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Legendary manager John Gaydon passes

Gaydon, who with his EG partner David Enthoven managed King Crimson, Roxy Music and "some of the coolest acts" of the ’70s, has died aged 74

By Jon Chapple on 17 May 2018

John Gaydon earlier this month

Gaydon pictured earlier this month

image © Sting

Veteran artist manager John Gaydon – the ‘G’ in EG Management and EG Records – has passed away aged 74.

Gaydon founded EG Management with longtime partner David Enthoven (the ‘E’) in early 1969 to steer the career of a fledgling King Crimson, before the release of their debut, In the Court of the Crimson King.

The pair later signed acts including Tyrannosaurus/T. Rex, Roxy Music and Emerson, Lake and Palmer (featuring King Crimson’s Greg Lake), all of whom went on to become some of the biggest names in ’70s music.

Gaydon left EG in 1971 to set up his own management company, initially looking after T. Rex’s Marc Bolan, before moving into film production as the decade wore on. Enthoven followed him out of EG in 1976.

Martin Hopewell, co-founder of Primary Talent and founder of ILMC, pays tribute: “For those of us who were around in the early ’70s, Johnny Gaydon was something of a legendary figure. When I arrived behind an agent’s desk as a wet-behind-the-ears ex-student, John and his partner in EG Management, David Enthoven, were very much the rock stars of the management world: young, smart, well-educated entrepreneurs who rode around town on motorbikes, smoked joints and generally seemed to be enjoying the rock and roll lifestyle while handling the careers of Roxy Music and some of the coolest acts around at the time.

“They were at the forefront of a new breed of artist’s representative at a point when the industry itself was changing, and set a new definition of what a manager could be.”

He continues: “I found out that they started in the business at the Noel Gay Organisation – a couple of years before I spent an abortive six months there – so I secretly added them to my list of role models, but never really got any closer than buying a bike with L plates and riding it not very well.

“John and David Enthoven were the rock stars of the management world: young, smart, well-educated entrepreneurs”

“I didn’t know Johnny as well as I would have liked, but I’m very sad that he’s gone. I don’t think that his like will be seen again in the business as it is now.

Solo Agency/Isle of Wight Festival founder John Giddings says Gaydon was one of the last remaining members of what he calls the “Willie Robertson gang” – which also included Giddings, Enthoven and the eponymous music insurance pioneer, who passed in 2015.

“We were all in the same gang together,” Giddings tells IQ. “We had some great times, and I’d be hard pushed to find someone who had a bad word to say about him.”

Recalling some of his first impressions of Gaydon and Enthoven, Giddings says “one of the things that impressed me most” was when he visited the managers during the festive period, and they had a Christmas tree that “instead of baubles, had joints on instead!”

“John was a very likeable, personable guy,” he concludes, “and the world is a darker place without him.”

Artist Sting similarly paid tribute on social media, saying he had lost a “great man and a great friend”.

Enthoven, who later achieved further success with Robbie Williams, died in August 2016.


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