Agent David Apps passes aged 83
British-born booking agent David Apps, a veteran of the iconic Tito Burns, Harold Davison, MAM and March Artists agencies, has passed away after a short illness.
Apps got his start in the business in the late 1960s, where he served as a “mentor” to Barry Dickins, the ITB co-founder recalls. “I joined the Harold Davison agency as bit of an East End know-it-all,” Dickins explains. “David spent lots of time with me showing what an agent really did and helped shape me into the agent I became.
“I really do not know how my career would have turned out if David had not been so instrumental in influencing my career [path].”
Apps represented the Searchers, Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel at Tito Burns’ agency, remembers Irish promoter Denis Vaughan, which the agent joined shortly after its merger with Scotia in 1971. (According to a contemporary issue of Billboard, Apps brought acts including the Move, the Idle Race and Gypsy.)
Scotia-Tito Burns was later incorporated into the Harold Davison Organisation, which in turn became part of the MAM agency.
“David, Barry and I were agents together at MAM in the heady days of the early ’70s,” says former colleague Alan Field. “We were all responsible for our own clients while there, but we all became good friends and remained in touch throughout the interim years.
“We will miss David. He was one of the old school”
“Even when David moved to Australia, he kept in touch – and in particular when my clients the Searchers have toured there over the years, he would turn up at one of their concerts and send me his regards.”
In the early ’80s, Apps set up the March Artists agency for CBS Records, Vaughan adds, before moving to Australia later in the decade. In later years, he was a producer and DJ at 89.7FM Perth in Western Australia.
“I saw David and his wife, Jane, around ten years ago when they visited London,” continues Dickins. “He was not in great physical shape but was still aware of what was going on the music business.
“David produced and acted as a DJ on public radio in Perth and he would often tip me on acts to look out for. I remember David emailing me about this great new girl singer to look out for, called Adele. He could not believe that my son Jonathan was the manager and my daughter Lucy was the agent!
“David may have passed on but I still have part of him with me. A nice and wonderful human being.”
“David spent lots of time with me showing what an agent really did and helped shape me into the agent I became”
Vaughan says he last saw Apps in 2017, when he interviewed José Carreras for radio before a show in Western Australia. “We will miss David,” he adds. “He was one of the old school [and] such a nice man.”
DJ Sue Myc, a colleague of Apps at 89.7FM, says his passing on 18 July left the station’s staff “heartbroken”. He was, she writes, “our producer, our best friend, [and] like another father to myself and [producer] Nina Henderson”, and “week in, week out, made us all laugh, sometimes cry, often yelled at us [and] shared his amazing stories of his music history…”
“I would say ‘rest in peace’,” she adds, “but you will do no such thing, because right now you are up there with the likes of Elvis, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, Marvin Gaye and so many other greats that you will be rocking and having a ball.”
Field similarly pays tribute to “a good guy who will be sadly missed”.
Apps’s funeral will be held on Tuesday 31 July at Pinnaroo cemetery in Craigie, Western Australia.
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