MUSIC MAJORS Promotions & Events

Bringing those behind the scenes to the front of stage

Promoters of UK talking tours relating to recording artists, recorded music, radio and events.

MICHAEL JACKSON

Hear some of the stories and learn a little more about the man and his recording career from some key figures working behind the scenes.

They could be:  Bernard Doherty then of Rogers & Cowan and Jonathan Morrish of CBS Records who managed his press and media in the UK or Larry Stessel who was Director of Marketing at Epic Records LA - instrumental in the sleeve design of his albums.  Michael nearly had Larry fired for airbrushing out facial hair on an album sleeve mock up and it took an appeasing call from Walter Yetnikoff, then President of CBS Worldwide to get Larry his job back.  And Dan Beck - Head of Promotions responsible for radio and TV on many of Michael's releases at Epic in NY.  A possible speaker could be Barry Clayman - responsible for all of Michael's tours in the UK although there would be so many questions for Barry he might need a show of his own!

BBC RADIO 1 -1970's & 80's

BBC Radio 1 throughout the 1970's and 1980's broke records.  The playlist was the most important tool a record company or artist had to get into the charts.  Every Tuesday once that weeks' charts had been released, the producers at the BBC and at Top of The Pops set their meetings to discuss who would be on Playlists at either Radio 1 or 2 and record company promotion men's jobs could be lost depending on the results.   Vast amounts of money were involved on these decisions and a potential career could be destroyed in minutes.

Meet Johnnie Beerling - then Controller of Radio 1.  A post still today of immense power.  And meet Gary Davies - one of the Radio 1 daytime DJ's together with one of the producers of the daytime shows.  They can tell the stories behind many of the ploys used to try to bring an act to their attention as well as the ups and downs of being a part of an industry that made history.

MADONNA

There's not a lot unsaid about such a world renowned artist but many don't know the very beginnings of her recording career - how she was signed to Sire Records, the development of her career in the UK and Europe and of her relationship with the press.

Bring to the stage Seymour Stein and Mike Rosenblatt of Sire Records together with the UK MD of WEA Records Rob Dickens and the person in charge of her press in the UK - Moira Bellas.

HARVEY GOLDSMITH

Who wouldn't want to hear Harvey talk about his career at the top of his game as a promoter of some of the world's most famous artists as well as being a founding and key member of The Princes Trust.

Renowned throughout the touring and record industry for his abrupt manner, bad language and no nonsense approach to staging a concert - time has mellowed him and if there is enough interest - we might get him out on the road to entertain us with his stories.  Ask him questions and learn from his vast experience.  Joining Harvey could be Andy Zweck - Production Manager for Harvey Goldsmith Entertainments.

WHAM

There are few people who haven't heard of George Michael but how many know of how he met Andrew Ridgeley and the story of their rise to fame.

Possible speakers may be the CBS Records Club Promotion team of Steve Ripley and Loraine Trent who helped by George and Andrew did the huge promotional single mailouts to UK clubs and DJ's from their small office - instrumental in kick starting their career and Simon Napier Bell and Jazz Summers,  their managers.  

PAUL YOUNG

Enjoy listening to the story of Paul Young's career from his early days in Streetband and the surprise huge hit with "Toast" to the fun he had on tour with The Q Tips till he signed to CBS Records as a solo artist becoming one of the key chart successes of the 1980's.  

The speakers could be Mick Cater, Paul's present manager and long time friend;  his previous manager Ged Doherty who went on to become CEO of Sony Music and Sharon Wheeler - his CBS Press Officer or Pino Palladino - the legendary bass player once in Paul's backing band The Royal Family whose sound was key on many of Paul's hit singles.

STIFF RECORDS

Founded by Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera, Stiff Records was a legendary punk record label. Signings were Nick Lowe, The Damned, Lene Lovich, Elvis Costello and Ian Dury.

Robbo, as Dave Robinson is fondly known by many is a natural raconteur.  His ability to tell a story and knowledge of the industry is joyful and always entertaining.  Surprise guests would participate in the Stiff Records show....

THE MANAGERS

It's unikely that people wake up one day and say "I think I'll become a manager of a band/singer/songwriter".  Most successful managers have fallen into their jobs by being in the right place at the right time finding or being found by someone whose talent they believe in.  They lose their own lives and their life becomes so entwined with their artist often to then be discarded once success has been established.  Hear their stories - always interesting.

Possible speakers could be Tom Watkins who managed Pet Shop Boys and Bros;  Nigel Martin-Smith original manager of Take That and Tony Smith, manager of Genesis.

THE A&R TALENT FINDERS

These are the people who found the talent, signed it and often found or helped choose the songs to be recorded.  Simon Fuller started in A&R at Chrysalis Records and Simon Cowell was once an A&R man for Michael Levy at Magnet Records.  As well as having an instinct and experience to see potential, career development and a close relationship with their artist is an essential to the job.  Many of the acts they signed in the 1970's and 1980's are still working and successful today.

They could be:  Muff Winwood, the legendary A&R man of CBS Records;  Chris Briggs another legend A&R man from Phonogram and Caroline Elleray, Head of A&R at Universal Music Pubishing - responsible for signing Coldplay & Keane.  They can tell their fascinating stories on artists that became household names and discuss the role of A&R in today's music industry.

ABBA

Bringing to the stage the Promotion staff of CBS Records' Judd Lander; Louis Rogers and Bob Hermon to relate the entertaining stories about the stunts they pulled and the marketing extravaganzas employed to get attention for the band following their Eurovision success.  They'll discuss the behind the scenes events that went with their TV appearances and getting their records play listed at radio.

This could be enhanced with the occasional appearance of then MD of CBS Records, Paul Russell who met with the band many times and oversaw all the creative decisions to do with their recording career.

GENESIS

Bringing Armando Gallo, Genesis' own official biographer and photographer;  Mike Watts, 1970's Charisma Marketing Director together with then A&R man Mike Allen to talk about the early albums.

Possibility of special appearance of Tony Smith or Gail Roberts - Genesis Management at one or two of the shows.