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“We are heartbroken”: Elliot Roberts passes, aged 76

Former clients and friends have been paying their respects to iconic music manager Elliot Roberts, who died on Friday (21 June) in Los Angeles.

Over his career, Roberts (born Elliot Rabinowitz) worked with musical stars including Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, the Eagles and Tracy Chapman. Roberts is best known for his five-decade association with Neil Young.

A pivotal figure in the Californian singer-songwriter scene in the 1960s and 1970s, Roberts formed the Geffen-Roberts Company along with music mogul David Geffen, signing clients including Mitchell and Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

Roberts later formed his own company, Lookout Management, most recently representing acts including Spiritualized, Mazzy Star and Devendra Banhart.

Young, a longtime friend of Roberts, has described him as “the greatest manager of all time”.

“We are all heartbroken, but want to share what a great human being Elliot has been,” writes Young, who was managed by Roberts until his death.

“When it came to our business, Elliot guided me through every move. He was there for me and protected my music with a fierceness. He loved music and managed over the years many greats.”

“[Roberts’] natural empathy was perfectly suited for his emergence as an enormously impactful personal manager

Stephen Stills, another longtime client, praises Roberts’ “unique ability to recognise a great artist when he saw one.”

“His natural empathy was perfectly suited for his emergence as an enormously impactful personal manager to a collection of the most legendary artists of our time,” says Stills, who was represented by Roberts as a solo artist, as well as with Crosby, Stills & Nash.

A representative of Lookout Management announced Roberts’ death on Friday.

“It is with heavy heart that we can confirm the passing of Elliot Roberts,” reads the statement.

“Roberts, among the most respected and beloved music industry figures of all time, leaves an indelible footprint as a pioneer and leader in the business of artist representation.

“His uncanny intellect, unmatched, sharp wit, larger-than-life charisma along with his keen understanding of the music industry will remain unparalleled. Truly one of a kind, he will be missed always and by many.”

No cause of death has been stated.

 


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BST Hyde Park announces first headliners for 2019

AEG Presents’ British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park has announced Bob Dylan and Neil Young as its first headliners for 2019.

The music legends, who between them have sold more than 100 million records, will jointly headline on Friday 12 July, backed by their respective bands.

BST has gone from strength to strength since it launched in 2013, with highlights over the past six years including the Rolling Stones’ return to Hyde Park, Carole King performing Tapestry in full and comeback shows by the likes of the Strokes and Libertines. This year’s performers included Roger Waters, Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé, the Cure, Eric Clapton and Paul Simon.

Dylan and Young both played AEG’s one-off Desert Trip mega-festival in 2016, along with the Stones, Waters, the Who and Sir Paul McCartney.

“I’m blown away by the calibre of music royalty coming to BST 2019″

AEG Presents senior vice-president Jim King comments: “Barclaycard presents British Summer Time has always tried to deliver the greatest possible one-off live experiences for music fans in London, and being able to bring together two of the biggest cultural icons together for this historic day of music counts as possibly the biggest event we have ever delivered in Hyde Park.”

“I’m blown away by the calibre of music royalty coming to Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park 2019,” adds Daniel Mathieson, head of experiential marketing and partnerships for Barclaycard. “With these legendary artists already confirmed, and many more still to be announced, you won’t want to miss it.”

Barclaycard presale tickets went on sale at 9am this morning, with general sale opening at 9am this Friday (30 November), with GA tickets priced at £75.

 


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Neil Young to headline Byron Bay Bluesfest 2017

Neil Young has confirmed his first festival date for 2017.

Young and his current touring band, Promise of the Real, will play a three-hour set on Friday 14 April at Byron Bay Bluesfest, joining other new additions Santana and The Doobie Brothers on the bill of the long-running Australian festival.

“Bluesfest is proud to announce our headliner for 2017,” says founder and promoter Peter Noble OAM. “This is the third Bluesfest announcement in three weeks, with Santana being the headliner of last week’s, Mary J. Blige the week before and the Zac Brown Band, Patti Smith, The Lumineers, Bonnie Raitt and Buddy Guy in previous announcements.

“We ask fans yearly in questionnaires who is the most requested artist to play a future Bluesfest, and hands down, Neil comes in first on every poll we do”

“Can you guess who will be in the [next] announcement this Sunday…? It’s another beauty!”

He adds that “we ask fans yearly in questionnaires who is the most requested artist to play a future Bluesfest” and “hands down, Neil [Young] comes in first on every poll we do, [so] we have fulfilled the wish of many Bluesfesters.”

“A tad over” 100,000 visitors attended Bluesfest 2016, at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, near Byron Bay in New South Wales, over five days.

 


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Montreux announces 50th anniversary line-up

The likes of Muse, PJ Harvey, Neil Young, Quincy Jones and Sigur Rós will help mark the historic 50th anniversary of the Montreux Jazz Festival this summer, as its organisers today announced a stellar programme for the 17-night event.

The 30 June–16 July event will feature a star-studded line-up as Montreux celebrates its golden year, and the promoters have pulled all the stops out to make sure that Deep Purple close proceedings on 16 July, no doubt with their ode to the 1971 fire at Montreux Casino, ‘Smoke on the Water’.

Among the other artists booked for the 50th anniversary edition are Jean-Michel Jarre, Mogwai, Lana Del Rey, Air, ZZ Top, Patti Smith and her band, Slayer, Van Morrison, Simply Red, Jamie Cullum, Santana and many more.

It is Neil Young’s (pictured) second confirmed festival appearance of the year, after Roskilde.

Frank Zappa’s son will open for Deep Purple, who recorded ‘Smoke on the Water’ while watching the Montreux Casino burn as Frank Zappa was playing. It’s a nice way to put the bill together”

Revealing the line-up this morning, Montreux Jazz Festival director Mathieu Jaton noted: “It’s rare for a music festival to turn 50.” He added: “We’re bringing together people close to the DNA and savoir-faire of a festival known for its special creations, this time with a Quincy Jones evening and a Brazilian-African night, but also the young generation like Woodkid, inviting his own guest artists.”

Explaining the ethos of using the billing to create stories, by putting two artists on the same stage in the same night, Jaton added: “The most obvious is closing night with Deep Purple who recorded ‘Smoke on the Water’ while watching the Montreux Casino burn as Frank Zappa was playing. This will be Zappa’s son playing and opening for Deep Purple. It’s a nice way to put the bill together.”

The full programme is available on the festival’s website.