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US music biz veteran Mary Cleary passes

The booker, tour manager and travel agent, who brought her "generosity and hospitality" to clients including Prince, Iggy Pop and the Kinks, has died aged 68

By Jon Chapple on 25 Aug 2017

Mary Cleary

image © Mary Cleary

Mary Cleary, whose four decades in the US live music industry included spells with International Famous Agency, Thames Talent, Bill Graham’s FM Productions and travel agencies Trinifold Travel and Four Seasons travel, has died aged 68.

Cleary’s first music job was in 1968, when she joined the original Electric Factory venue in Philadelphia. She then moved on to the Millard Agency in New York, where she spent three years before relocating to San Francisco to work for legendary promoter Bill Graham at his tour support company, FM Productions.

Post-FM, Cleary (pictured) returned to New York to take up a post at International Famous Agency (IFA), later serving as a booking agent at Thames Talent then a tour manager at Mark Kreiner’s MK Productions.

In 1980, she became a tour travel agent, working first for Trinifold Travel in New York then Four Seasons Travel in St Petersburg, Florida. She also operated her own travel agency, R&R Tours.

She retired from the music industry in 1998, when she went to work for the St Petersburg education authority.

Bands and artists Cleary worked with in those 30 years include the Beach Boys, the Kinks, Prince, Iggy Pop, Santana, Chic, Deep Purple, a Flock of Seagulls and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

“She went beyond the limits of business relationships to form lifelong friendships with so many”

“During her years in the music business, Mary was a source of generosity and hospitality to countless friends and acquaintances – always ready to lend a helping hand, prepare a home-cooked meal or do laundry for those far from home,” reads a statement from family.

“She went beyond the limits of business relationships to form lifelong friendships with so many.

“This did not change when Mary relocated to Florida, where she will be remembered as a passionate volunteer at any and all school, club and recreational activities that involved her children and grandchildren.”

A memorial service will be held on 28 October at Pasadena Community Church in St Petersburg. Cleary’s ashes will be scattered in Treasure Island, Florida; Gosport, Indiana; Doylestown, Pennsylvania; New York City; and the English and Scottish countryside, two countries for which she had “a special affinity”.

Cleary, born Mary Frances Roach in Bloomington, Indiana, on 11 November 1948 passed away on 1 August. She is survived by her husband, John Cleary, son Brendyn and daughter Margaret.


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