25 July 2007

Elegantly Dressed Wednesday

I like reading Obits online.
(They are biographies with all the rubbish edited OUT -
saves a lot of reading time.)
So there I was, assessing the just-deceased Nigel Dempster for
Elegantly Dressed Wednesday
(because he was always 'elegantly attired',
had Australian parents, and being born in 1941,
was middle-named after the infamous General Patton);

when I saw that
Ozzy has lost his father-in-law -

This is from The Independent's obit for DON ARDEN -

Intimidating rock impresario -
Harry Levy (Don Arden), manager, agent, music promoter and record company owner:
born Manchester 4 January 1926; married 1950 Hope Shaw (died 1999);
one son, one daughter [- The SHAZZ] ;
died Los Angeles 21 July 2007.

Rock and pop managers are supposed to look after their clients' best interests when negotiating with record labels, publishers, promoters and merchandising companies. The notorious agent, promoter and impresario Don Arden was not above using intimidation and litigation and sometimes going even further. Once described by the News Of The World as the Al Capone of pop, Arden became infamous in 1966 after dangling a rival manager, Robert Stigwood, from the fourth-floor balcony of his London office after Stigwood had apparently shown an interest in taking over the affairs of the Small Faces.
Arden was only 5ft 7ins but played up to his gangster image and wore broad-lapelled suits while he signed and promoted some of the biggest British acts of the Sixties and Seventies. The artists he managed included the Nashville Teens, the Small Faces, Amen Corner, the Move, ELO, Wizzard, Lynsey de Paul, Black Sabbath and their lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne as a soloist, and Air Supply. All found success but some complained of exploitative contracts, unpaid royalties and diminishing returns and had to resort to the courts to get their dues ... "

Follow the link above to read the rest, the punchline is
"and he sold the ELO catalogue for 40 million quid"
- in my opinion, the only time they were worth anything.

Rock on ...