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Former Smiths agent Mike Hinc dies aged 70

Former agent Mike Hinc, whose client roster included the likes of The Smiths, Morrissey, Primal Scream, The Birthday Party, and The Sisters of Mercy, has died at home in France. He was 70.

Fiercely proud of his father’s Polish ancestry, Hinc studied Sociology and English literature at Bedford College, University of London, before finding himself a job at the Roundhouse as head of security. He next moved to the Institute of Contemporary Arts, where he launched the legendary ICA Rock Week programme.

In 1981, he joined Rough Trade Agency, which under his leadership evolved into All Trade Booking a few years later. He subsequently went on to co-head Cloud Music Agency with Richard Cowley.

Always interested in art, Hinc studied for his MA degree at Hertfordshire University, where he also lectured on the music industry. Upon his retirement as an agent, he became an accomplished artist and split his time between Ware in Hertfordshire, England, and France, where, in 2003, he relocated to the city of Carcassonne, where he also cared for his ailing mother until her death a year ago.

Despite enjoying a successful new career as an artist, Hinc also continued to represent The Sisters of Mercy as their agent.

“Mike was grizzly, curmudgeonly, but most of all cuddly”

“Mike was grizzly, curmudgeonly, but most of all cuddly,” says long time friend Eric Longley, former MD of Factory Records. “He was always a gentleman and when Morrissey’s new management advised a change of agents, his response summed him
up: ‘If that’s what Morrissey wants, that’s what he should have.’ To be fair, Morrissey was equally gentlemanly and both acted very professionally toward each other.”

Upon learning of Hinc’s death, Morrissey wrote, “Mike was The Smiths live booking agent… very funny and very irreverent in the spirit of the Blenheim Crescent age. He was also very intelligent whilst being next to incomprehensible… which was perfect for the exciting psychic disorder of Rough Trade.

“Along with Geoff Travis, Scott Piering, Jo Slee, Martha DeFor, Richard Boon and Pat Bellis, he worked very hard for the Smiths from the very beginning, and his cramped All Trade hut within the record label was a hideaway sanctum of busy blackboards and choking cigarette smoke. He was much admired by John Peel and John Walters, and this certainly helped the Smiths to move quickly. I was thankful then, and I’m thankful now.”

Hinc is survived by his brother David, and half sister, Anna.


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