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POP EYE

April 11, 1993|STEVE HOCHMAN

NO HELP: Remember when Michael Jackson vetoed the Beastie Boys' use of a Beatles song a few years ago--apparently thinking the group's rowdy rap image was wrong for the Fab Four legacy?

Apparently he's done it again, attempting to stop a proposed benefit album featuring various rappers doing Beatles tunes. But the people behind the project insist that they're going ahead with the project even though they say Jackson, who owns most of the songs in the Beatles catalogue, has tried to quash it.

"We are going forward with it 100%," says Jay Bildstein, a New York investment banker who is behind the album with entertainment attorney Eric J. Kloper. "We have documentation from ATV (the Jackson-owned publishing company which holds the rights to the Beatles songs) authorizing us."

Lee Phillips, an attorney who represents both Jackson and ATV, says that Kloper and Bildstein can go ahead and record the album, but that they will not be able to legally release anything without ATV's granting an official license. "We have to see what they're going to do (with the songs)," he says.

Bildstein says that a legal move "to protect our rights" will be initiated soon, and that there are plans to record one of the songs in two weeks.

But he would not name the artist who will be performing the number, and the actual performers involved remain up in the air. Bildstein and Kloper have sent out press releases naming Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Naughty By Nature, Digital Underground and Run-DMC as artists associated with the project, but representatives for all the artists say they are not involved.

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