Bands have a history of getting themselves into trouble. Whether it’s trashing a hotel, driving a car into a pool, rockstars have racked up considerable debts. Debts band managers must pay time and again. For every problem in rock and roll there is a (managerial) solution. This week’s topic, what (tired/ haggard) band managers do for their bands.
Peter Grant- Bosses the Mob
As if he wasn’t a legend enough, Peter Grant managed to fend off not just mobs of fans, but the actual mob itself. Back when he promoted The Yardbirds, Grant had been known to book them in Mafia run clubs. However, the Goodfellas almost made The Yardbirds swim with the fishes. The band was late to a gig, which didn’t sit well amongst the club owners. The mafioso’s then boarded the bus, guns drawn, telling the group that their time was up. Peter Grant got up and acted as a human shield to the band. Telling them to get off the bus, and somehow after that the show went off without a hitch.
Doc McGhee- Bullet Train Ride on The Wild Side
During a bullet train ride to a show in Tokyo, Japan, Motley Crue’s manager, Doc McGhee took a ride on the wild side. Nikki Sixx was clearly intoxicated when threw donuts at Mick Mars who was also drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels. Mick retaliated by throwing the bottle. The bottle instead hit a passenger in the back of the head. All McGhee could do was watch. Upon arriving at their destination, Japanese police officers awaited them. Mcghee explained who he was in relation to the band, but the police weren’t having it. Mick, Nikki, and Doc were grabbed, zip-tied and arrested on the spot. Their promoter Mr. Udo managed to get them released and resume the tour. That story was just a taste of the horrors McGhee had to endure during his tenure with the Crue.
Kit Lambert and The Native Tribe
Kit Lambert is most notable for his success as the first manager for The Who. He managed them in their early days, encouraging Pete Townshend to continue to be the bands songwriter. Prior to that, he was an adventurer. Yeah, like Indiana Jones but without the cool historical know-how. His adventuring days were brief, ending when he decided to chart the Iriri River in Brazil. The expedition was cancelled after his friend was killed by a native tribe. After that trip went awry, he settled for a quiet life as a band manager instead.
That concludes Part 1, if there are any other managers I didn’t include, let me know below. They will be a part of Part 2.