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Popular tour manager Dee Mc Loughlin passes

Dee Mc Loughlin, who worked with the likes of MCP Promotions, ITB and SJM, and had long associations with Simply Red, Sisters of Mercy, Marillion, Neil Young, The Chemical Brothers, Scorpions and, most notably, Crowded House, has died.

Born Derrig Mc Loughlin in the coastal town of Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, he was educated in nearby Blackrock, where he attended the same school as Bob Geldof.

He left his homeland for England in the late 1960s and enrolled in the Royal Air Force, where he found himself seconded to the Sultan’s Air Force in Oman. Long-time friend and industry colleague Paul Flower recalls that Dee was reticent to talk about his military service as he had lost friends in combat. However, Mc Loughlin said that the camaraderie he experienced in the forces was replicated somewhat in being part of a touring crew.

Stationed at Cosford, near Wolverhampton, Mc Loughlin settled in the local area where he had friends who followed Birmingham City and, while he was essentially a Liverpool supporter, he joined them at many games, prompting a move to the Moseley area of Birmingham.

A huge live music fan, having explored all the UK festivals of the 70s with his first wife, Jackie, Dee became part of the security team at Birmingham Odeon – the region’s premier venue during the 70s and 80s. It was there that he met Paul Ward and helped to form the Birmingham Stage Crew, a tight and organised unit that served the venue and others in the area. This brought Dee into wider contact with bands and promoters, notably the Walsall-based MCP Promotions who later became his employer in the late 1980s.

Keeping the talent happy was Dee’s obsession and his easy-going affability made him one of the most popular characters on the touring circuit as a rep and tour manager throughout his 40-plus-year career.

“He continued to buy and consume music to the very end”

He would often become part of the artist family, literally in some cases, as from 2006 to 2007 he lived in the home of Neil Finn when working for the singer and guitarist as his personal TM and part of the management team at Finn’s Roundhead Studios in Auckland, New Zealand.

As a result of his relationships and wanderlust, he spent a lot of time in Europe and America, particularly St Louis. His move to New Zealand, however, was curtailed by home-sickness for his small flat and the local community in Moseley, and he spent the rest of his days back in Birmingham.

Flower says that despite Dee’s advanced age he was eager to continue working and was saddened not to be able to complete tours with Judas Priest, and his beloved Crowded House, because of ill health, which prompted his retirement at the age of 72. One of his last TM roles was with Dexys, and he got on so well with the band that frontman Kevin Rowland tried to tempt him out of retirement to help with this year’s tour.

“He continued to go to gigs though, seeing relatively obscure bands in Birmingham,” reports Flower. “He was due to see Soul II Soul earlier this month, and we’d got tickets for Dub Pistols in November. He continued to buy and consume music to the very end.”

Dee McLoughlin’s funeral will be held back in his native Ireland, while Flower is also planning a memorial event in Birmingham.


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