Showing posts with label Irving Azoff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Irving Azoff. Show all posts

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks Manager Howard Kaufman has passed away

Irving Azoff
Azoff Issues Statement Regarding Kaufman's Passing

Irving Azoff has released a short but moving statement about the passing of his former partner, Howard Kaufman. 

Howard was a giant among men. He never sought the spotlight, but was the best in the business.
We worked together for more than 45 years. He was a great influence on me and taught me a lot.
Despite his major health issues, he always wanted to work till the end and I’m glad he got his wish.
It’s a tragic loss for our industry. He will be missed by me as well as scores of others he touched.

Pollstar confirmed Thursday that Kaufman had passed away. No further details were available at press time. 

Kaufman was one of the most powerful managers in the industry despite keeping a low profile. At the time of his death his company, H.K. Management, shepherded acts like Stevie Nicks, Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Lenny Kravitz, Chicago, and Def Leppard, along with co-managing Fleetwood Mac.

Kaufman and Irving Azoff ran Front Line Management from 1974 to the early '80s until Azoff was named prexy of MCA Records. The two merged their companies in 2005 and resurrected the moniker.

Kaufman became a special adviser to Azoff when Ticketmaster bought the company in 2008 and Azoff was named CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment. He is also credited, during his days at IFA, with encouraging Fred Bohlander and Dan Weiner to step out on their own and form Monterey Peninsula Artists.


Howard Kaufman
by Bob Lefsetz
Subscribe to his email newsletter - great insight on the music industry

He famously told a household name band he'd make them more money in two years than they had in the previous twenty.

And then he did.

Most people don't know who he was. Because unlike those that followed him into the business, Howard was not about fame, he was about protecting the interests of his artists, and money.

And everybody cares about the money. Knock around this business long enough and you'll hear the famous cliche... "It's not about the money, it's about the money."

And Howard started off as an accountant. He worked with James William Guercio. And then he went on to partner with Irving Azoff and steer the careers of Jimmy Buffett and Stevie Nicks and Aerosmith and Def Leppard and... You want someone in your corner, and that was Howard. He could be funny and he could be stern, but one thing's for sure, you could not pull the wool over his eyes.

The first time I met him was on a plane down to Chula Vista, to see Jimmy Buffett, and he told me Fleetwood Mac was gonna reform and I asked him about new material and he told me he'd be happy if they never made another record. This was 2003, he already knew where the bucks were buried, on the road. You see old does not mean dumb, does not mean over the hill, oftentimes it means wisdom and foresight and Howard had it.

And now he's dead.

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Friday, January 04, 2013

Azoff, to continue to manage Fleetwood Mac after leaving Live Nation

When the news broke on New Years Eve that Irving Azoff had stepped down from his position at Live Nation as chairman and CEO of Front Line Entertainment, it came as a bit of a shock.  It wasn't initially clear at the time what the status of Fleetwood Mac or it's members was in terms of artist representation.  But according to RollingStone, Fleetwood Mac will still be managed by Mr. Azoff. 

"Azoff, 65, will continue to manage the Eagles, Aguilera, Fleetwood Mac, Van Halen and more of his biggest clients; he has a two-year non-compete agreement with Live Nation, the world's biggest concert promoter, but can work on projects involving recorded music, TV, movies and music and book publishing."

Mr. Azoff will continue to manage these artists under his Azoffmusic Management. Lindsey Buckingham signed with Irving just a couple of years ago - so it seems he's still connected with Irving.  Where Stevie stands, I'm not sure. Stevie's managed by Howard Kaufman and Sheryl Louis. Howard was a partner in Front Line Management with Irving at the time of the merger with Ticketmaster and with Front Line staying with Live Nation, It's not clear what her status is whether she's still with Howard and Front Line under Live Nation, or if Howard left with Irving and therefore took Stevie and whomever else he managed with him. When Irving left, leaving behind Front Line he only retained a select number of artists he managed directly ie the Eagles (who he's managed since the 70's) and Christina Aguilera.  Presumably Lindsey falls under Azoffmusic Management. This is also where I'm assuming Fleetwood Mac falls.  It's entirely possible that Stevie as a solo artist could be in that mix as well - or it's possible that for her solo work she's still with Howard under Front Line which is still with Live Nation.  Confusing!

The Back Story
This is how I understand it... Irving Azoff and Howard Kaufman were partners in Front Line Management from '74 to '83 when Irving decided to leave Front Line to become president of MCA Records in 1983.  Irving continued managing artists like the Eagles under Azoffmusic Management.  Mr Kaufman then created a talent management company, HK Management, who at the time managed Stevie Nicks.  In 2005 Irving and Howard formed a partnership and merged their two companies to reform Front Line, the management company. Now Stevie is with Front Line guided by Howard and Sheryl Louis. Front Line as a management company then began acquiring other smaller management companies and artists bring them under the Front Line umbrella becoming a rather large management company with a stable of managers who managed well over 200 artists, some of the biggest in the industry. Irving then took Front Line and merged it with Ticketmaster in 2008 and became the head of Ticketmaster Entertainment. Front Line became a subsidiary of Ticketmaster. After that merger, he then merged Ticketmaster with Live Nation in 2010 becoming Chairman of Live Nation in 2011.  Again, Front Line was a subsidiary. With the artist and ticketing and with Live Nation and all the venues they own the world over, from a business point of view, it just made sense to have everything in house. But according to what Mr. Azoff is saying in these departure interviews, with Ticketmaster and Live Nation being public companies, you are restricted in what you can do and he felt smothered.... So he felt it was time to move on.

But it's good to hear Fleetwood Mac will still be well looked after.

Check out billboard Biz and these two articles in The Hollywood Reporter here and here plus the latest in Rolling Stone "Irving Azoff's Live Nation Exit Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
Powerful manager was frustrated in efforts to reform concert business"

I find this stuff kinda fascinating, but oh so confusing!