A former bouncer and professional wrestler, as the manager of Led Zeppelin, Peter Grant was well known for getting stuck into problems in a rather direct fashion.
He was a figure infamous throughout the industry for challenging shady promoters and protecting the interests of his band no matter what, often needing to get himself and his charges out of tight spots and hairy situations when things turned sour.
His old school tactics partly inspired the character of Ian Faith, the manager in This Is Spinal Tap, but Grant probably wouldn’t be the first name that springs to mind to act as role model for an academic music management course.
The Bristol Institute of Modern Music beg to differ however, and have launched a new scholarship in honour of the legendary manager.
The college firmly believes that Grant’s dedication and nonsense approach sets the perfect example for future music managers, with The Peter Grant Memorial Scholarship set to provide £16,000 towards the college’s three-year BA(Hons) in Music Industry Management.
The course teaches undergraduates how to manage music acts, with modules on managing live events, working with musicians, promoting acts and how to handle difficult record companies.
“He was a great inspiration to many people in the business, not only on the management front, but in the way he looked after his artists in his own, infamous way! A charismatic personality coupled with great humour, means he is never far away. This is a long overdue accolade. Never forgotten!”
Grant died in 1995 at the age of 60. During his years with Led Zeppelin, he built up a fearsome reputation for supporting his acts through thick and thin, over going far beyond the limits of polite conversation to do so.
He secured the band what was at the time the biggest record deal ever signed for a group with Atlantic Records whilst also demanding 90 per cent of concert ticket receipts for Robert Plant and Co.
He was also a pivotal figure for The Yardbirds, who managed to actually make money from their tours for the first time when under his management.
Grant was famous for a number of incidents that have become the stuff of rock’n’roll myth and legend, including beating up gang-related promoters, smashing up the tape recorders of bootleggers and insisting that Led Zep never release a single or make publicity appearances.
As more and more modern artists take a hands-on, DIY approach to their own management, are the hard methods of Peter Grant a lesson that should be heeded?
Check out Play Guitar With… The Best Of Led Zeppelin Volume I and Volume II at musicroom.com.
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