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Duffy, hailed as "one of the great tour managers of all time," has worked with the likes of Gorillaz, Lily Allen, Radiohead, Madness and U2
By IQ on 24 May 2021
Tributes are pouring in for former Blur and Duran Duran manager Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter, who died in a car crash on Friday (21 May) in the UK.
Their deaths were confirmed on Saturday (22 May) by Duran Duran’s former publicist Gerard Franklin, who told Devon Live: “Craig was without question one of the best tour managers in the music business.
“He was a gentleman, caring and considerate and the ultimate professional. He was great fun to be around with on tour a real joy. He was incredibly helpful to all the crew and people working on his tours and was liked by everyone. He was a music fan first and a tour manager second.”
Franklin continued: “He lived for his music and football being a Chelsea supporter. He was a giant of the music industry. It’s rare to find such characters who are genuine and Craig was the real deal, a real gem.”
The father of two, who was undergoing treatment for throat cancer, worked on numerous tours since the early 1990s for the likes of Blur, Duran Duran, Gorillaz, Fugees, Franz Ferdinand, Lily Allen, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madness and U2.
Duran Duran bassist John Taylor paid tribute to Duffy on the band’s official website: “It is with great sadness we learnt today of the tragic passing of Craig Duffy: friend, music man and one of the great tour managers of all time.
“Craig Duffy: friend, music man and one of the great tour managers of all time”
“Craig and I spent many touring hours trawling used vinyl bins around the world. There was no better record shopping associate than Craig, and if you know me, you’ll know there is no better testament to a friendship than that.”
He added: “I will really miss you, you fucker. I hope for your sake they play The Clash in heaven.”
The band’s keyboardist Nick Rhodes said: “We are all heartbroken to hear the shocking news that Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter have died in a car accident.
“Craig was a larger than life character and a joy to be around. He once won the accolade of tour manager of the year at an industry event, so for us he was always ‘Craig Duffy, tour manager of the year’.
“Despite our jest, Craig lived up to his title, he was kind, calm and knew how to steer the ship. We spent a longtime together on tour and we will forever treasure those memories, he remained a punk rocker at heart with a massive sense of humour, he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Blur’s Dave Rowntree wrote: “Have spent the day trying to come to terms with the fact that my friend Craig is no longer with us. My heart goes out to his family.”
“A huge chunk of history has disappeared with his passing”
Right Said Fred tweeted: “Extremely shocked and saddened to hear that Craig Duffy and his partner Sue died in a car crash yesterday.
“Craig was our tour manager in the 90s, we rarely agreed on anything but we had stayed in touch and remained friends. He was a good guy and an excellent TM. Rest in peace.”
The Damned took to Facebook to share a tribute. “I first met Craig around 1976 when he was just a kid working for John Curd,” they wrote. “He was and remained enthused with music, always had a smile and an anecdote to share.
“Over the years he became a very deserved top of the league tour manager who, on and off, we worked with as indeed he seemed to have worked with so many artists from all genres of music in a long and successful career. A huge chunk of history has disappeared with his passing and he will be missed by many.”
They added: “My deepest sympathies go out to his family at this most tragic time.”
The Pogues wrote on social media: “RIP Craig Duffy. We tried to get you for so many reunion tours, you were always, always busy! Condolences everybody. Love, The Pogues.”
British singer-songwriter Nadine Shah tweeted: “Sending condolences to all the friends and loved ones of Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter. He was a lovely man and tm extraordinaire.”
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