Neil Aspinall, before his death in 2008, ran Apple Corps Ltd and, as such, managed all Beatle related matters. Though it would appear he did this under an assumed title. A look at the board of directors for Apple will reveal that the company secretary is listed as 'Standby Films Ltd'. Standby Films was a company run by Neil Aspinall - though its only known output was a film about Jimi Hendrix entitled 'Band of Gypsies'.
Now, I am no expert on corporations, or finance for that matter, but other than as a straight tax dodge I can see little reason why this may have been the case. Perhaps someone can suggest a reason?
One implication, however, is that this allows for funds for unofficially endorsed Beatle projects to be released. It has long been suggested on the PID forums that Neil Aspinall was behind the Iamaphoney project and a little exploration shows that this maybe the case.
The document above is from the official accounts for Standby Films for 2007 and shows considerable sums - around £200,000 - being paid to an unknown creditor for the years 2006 and 2007. So, the obvious question is who received this money?
According to the Bill Harry website in 1994 Apple paid Standby £408,000, from which Neil paid himself a salary of £62,000. As a tax dodge maybe Aspinall would have his Apple fees paid directly to Standby, however, this does leave the tantalising prospect that some of this money could be funding for the Iamaphoney project?
Standby Films was begun in 1970 which, and I am sure this is not coincidental, was the same time that Aspinall began work on a project entitled 'The Long and Winding Road'. According to Wikipedia; "Long-time friend and Apple Corps manager Neil Aspinall had compiled footage from various sources around the world of concert, interview and television appearances. From this archival footage, Aspinall assembled a 90 minute feature film which was tentatively titled The Long and Winding Road and was completed in 1971". This project would eventually be revisited and would see the light of day as Anthology.
Given that, at this time, Standby Films exists and that we know that Aspinall is archiving Beatles footage it is quite possible that this archive was then bequeathed to Iamaphoney for the purposes of launching his project.
So, can we link the output - such as it was - to Apple? Well a quick Whois check on the Standby Films website shows that the contact email traces back to Aspinall and Apple. It looks like an Apple fronted organisation.
Not conclusive I accept, however, someone is still going to the trouble of maintaining the web address for Standby Films even though the site is dormant. To add further intrigue to the melting pot a quick look at the LinkedIn page for Billy Martin; www.linkedin.com/in/iamaphoney/ reveals a spell of employment, in London, as a Director and Researcher at Stand Up Films.
UPDATE: May 3, 2013 I contacted Billy Martin on LinkedIn and asked if Stand Up films was connected to Standby Films and the intriguing answer I received was this.
To add even more intrigue to this tantalising reply, Billy Martin has now changed the name of his 'previous employer' to Bystand films!
A quick google search for Stand Up Films produces nothing, and quite possibly the entire profile is phoney. The LinkedIn profile does also seem to connect to both Martin Heurlin and Martin Lind who have long been connected to Iamaphoney, so, this would seem to strengthen that connection, but, the question remains who is ultimately funding this project and for what purpose? The Stand Up Films connection seems yet another link in the chain back to Apple and, at least originally, Aspinall.
Martin Heurlin's LinkedIn profile lists some curiously blanked out, viral, projects.
I have no idea what 'Organise Paul's Secret' is, however, I would guess that the two blanked out viral projects are The Winged Beatle and The Right Album!
UPDATE: June 4, 2013: Martin Heurlin's wikipedia entry has been edited within the last week and it also now lists the mysterious XXXXX projects.
Since Aspinall's death in 2008 it would appear that the project has passed over to Paul McCartney himself.
The above image is a composite of a couple of screen grabs from the Whois register for CosmanIAvision.com (Not the capitalisation of the CIA letters) which is where the Iamaphoney project is currently hosted.
You will note that the website title is listed as 'HOME - Paul McCartney', though clicking on this link will take you to the Iamaphoney website, its use is certainly intriguing! A similar check for Iamaphoney.com shows the same address, 1541 Ocean Avenue, which is in Santa Monica, and, is also a postal address for Ringo Starr.
The Cosmania name itself comes from a mysterious reference on McCartney's album 'Memory Almost Full' album where McCartney seems to refer to himself as 'the king of cosmania' which, in turn, Iamaphoney claimed was an anagram of 'son of the magickian'.
Is McCartney now funding Iamaphoney? I cannot be certain, however, that none of Iamaphoney's YouTube material has been hit with a copyright infringement by Apple seems a little too good to be true and, that the purported reason for the delay in his RevelAtion film seems to be because of a 'cease and desist' order from EMI rather than Apple is also strange.
McCartney's MPL Communications Ltd setup is a hugely complicated beast and funds could be coming from anywhere, though MPL Pictures looks a good bet as a possible funding source.
As you can see from the above diagram MPL is a multi-armed monster, one that needs far more research.
I have speculated in the past that PID is a marketing ploy and this theory has been derided in certain quarters; this is fair enough. I still maintain that this is ultimately a guerilla marketing campaign, however, I will concede that there may well be a lot more to it than mere marketing.
The Beatles don't need much help shifting stock but Iamaphoney as some bizarre McCartney side project is possible. As ever, I don't propose any of this as gospel, it may be miles off the mark, but, I put it out there to prompt discussion and debate and, hopefully, it might bring us nearer to solving the riddle.
Indeed, if someone from the Iamaphoney camp would like to contact me and give me the full facts I would be happy to rectify any assumptions or mistakes I may have made.
For more like this please read my books 'The Sgt. Pepper Code' and 'The Beatles Book of Revalations'.