. In 1973, Polley negotiated a new record contract with Warner Brothers for Badfinger, which called for advances to be paid into an escrow account. Approximately $100,000 in publishing escrow funds from Warner's publishing division disappeared after Polley gained access to the account. Reportedly, after several months of unsuccessful attempts to contact Polley about the funds, Warner Brothers filed suit against Badfinger Enterprises for breach of contract. The legal morass crippled Badfinger financially. Band leader Pete Ham committed suicide in 1975, leaving behind a note that blamed Polley for his death. Two Badfinger songs, "Hey, Mr. Manager" and "Rock & Roll Contract," are reportedly about Polley. In the late 1980s, Polley pleaded no contest to charges of misappropriating funds and money laundering in Riverside County, California. Aeronautics engineer Peter Brock accused Polley of swindling him for more than US$200,000 after the two set up a corporation to manufacture airplane engines. Polley was ordered by the court to return all missing funds to Brock, although the complainant said the restitution never materialized.

https://www.answerbag.com/q_view/279592

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Polley

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1 hour ago, Lew Bundles said:

Stan Polley (1922- 2009) is a retired American music entrepreneur who, for a time, managed the business ventures of several musicians. His clients were mostly American artists, including Al Kooper and Lou Christie, but Polley is mostly known for his alleged mismanagement of the British band Badfinger. Polley reportedly began his managerial career in New York's garment industry. He began artist management after he met Christie in the mid 1960s. Although Badfinger had a personal UK manager, they did not believe he was capable of properly conducting business in America. With Badfinger's success in 1970 with the single "Come And Get It," the group was pressured to seek professional business management. Polley represented many artists by 1970 and had experience in arranging large U.S. tours for clients. Polley set up a New York-based business on behalf of Badfinger called Badfinger Enterprises, Incorporated. The revenues from the band's recording and touring efforts were funneled into this business, presumably for reinvestment. The band members were paid a salary, rather than receiving immediate income from contract advances and tours. Beginning in 1971, and reported in the New York Times, a Senate Investigation Committee conducted hearings on an accusation that New York State Supreme Court Justice Mitchell D. Schweitzer had accepted a bribe in 1955. According to Judicial Court Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh's 1971 charges, convicted stock manipulator Michael Raymond (also suspected in at least five murders), paid Polley $25,000 to "exert improper influence on Justice Schweitzer." The charges did not say that the Justice ever received any of that money but that he conspired with Polley and Raymond to obtain a lenient sentence. In July 1971 Michael Raymond told a U.S. Senate subcommitee that Polley was "well connected with organized crime." Justice Schweitzer was charged with misconduct but retired before the investigation was completed. Polley was not charged with a crime. The incident had taken place 15 years earlier. (The state's statute of limitations put a 2 year limit on the prosecution of such offenses.) However, many of Polley's clients (excluding Badfinger) said they became aware of his background due to the publicity. In 1973, Polley negotiated a new record contract with Warner Brothers for Badfinger, which called for advances to be paid into an escrow account. Approximately $100,000 in publishing escrow funds from Warner's publishing division disappeared after Polley gained access to the account. Reportedly, after several months of unsuccessful attempts to contact Polley about the funds, Warner Brothers filed suit against Badfinger Enterprises for breach of contract. The legal morass crippled Badfinger financially. Band leader Pete Ham committed suicide in 1975, leaving behind a note that blamed Polley for his death. Two Badfinger songs, "Hey, Mr. Manager" and "Rock & Roll Contract," are reportedly about Polley. In the late 1980s, Polley pleaded no contest to charges of misappropriating funds and money laundering in Riverside County, California. Aeronautics engineer Peter Brock accused Polley of swindling him for more than US$200,000 after the two set up a corporation to manufacture airplane engines. Polley was ordered by the court to return all missing funds to Brock, although the complainant said the restitution never materialized.

https://www.answerbag.com/q_view/279592

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Polley

Very sad - I'm sure this happened all too often to very talented artists.  

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