Ted Gardner, longtime artistic director who co-founded the Lollapalooza festival with Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, died on December 28. He was 74 years old.
“I’m sad to announce Ted Gardner, our manager passed away today surrounded by his loving family,” tweeted Anton Newcombe, whose band, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, has been managed by Gardner since 2004. “A great manager goes we miss him, mentor and friend. Our condolences to all his family and friends. “
The funniest story he told me was about a meeting where @lollapalooza has become mega, and he enters and @perryfarrell said “Ted, we have Metallica headlining”, he says “damn, you just destroyed this festival.” Perry says “ted, they’re on speakerphone now” ☎️ “hi ted” 😂
– anton newcombe (@antonnewcombe) December 28, 2021
A music veteran for over 40 years, Gardner started his career in his native Australia before leading some of the biggest rock groups of the 90s, including Jane’s Addiction, Tool and The Verve.
Along with Farrell, he helped invent the modern festival landscape with Lollapalooza, which achieved huge commercial success in 1991 and went on to host a slew of ’90s superstars including Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Hole, Snoop Dogg, Les Smashing Pumpkins and Beastie Boys.
His skills were many and varied. He worked as a tour or production manager for Frank Zappa, UFO, New Order and Echo & the Bunnymen and much later guided the careers of the prog-metal band Floating Me and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, which featured in good place in the 2005 documentary To dig!
Gardner left his homeland for the United States in 1982 with Men at Work on the rock band’s nationwide tour. The following year, Men at Work became the first Australian group to simultaneously land an album and a No.1 single in the United States, with Business as usual and “Down Under”, respectively.
From that point on, Gardner aimed high. “My father used to say to me, ‘When are you going to find a real job?’ he told Australia’s Scenstr in a 2017 interview. “Then one year I came home from Lollapalooza with a check for $ 1.5 million and he looked at me and thought: “Yeah, but it’s not a real job, is it?” ”
Along the way, Gardner fell out with Tool, whom he represented from 1992 until May 2000. Gardner sued the group and their publishing house for $ 5 million for breach of contract and fraud in November 2000, alleging that they had not paid him $ 500,000. in committee.
Disappointed with the music industry and, in particular, the majors, he took a step back for 12 months in the mid-2000s. In January 2007 he returned revitalized to Australia and began managing cross sections and files with Scott Mesiti.
Reflection on his career for a 2011 interview published in the Australian’s The music network, Gardner said the music industry did not present too much of a challenge.
“Jane was crazy. We all were. The tool was difficult in many ways. But they knew what they wanted and they didn’t bend and (they understood) what to do. And you would take care of it. They are the artist. The manager is there to make their cravings easier, no matter how crazy it is, “he explained.” There were some crazy things I was being asked to do and I was laughing, no one was really “hard. I worked with John Lydon. It wasn’t difficult. Even though it was impossible to work with him.”
His approach to management was holistic. “You are a manager so you are a mother, you are a father, you are a marriage guidance counselor, you are a priest, you are there as a shoulder to cry on when the girlfriend leaves. You are an addiction counselor, you are someone who can bring someone back to life when they have done an OD in another room, ”he explained in the same interview. “All these aspects that you go through. If you want to be involved with an artist, you have to take all facets of their life. You can’t say, “I’m just doing business and taking my X percent.” End of the story.”