It’s been more than three years since the passing of Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs, but, as Gordon Masson learns, the 50th edition was very much in his image
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CAA's Mike Greek reflects on spending half of his life as an agent, and the dramatic evolution of his role, writes Rhian Jones
By Rhian Jones on 30 Oct 2017
The professional career of CAA agent Mike Greek started where many a music industry story begins: in the pub.
Or, more specifically, a number of pubs in Aberdeen. During a two-week placement at DF Concerts (named Dance Factory at the time) working for Stuart Clumpas, Greek was challenged with locating the support act for a Martin Stephenson and the Daintees show who had gone missing on his quest for Dutch courage. “The show was at the Aberdeen Music Hall, and about 30 minutes after doors, we couldn’t find the support artist,” Greek remembers. “I was tasked with going around the pubs of Aberdeen looking for him, and, luckily for me, he was in one of the locals near the venue. It was so ridiculous, it was brilliant.”
That led to a summer stint with MCP Promotions, led by Tim Parsons and Stuart Galbraith, and involved working in the office and helping out on outdoor shows.
“When working at Milton Keynes Bowl on a Bon Jovi concert, everyone else was staying in a Travelodge, but to keep costs down I had to sleep on the portakabin floor with the Liverpool scaffolders”
“When working at Milton Keynes Bowl on a Bon Jovi concert, everyone else was staying in a Travelodge, but to keep costs down I had to sleep on the portakabin floor with the Liverpool scaffolders. It was certainly a baptism of fire and I learnt that my strengths were not on the technical side of things. I gained some valuable insight into what it takes to put an outdoor concert together and loved how everything came together in the end.”
Greek has come a long way since those days of portakabin accommodation. After a chance encounter with Ian Flooks led him to join Wasted Talent at the same time as Emma Banks in 1990, he was involved in building the agency that became Helter Skelter into one of the biggest independent agencies in the world.
Since 2006, Greek has had phenomenal success as co-head of CAA’s London office, alongside Banks, representing an eclectic array of artists including Franz Ferdinand, Paloma Faith, Sam Smith, Thirty Seconds to Mars, the Black Keys, the Script, Olly Murs, 5 Seconds of Summer, Jamie Cullum, MGMT, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Tears for Fears and Band of Horses, to name a few. This year, Greek celebrates his 50th birthday after dedicating more than half of his life to music.
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