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Encyclopedia > Robert Stigwood

Robert Stigwood (born April 16, 1934 in Adelaide, Australia) is an Australian-born entertainment entrepreneur. In the 1960s and 1970s he was one of the most successful figures in the entertainment world, through his management of music groups like Cream and The Bee Gees, theatrical productions like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar and film productions including the hugely successful Saturday Night Fever. April 16 is the 106th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (107th in leap years). ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Adelaide is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australia, and is the fifth largest city in Australia, with a population of over 1. ... Cream were a 1960s British rock band, which consisted of guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. ... The Bee Gees: Maurice, Barry and Robin The Bee Gees were a British and Australian band, originally a pop singer-songwriter combination, reborn as funk and disco. ...

Contents

Early life

Stigwood was born in Adelaide in 1934 and educated at Sacred Heart College. He began his career as a copywriter for a local advertising agency and then, in 1955, aged 21, he departed Australia for good and moved to England. He had an eventful trip. In one incident recounted by Simon Napier-Bell, Stigwood bravely climbed fifty feet down a rope ladder into the hold of a tanker to administer morphine to a seaman who had fallen through a hatch. In Turkey, he spent several months living with the family of a young friend in a hut in a small village, working with them in the fields. In the music business, Simon Napier-Bell (born 1939) has been bandboy, manager, producer, songwriter, journalist and author. ...


Early Career in the UK

When he arrived in England Stigwood found a job in an institution for "backward teenage boys" in East Anglia. He worked primarily on nightshifts, overseeing the dormitories and "preventing any flow of traffic after lights out". However he found it an "unsympathetic and frustrating job" and left.


Not long after that, he met businessman Stephen Komlosy. They became friends and decided to go into business together, setting up a small theatrical agency and building up a roster of actors. Among their clients was an aspiring young actor and singer called John Leyton, who went on to star in The Great Escape and Von Ryan's Express. It was Leyton's unexpected success as a recording artist that made both Stigwood and his erstwhile associate Joe Meek into Britain's first independent record producers. An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... John Leyton is a British actor and singer. ... The Great Escape, written by James Clavell, W.R. Burnett, and Walter Newman (uncredited), and directed by John Sturges is a popular 1963 World War II film, based on a true story about Allied prisoners of war with a record for escaping from German prisoner-of-war camps. ... Von Ryans Express is a 1965 World War II film produced and directed by Mark Robson. ... Template:For Joe Meek, mountain man Joe Meek (born Robert George Meek; April 5, 1929 in Newent, Gloucestershire — February 3, 1967 in London[1]) was a pioneering English record producer and songwriter acknowledged as one of the worlds first and most imaginative independent producers. ...


Before the advent of mavericks such as Stigwood and Meek, the British pop music industry was highly stratified. Managers managed artists' careers and little else, agents only booked artists into venues, publishers only published music and sold songs to artists and recording companies, and recording companies recorded, manufactured, sold and promoted the products. It was rare for a manager to also be involved in publishing or agency work and it was almost unheard of for managers, agents or publishers to be directly involved in record production.


This pecking order was typified in the late Fifties and early Sixties by the three dominant figures of British pop -- publisher and manager Larry Parnes (one of the first people to combine publishing with artist management), composer Lionel Bart and the managing director of EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood. Typically, Parnes would discover new talent -- as he did with Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury -- and then sign them to a management contract. Lionel Bart, already under contract to Parnes' publishing company, would write or co-write songs to be recorded and then Parnes would 'sell' the artist to Lockwood and EMI who would sign them to a recording contract, and then record, press and market the records. Larry Parnes (full name Laurence Maurice Parnes) was born 1930, in Willesden, London; died 4 August 1989, London. ... Lionel Bart (1930-1999) was a British composer of songs musicals, best known for Oliver! Bart was born Lionel Begleiter in London to Galician Jews, and grew up in Stepney. ... Young Love by Tommy Steele Tommy Steele OBE (born December 17, 1936 in London, England) is a English entertainer. ... Marty Wilde (born Reginald Leonard Smith, April 15, 1939, in Greenwich, South London) is an English singer and songwriter. ... Billy Fury (April 17, 1940 – January 28, 1983) was an English pop singer and songwriter of the 1950s to 1980s from Wavertree, Liverpool. ...


But the brief partnership between Robert Stigwood and Joe Meek would change the face of the British recording industry. Robert George "Joe" Meek was a gifted recording engineer who had trained as a radar technician and began his career working for established recording studios in London. By 1960 Meek had accumulated enough equipment to build a studio in his London flat and he began producing records for his own company, RGM Sound Ltd.


Meek is credited as the first producer in the UK who had the knowledge and ability to undertake every stage of the record production chain himself. He found the talent -- usually young men with the right "look" and some musical talent to go with it. He found the songs, often writing them himself (sometimes with collaborators such as Dave Adams or Geoff Goddard) even though Meek himself was reportedly both tone-deaf and dyslexic and didn't read or write a note of music. He recorded the songs with his small roster of artistes at the cramped studio he had constructed in his Holloway Road flat, and then offered a completed tape product to an established record company to manufacture and distribute. He preferred it that way after a costly mistake had caused him to miss out on scoring a major hit with "Angela Jones" recorded by Michael Cox and released on Meek's own Triumph label -- the independent pressing plant he used had simply been unable to keep up with the demand from shops. Dave Adams is an British singer, keyboard player and songwriter. ... Geoff Goddard (born 19. ... A person who is tone deaf lacks relative pitch, the ability to discriminate between notes. ... Dyslexia is a syndrome in which a persons reading and/or writing ability is significantly lower than that which would be predicted by his or her general level of intelligence. ... In London Triumph Records was a label started in January 1960 by Joe Meek and William Barrington-Coupe, this label also only existed for a short time. ...


John Leyton was taken on by Robert Stigwood when he was building up his new theatrical agency. Leyton's first major booking was a stint in the TV series Biggles, but better roles proved hard to find. Stigwood asked Leyton if he could also sing, and this led to a series of auditions with various recording studios; he was turned down by all of them until he met Joe Meek. Unlike the other companies, Meek, unfazed by Leyton's initial lack of singing experience, was impressed by the young actor's good looks.


Simon Napier-Bell's account confirms that it was Meek who gave Stigwood the idea of make records independently, then getting the record company to distribute it for them in return for a percentage of the selling price. It was, as Napier-Bell observes, "the music business equivalent of the independent film production that had changed the face of Hollywood". Excited by the idea, Stigwood gave Meek one hundred pounds to make Leyton's first record, but when it was completed Meek was reluctant to hawk the tape to the record companies himself, so Stigwood took on the task.


Meek's first single with John Leyton was cut in late 1960 and was a cover of Ray Peterson's U.S. hit "Tell Laura I Love Her". It had originally been intended for release on the Triumph label, in which Meek had been a partner, but the label had by now folded and the recording was instead leased to the Top Rank label, owned by the Rank film organisation. Unfortunately, Leyton's single lost out to a rival British version by Ricky Valance. A follow-up single, "Girl On The Floor Above" (October 1960) was ignored. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... We dont have an article called Ricky Valance Start this article Search for Ricky Valance in. ...


Although Leyton rapidly improved as singer, his chances of a pop career looked slim, but Stigwood's persistence paid off and in mid-1961 he scored a coup when he managed to get Leyton cast in the role of pop star Johnny St. Cyr ("sincere") in a new nationally-broadcast TV series, Harper's West One. Crucially, Stigwood was able to arrange for Leyton's character to perform a song on the show.


Meek's associate, composer Geoff Goddard (whose only previous recorded composition was The Flee-Rekkers' "Lone Rider") was hurriedly drafted in to write a song for Leyton to perform on the programme. The hastily-penned result was the now-classic "Johnny Remember Me", an echo-drenched melodrama in the form of a lover's plea from beyond the grave. The song was featured three times during the course of Leyton's appearance in the series and record shops were deluged with orders. Geoff Goddard (born 19. ... Produced by the legendary Joe Meek, Johnny Remember Me was a 1961 UK#1 hit single for John Leyton, backed by The Outlaws. ...


Meek had leased the recording to the Top Rank label (now owned by EMI) and by the time of Leyton's final appearance they had a monster hit on their hands. The single went to #1 and remained at the top of the British charts for fifteen weeks, as well as charting in Europe. It was this success that led Stigwood into record production and management. He became Leyton's personal manager as well as his agent and then began looking around for other people to join his roster.


"Johnny Remember Me" was the first of a string of British hit recordings from the Meek/Stigwood/Leyton team, and their success set a new pattern for the industry -- according to Simon Napier-Bell, within a couple of years, over half the hits in the UK were independent productions. Leyton's next single, "Wild Wind" (Sept. 1961) went to #2, and he scored seven more Top 50 hits over the next two years. But his later chart placings were erratic -- his third single "Son, This Is She" only made #14 and his fourth, a cover of Goddard's "Lone Rider" barely scraped into the chart at #40.


Leyton's next two singles "Lonely City" (Apr. 1962, #14) and "Down The River Nile" (July 1962, #42) were the last to have any significant input from Joe Meek. Stigwood was evidently becoming dissatified with Meek's eccentric recording style and insisted that "Lonely City" be cut at a commercial studio. According to Tony Kent, Meek's personal assistant at the time, the session took place at London's IBC studios, largely at Meek's suggestion and at which Meek was present but with Stigwood assuming the rôle of dominant co-producer. By the time Leyton's seventh single came out Meek was out of the picture entirely, and all Leyton's subsequent recordings list Stigwood as sole producer. From this point Stigwood recorded Leyton at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, but while the audio quality had improved, the crucial ingredient -- the excitement of the 'Joe Meek sound' -- had been irrevocably lost. Leyton's pop career petered out in late 1964, but by then his movie career had taken off.


In late 1961 Stigwood had made a record production deal with Sir Joseph Lockwood, managing director of EMI, who proved to be the crucial link between the record company and the budding entrepreneur, just as Lockwood had been in the Fifties for Larry Parnes, and just as he would be a couple of years later for Brian Epstein and The Beatles. From that time on, all John Leyton's singles were released on the HMV label, distributed by EMI. Brian Samuel Epstein, born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England (19 September 1934 – 27 August 1967), was an English businessman best known as the manager of The Beatles. ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Other artistes Stigwood signed to a management/recording deal included Mike Sarne, whose Meek-produced "Come Outside" charted in 1962, and another Meek protegé, Mike Berry, who had scored a hit with the Geoff Goddard-penned "Tribute To Buddy Holly". Under Stigwood's guiding hand, Leyton, Sarne and Berry were still scoring hits but there was a major flaw in the EMI deal -- the miniscule percentage that EMI was paying meant that Stigwood was barely able to make a profit from these recordings. Nevertheless, the system he pioneered changed the style and direction of the UK pop charts forever and his success with Leyton was instrumental in expanding his business, becoming simultaneously agent, manager and producer, a role he evidently relished. Mike Sarne was a British pop singer in the 1960s, best known for his hit Come Outside, who became a film director. ... Mike Berry (born Michael Bourne, on September 24, 1942) is an English actor and singer best known for his appearances as Mr Spooner on Are You Being Served?. Berry was born in Northampton. ...


Simon Napier-Bell: "He became fascinated by it. He loved its trickery and tease, and the apparent ease with which money could be made ... And what made Robert Stigwood different from his predecessors is that he expanded laterally. He didn't remain simply a manager or an agent. He moved into music publishing as well, and into pop concert promotion. But his real contribution to the British music scene was independent record production."


"He was in every way the first British music business tycoon, involved in every aspect of the music scene, and setting a precedent that was to become the blueprint of success for all future pop entrepreneurs."


Stigwood's other big innovation was in the songs that he selected. British acts had conventionally covered US hits after they had become successful there, but Stigwood began making regular trips to America to find new releases he thought had potential, and then rushing out UK covers by his acts before the originals hit the American charts.


He became extremely successful because of his control over all almost every facet of the business of his recording artists -- agency, management, production, publishing and concert promotion. His business rapidly expanded and (according to Napier-Bell) Stigwood even bought one of the major music papers in a "fit of pique" when a Stigwood act failed to appear in their Top 30 chart.


The subject of Robert Stigwood's sexuality (he is understood to be gay) and its role in his career is one which has rarely been discussed. Whether or not it gave him an entree to the British showbiz scene is something probably only he can answer definitively, but it certainly would not have been a disadvantage, considering that so many other important figures in the music industry at that time -- Sir Joseph Lockwood, Larry Parnes, Brian Epstein, Lionel Bart, Kit Lambert, Simon Napier-Bell, Joe Meek, Vicki Wickham -- were also gay. Kit Lambert (May 11, 1935 – April 7, 1981) was a record producer and the manager for The Who. ... Vicki Wickham (b. ...


Music writer Johnny Rogan touched on this intriguing subject in his 1988 book about the British pop scene, Starmakers & Svengalis: Johnny Rogan is an Irish author who has written several rock music biographies, covering artists such as The Byrds, Roxy Music, Van Morrison and Neil Young. ...


"... I researched the careers of several dozen British pop managers from the fifties to the present and was surprised to discover that a disproportionately high number of entrepreneurs from my sample groups fell into one of three categories: gay, Jewish and male. But what produced this unusual ethnic/sexual equation and why, in the case of homosexuals and Jews, was it valid predominantly from the early days of British pop until the late sixties? A broader observation of societal attitudes during those periods provided some important clues."


"Few would disagree that there has always been a gay tradition in such 'artistic' occupations as dancing, painting and writing. Even in repressive periods, homosexuals were accepted by the artistic community, though the nature of their sexuality was often masked by euphemisms such as 'eccentric' or 'aesthetic'. Historically, the gay movement has also been well represented in show business and other areas of entertainment. Since British pop music and traditional show business were inextricably linked, at least until the mid-sixties, the homosexual network during that period was particularly strong."


- Johnny Rogan, (1988), Starmakers & Svengalis: The History of British Pop Management, page 276.


Some Australian music writers have suggested that the main reason why so few Australian acts were able to break into the UK music scene in the Sixties was that they were locked out by the so-called "Pink Mafia" that supposedly dominated British showbiz. The truth of this claim can never be tested, but it is certainly notable that The Bee Gees -- virtually the only act to emerge from Australia in that period who achieved major and lasting fame -- owed much of their international success to the fact that they were managed by Stigwood who was, by the time he met them, an influential part of London's gay showbiz establishment.


Career setback

For a few years Stigwood rode the crest of a wave of success, but according to Napier-Bell, he lived extravagantly and spent lavishly. The small percentages he received from his productions meant that he was largely dependent on agency and management commissions to maintain his cash flow, and gradually his company funds dwindled. Stigwood also promoted pop concerts "as a quick way to make a buck" and top up the books during slow periods. He specialised in summer seaside promotions, which were sometimes highly profitable, but were also notoriously risky since they often depended on the fickle English weather, among the many other hazards of the business.


The interest of the audience was one of those hazards, and it worked against him on this occasion. In January 1965 Stigwood promoted a package tour headlined by notoriously 'difficult' rock'n'roll legend Chuck Berry (who famously always demanded payment in cash, up-front) supported by The Five Dimensions, Winston G., The Graham Bond Organization (with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker), Long John Baldry, and The Moody Blues with guitarist Mike Patto as compère. Charles Edward Anderson Chuck Berry (born October 18, 1926 in St. ... Graham John Clifton Bond (28 October 1937 in Romford, Essex, England – 8 May 1974 at Finsbury Park station, Finsbury Park, North London, England) was an English musician, considered a founding father of the English rhythm and blues boom of the 1960s. ... John William Baldry, popularly known as Long John Baldry (January 12, 1941 – July 21, 2005) was a pioneering blues singer from England. ... The Moody Blues are a British rock band originally from Birmingham, England. ... Mike Patto, born 1942, in Cirencester, England is a musician most notably with Timebox and Patto. ...


The tour was poorly attended and adding to his woes, support act The Moody Blues pulled out unexpectedly when the tour reached Manchester (their single "Go Now" had just gone to #1) and Stigwood had to negotiate with the band to get them back on the show.


Stigwood also lost heavily - and copped a lot of flak within the industry - when he over-hyped his latest new pop hopeful, an Anglo-Indian singer called Simon Scott. His heavy-handed promotion included sending out tacky plaster busts of Scott as a promotional gimmick, but it backfired and made the hapless singer into a laughing stock; although Scott finally scored (or was bought) a hit, the venture cost Stigwood a great deal, and it was money that he could ill-afford to lose.


Stigwood's finances ran out halfway through the Berry tour and he called in the receivers, owing some £40,000 to his creditors. EMI offered to bail him out, but he refused because he was anxious to get out of the unfavourable deal he had with the company. He fought valiantly to maintain the illusion that he had kept his personal wealth intact, although in reality he was flat broke. But, according to Simon Napier-Bell, Stigwood managed to fool enough people to keep his creditors at bay while he re-established himself. Within two years, he was back on top.


Stigwood's aggressive style and his drive to expand his management empire occasionally brought him into conflict with other entrepreneurs. Stigwood is the subject of one of the most famous stories in British showbiz, a fabled altercation between himself and one of the other big movers and shakers of the British pop scene, Don Arden. Don Arden (born Harry Levy, January 4, 1926) was an English music manager, agent and businessman, best known for overseeing the careers of rock groups Small Faces, Electric Light Orchestra and Black Sabbath. ...


Sometime during 1966 one of Stigwood's staff made the mistake of discussing a possible change of management with of one of Arden's top acts, The Small Faces. Not surprisingly, Arden took exception to this, and in spite of the fact that Stigwood had never met the group personally, Arden decided to pay him a visit with some of his minders, to teach him a lesson: Small Faces, left to right: Ian McLagan, Steve Marriott, Kenney Jones, Ronnie Lane For the Scottish film, see Small Faces (film). ...


Don Arden: "I had to stop these overtures - and quickly. I contacted two well-muscled friends and hired two more equally huge toughs. And we went along to nail this impressario to his chair with fright. There was a large ornate ashtray on his desk. I picked it up and smashed it down with such force that the desk cracked - giving a good impression of a man wild with rage. My friends and I had carefully rehearsed our next move. I pretended to go berserk, lifted the impressario bodily from his chair, dragged him on to the balcony and held him so he was looking down to the pavement four floors below. I asked my friends if I should drop him or forgive him. In unison they shouted: ‘Drop him’. He went rigid with shock and I thought he might have a heart attack. Immediately, I dragged him back into the room and warned him never to interfere with my groups again."


Rebuilding

After the disaster of the Berry tour, Stigwood took on David Shaw, an ex-City banker, as his partner, giving him access to previously unavailable funds and expertise, and he gained some extra cashflow by subletting his offices to The Who's managers, Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, although he reportedly became the butt of the pair's inveterate and often cruel practical joking. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Chris Stamp, a former filmmaker, was the co-manager (with Kit Lambert) and executive producer of The Who until 1973, at which point tensions between Pete Townshend and Lambert caused the management team to be replaced by former assistant Bill Curbishley. ... Kit Lambert (May 11, 1935 – April 7, 1981) was a record producer and the manager for The Who. ...


He kept his Robert Stigwood Agency intact and worked to rebuild his career as a manager and independent producer. In 1966 Stigwood made an important connection when he paid £500 to Stamp and Lambert for the right to become The Who's booking agent. This gave him the opportunity, soon after, to lure the band away from Decca Records and onto his own newly established Reaction Records label, for whom they recorded the famous single "Substitute". It has been suggested that Decca Music Group be merged into this article or section. ... Reaction Records was a shortlived record label, started by Robert Stigwood in 1967. ...


The recording was done on the sly, and was explicitly intended by the group as a means of breaking their five-year contract with producer Shel Talmy, with whom they had fallen out (the single's original B-side, "Waltz For A Pig", was reputedly written about Talmy). Also in 1966 he became the manager of a new band comprising three of the best musicians from two groups that he had under contract -- guitarist Eric Clapton from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker from The Graham Bond Organisation. Shel Talmy (born August 11, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois, United States) is a notable record producer. ... Eric Patrick Clapton CBE (born 30 March 1945), nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award winning English guitarist, singer and composer, who is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th century,[1] garnering an unprecedented three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ... John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton album cover John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers was a pioneering British blues band that included such luminaries as: Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce (both later in Cream), Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood (later all in Fleetwood Mac), Mick Taylor (later in... John Symon Asher Jack Bruce (born May 14, 1943) is a Scottish-born musician, composer and singer. ... Peter Edward Ginger Baker (born August 19, 1939, Lewisham, South London) is an English drummer and singer who gained fame as a member of the Graham Bond Organisation (GBO) and Cream from 1966 until 1968. ... Graham John Clifton Bond (28 October 1937 in Romford, Essex, England – 8 May 1974 at Finsbury Park station, Finsbury Park, North London, England) was an English musician, considered a founding father of the English rhythm and blues boom of the 1960s. ...


His connection to The Who enabled him to get his new group, Cream, onto the bill for a major US tour supporting The Who in March 1967. Although the tour was not a great success it was an important showcase for Cream and enabled Stigwood to introduce them to New York's music cognoscenti and helped break them in the USA. It was for this tour that Stigwod commissioned the Dutch art collective called The Fool to paint the striking psychedelic designs on Eric Clapton's Gibson SG guitar, Jack Bruce's Fender VI bass and Ginger Baker's drum kit. Cream were a 1960s British rock band, which consisted of guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. ... The cover of The 5000 spirits or the layers of the onion, designed by The Fool The Fool were a Dutch design collective who were influential in the psychedelic style of art in British popular music at the end of the 1960s. ...


However, during this period Stigwood had another pop flop when he tried to promote a singer called "Oscar". Oscar's real name was Paul Beuselinck; his stage name was taken from his father, Oscar Beuselinck, a music business lawyer whose clients included The Who. Oscar had been the pianist in Screaming Lord Sutch's backing band, The Savages. Under the name 'Paul Dean' he released two singles in 1965-66. As 'Oscar' he cut four singles for Stigwood's Reaction label. The first, "Club of Lights" managed to scrape into the lower reaches of the Radio London Fab 40 chart. The second Oscar single was a version of a Pete Townshend song, "Join My Gang", which The Who never recorded. His third single, a novelty song called "Over The Wall We Go" (1967) is notable for being written and produced by a young David Bowie, and it gained a degree of notoriety because of Bowie's tongue-in-cheek lyrics concerning escaped prisoners and incompetent cops, which satirised a rash of highly-publicised prison break-outs in the UK. Paul Nicholas (born Paul Oscar Beuselinck, 3 December 1945 in Peterborough, England) is an English actor and singer who has had considerable success on stage, screen and in the pop charts. ... David Edward Sutch (or Screaming Lord Sutch) (November 10, 1940 – June 16, 1999) was an English musician, politician and maverick. ... Radio London The Fab 40 ( Fabulous Forty) was a weekly playlist of popular records used by the British pirate radio station Wonderful Radio London (also known as Big L) which broadcast off the Essex coast from 1964-7. ... David Bowie (IPA: []) (born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and audio engineer. ...


Once again, however, Stigwood overhyped Oscar, sending out a fake Academy-Awards-style statuette. 'Oscar' vanished from sight for some time, but Beuselinck re-emerged in the late Sixties under the name Paul Nicholas. He maintained a connection with Stigwood, performing in the London productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Grease, and he also featured in many films. He appeared in Stardust, starring David Essex, and he played the sadistic Cousin Kevin in Stigwood's film version of The Who's Tommy (rock opera). Paul Nicholas (born Paul Oscar Beuselinck in Peterborough, England, 3rd December 1945) is a British actor and singer who has had considerable success on stage, screen and in the pop charts. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Tommy (1969) is the first of The Whos two full-scale rock operas (the second being Quadrophenia), and the first musical work explicitly billed as a rock opera. ...


Stigwood moved his recording activities to Polydor Records, where former EMI staffer Roland Rennie had recently been appointed as the new managing director. Stigwood had apparently been forewarned that Rennie was moving to Polydor, and this, according to Napier-Bell, was the major reason that Stigwood had been unwilling to accept EMI's rescue package. 1920s vintage Polydor export label with its double-horn gramophone logo In 1954 Polydor Records introduced their distinctive orange label. ...


Rennie had been a key figure in breaking The Beatles in America; he had been sent to New York by George Martin and all EMI product was channeled through him for distribution by EMI's American partners. It was Rennie who struck the deal to license the first three Beatles records to the Swan and VeeJay lebels, rather than to Capitol, who at first had no interest in the group. Sir George Henry Martin CBE (born 3 January 1926 in Highbury, London, England) is sometimes referred to as the fifth Beatle—a title that he owes to his work as producer of almost all of The Beatles records. ...


Stigwood signed a much more advantageous deal with Polydor, with high percentages and substantial funding for his recording costs. This gave him the luxury of being able to take Cream to New York, where they cut their records with Atlantic Records' famed house producer-engineer Tom Dowd. Atlantic Records (Atlantic Recording Corporation) is an American record label, and operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group. ... Tom Dowd (October 20, 1925 - October 27, 2002) was a famous and influential American recording engineer and producer who died from emphysema. ...


The NEMS merger

On 13 January 1967 Stigwood signed a career-making deal with his friend and colleague Brian Epstein to merge their two companies. The Beatles were by now off the road, and Epstein was tiring of the demands of his ever-expanding business. He was keen to reduce his involvement in the company he had founded in 1963, NEMS Enterprises, so he eventually struck a deal with Stigwood. Brian Samuel Epstein (September 19, 1934 – August 27, 1967) was a Jewish-English businessman, best known as the manager of The Beatles. ...


Why Epstein decided to merge with Stigwood is uncertain. There had been numerous other offers made for NEMS over the previous few years and Epstein is reported to have turned down more than one multi-million-dollar offer from American interests, so it is unlikely that he chose to become a partner with Stigwood simply for the money. They knew each other socially and through business, and Stigwood already had a reputation as a shrewd, tough operator, although it appears that Epstein was probably the only person in NEMS who was in favour of the merger.


According to author George Gunby, Epstein told The Beatles' publicicst Alastair Taylor that Stigwood had originally offered to buy NEMS, but the deal eventually became a merger, in which Stigwood would have to put all his company assets into NEMS; in return he would received a reciprocal shareholding in NEMS, plus a salary, an executive position as co-managing director, and access to all of NEMS now-considerable financial and other resources. James Alistair Taylor (born in Runcorn, Cheshire, 21 June 1935, died in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, 9 June 2004) was the personal assistant of Brian Epstein who accompanied him to the Cavern Club when he first saw The Beatles play on 9 November 1961. ...


It was a godsend for Stigwood, and it effectively placed him at the pinnacle of the British pop industry in one easy step, but Epstein seems to have been about the only person in NEMS who was keen on the idea. Alastair Taylor is reorted to have exclaimed "You must be joking!" when Epstein told him of the merger. Epstein was also considering handing over his role as manager of The Beatles, but when the Fab Four learned of this they were outraged. They evidently disliked Stigwood intensely. Interviewed in 2000 by Greil Marcus, Paul McCartney recalled the group's angry reaction: Greil Marcus (2006) Greil Marcus (born 1945) is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic. ...


"We said, 'In fact, if you do, if you somehow manage to pull this off, we can promise you one thing. We will record God Save the Queen for every single record we make from now on and we'll sing it out of tune. That's a promise. So if this guy buys us, that's what he's buying.'"


Consequently, Epstein stayed on as manager of The Beatles but he handed responsibility for most of his other acts to Stigwood.


The NEMS' staff were also reportedly unhappy about the deal. The company had expanded rapidly growing from fifteen staff in 1964 to eighty in 1966. Epstein had taken over the Vic Lewis agency in 1965, (bringing in Donovan, Petula Clark and Matt Monro) and Lewis became a NEMS director, but many staff members found Lewis' abrasive manner difficult to handle. According to Gunby: "...(they) could see the same problems arising, multiplied tenfold, when Stigwood moved in. His autocratic style would be a time bomb ticking beneath people who had stuck by Epstein through thick and thin." Donovan (Donovan Philips Leitch, born May 10, 1946, in Maryhill, Glasgow) is a Scottish singer, songwriter, and guitarist. ... Petula Clark, CBE (born November 15, 1932), is a British singer, actress and composer of Welsh and English parentage, best known for her upbeat popular international hits of the 1960s. ... Matt Monro (December 1, 1932- February 7, 1985) was a ballad singer of the 1960s and one of great international postwar entertainers. ...


Gunby says that Epstein told Derek Taylor that the merger with Stigwood would bring new talent into the fold and would strengthen the operation. Taylor remain unconvinced -- Stigwood, he said, had "a ruthless reputation, a cavalier style that upset more people than it pleased." Epstein himself soon found himself at odds with his new partner -- he was reportedly unhappy about Stigwood's spending, was upset by Stigwood renting a yacht for The Bee Gees, and was also angered by Stigwood's unilateral decision to send Alastair Taylor to America on a business trip, a plan Epstein overruled. It is claimed that Epstein subsequently decided that he didn't want Stigwood in the company.


Diversification

Stigwood's next big break as a manager came only weeks after he started with NEMS. Teenage vocal group The Bee Gees had recently arrived back in the UK after many years in Australia, with hopes of making it in the UK. Unknown to them, Ronald Rennie had already heard their only Australian hit, "Spicks and Specks", thanks to the band's publisher, so Rennie had made arrangements with their Australian label, Festival, to release it in the UK. The Bee Gees: Maurice, Barry and Robin The Bee Gees were a British and Australian band, originally a pop singer-songwriter combination, reborn as funk and disco. ...


When, to his surprise, Barry Gibb appeared at Polydor's offices in London, Rennie immediately contacted Stigwood, who he thought would be ideal to sign the group to Polydor and manage them. Robert had just begun his eleven-month tenure with NEMS, and the boys' father Hugh Gibb had sent already an LP and acetates of their demo recordings to Stigwood in an effort to sign the group to NEMS. Stigwood signed the Bee Gees to a five-year deal in February and took their contract with him when he separated from NEMS in December.


Polydor released "Spicks and Specks", which had lready been a major hit in Australia, but in spite of Stigwood paying for four week's exposure on pirate station Radio Caroline, the single flopped. Stigwood was undeterred, and with NEMS' resources behind him, he embarked on a concerted campaign (no doubt at NEMS' expense) to break The Bee Gees in the UK, assiduously wining and dining TV producers and DJs; according to the MusicWeb Encyclopedia, he spent £50,000 promoting the group in 1967. Carolines second ship, MV Mi Amigo, c. ...


It paid off -- within months their second single, New York Mining Disaster 1941, had become a major UK hit and the follow-up, "Massachusetts", went Top 5 in both England and the USA, the first a string of Bee Gees hits through the late Sixties. New York Mining Disaster 1941 was the first song to be released by the Bee Gees in the United States, and their first song to hit the charts in The US or UK. At the time, rumors circulated that the Bee Gees were the Beatles recording under a pseudonym (the...


Stigwood's future with NEMS may have been uncertain, but it was decided in dramatic fashion by Brian Epstein's untimely death in August 1967. Brian's brother Clive took over as Managing Director and Stigwood left NEMS to form his own company, The Robert Stigwood Organisation, in December.


Robert Stigwood Organisation

Stigwood's companies expanded into almost every field of entertainment. Over the years the Robert Stigwood Organisation has promoted artists such as Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and which managed and forged the careers of acts including The Bee Gees, Cream, Blind Faith, Eric Clapton and Andy Gibb. On his RSO Records label Stigwood recorded artists including Clapton, Yvonne Elliman, Paul Nicholas, Player and soundtrack albums for the motion pictures The Empire Strikes Back and Fame in addition to the films produced by his company RSO Films. Sir Michael Phillip Mick Jagger CBE (born July 26, 1943) is an English rock musician, actor, songwriter, record and film producer and businessman. ... Roderick David Stewart, CBE (born January 10, 1945), is a Scottish / English singer born and raised in London. ... David Bowie (IPA: []) (born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and audio engineer. ... The Bee Gees: Maurice, Barry and Robin The Bee Gees were a British and Australian band, originally a pop singer-songwriter combination, reborn as funk and disco. ... Cream were a 1960s British rock band, which consisted of guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. ... For other uses, see Blind Faith (disambiguation). ... Eric Patrick Clapton CBE (born 30 March 1945), nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award winning English guitarist, singer and composer, who is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th century,[1] garnering an unprecedented three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ... Andrew Roy Gibb (March 5, 1958 – March 10, 1988) was an English-born Australian singer and teen idol, and the younger brother of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, also known as the Bee Gees. ... RSO Records was a record label, formed in partnership with Polydor Records by rock and roll and musical theatre impresario Robert Stigwood in the late 1960s, after the death of his business partner and mentor Brian Epstein. ... Yvonne Elliman album cover photo c. ... Paul Nicholas (born Paul Oscar Beuselinck in Peterborough, England, 3rd December 1945) is a British actor and singer who has had considerable success on stage, screen and in the pop charts. ... Player was a popular rock band formed in Los Angeles, California during the mid-1970s. ... Movie poster Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is the sequel to the first released Star Wars movie, and the second film released in the original trilogy. ... Fame is a 1980 musical film conceived and produced by David De Silva, directed by Alan Parker. ...


By 1968 Stigwood was enjoying huge success with his music ventures -- The Cream and The Bee Gees were now two of the biggest bands in the world -- but he was in no mood to rest on his laurels. He moved into theatre production in 1968, and chose his first projects very wisely indeed.


RSO's transition "from rock management concern to multimedia entertainment empire" began after Stigwood saw the Broadway production of the pioneering rock musical, Hair. He decided to stage it in London and it was a huge success, running for more than five years in the West End. He followed this with many highly successful productions: Oh Calcutta!, The Dirtiest Show in Town, Pippin, Sweeney Todd, Sing a Rude Song, John, Paul, Ringo and Bert (Evening Standard Drama Award Best Musical for 1974) and the last of the Tim Rice / Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, Evita. Both Superstar and Evita were successfully reproduced on Broadway, the latter picking up the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1980. More recently Stigwood produced stage versions of his two big film musicals, Grease and Saturday Night Fever. Hair, subtitled The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, is a musical about hippies and was a significant part of the drug, music and peace-love culture of the 1960s. ... The Dirtiest Show in Town is a musical revue with a book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Jeff Barry. ... Pippin, often also spelt Pepin, was the name of several important figures in the Carolingian family that ruled the Frankish Empire in what is now France and the western parts of Germany in the Middle Ages: Pippin the Elder Pippin the Middle Pippin the Younger (father of Charlemagne) Pippin the... Sweeney Todd is a fictional villain/antihero. ... The cover of the 1979 American Broadway Original Cast Recording of Evita starring Patti Lupone as Eva Perón, Mandy Patinkin as Che Guevara, and Bob Gunton as Juan Peron. ... Grease (1978) is a film directed by Randal Kleiser and based on Jim Jacobs and Warren Caseys musical, Grease. ... Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 movie starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a troubled Brooklyn youth whose weekend activities are dominated by visits to a Brooklyn discotheque. ...


Seventies success

Stigwood moved into both film and TV production in the early Seventies. By this time the fortunes of his two top acts were waning -- The Bee Gees broke up briefly in 1970 and for several more years they struggled to regain their former glory. Cream split in late 1968, and after the deaths of his close friends Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman and the disappointing reception of 1971 masterpiece, Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs, Eric Clapton withdrew into drug addiction for several years.


Stigwood had meanwhile purchased a production company, Associated London Scripts -- the company which subsequently developed the hit series All in the Family and Sanford & Son in the USA, which were adapted from the popular British TV shows Til Death Us Do Part and Steptoe and Son. In 1973 Stigwood moved into film and produced Jesus Christ Superstar as a motion picture in association its director, Norman Jewison. He followed this with the acclaimed film version of The Who's Tommy, which became one of 1975's most popular films and remains one of the few successful mergers of rock music and film drama. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford. ... Til Death Us Do Part (also known as Till Death Us do Part)1 was a BBC television sitcom series written by Johnny Speight that ran from 1966 until 1975. ... Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about two rag and bone men living in Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherds Bush, London. ... Norman Frederick Jewison, CC, BA, LL.D (born July 21, 1926) is a Canadian film director, producer, and actor. ... Roger Daltrey as Tommy Tommy was a 1975 musical film, based on The Whos 1969 rock opera concept album Tommy. ...


RSO Films' next production became one of the biggest hits in the history of the business -- the colossally successful Saturday Night Fever. The 2-LP soundtrack album, written by and featuring The Bee Gees, made music history -- it became the largest-selling soundtrack album ever released, and one of the biggest-selling albums in recording history, dramatically resurrecting The Bee Gees' career and making them international megastars. Remarkably, the songs were written 'to order' without the group having seen the film, and according to Frank Rose's 1977 Rolling Stone article about The Bee Gees, at least four of the songs -- including "Stayin' Alive" -- were written in just one week. Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 movie starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a troubled Brooklyn youth whose weekend activities are dominated by visits to a Brooklyn discotheque. ...


Stigwood followed this with another huge success, Grease, which launched TV actor John Travolta to super-stardom and became one of the most successful film musicals ever released. Grease (1978) is a film directed by Randal Kleiser and based on Jim Jacobs and Warren Caseys musical, Grease. ... John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is an Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor, singer and entertainer. ...


Soon after Grease, Stigwood made a rare but infamous miscalculation with the musical film extravaganza Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. On paper, the multi-million-dollar production looked like a surefire hit -- it featured the songs of The Beatles, and starred two of the biggest rock acts of the day, Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees, plus a long list of rock and film greats in cameo parts. Unfortunately, problems surfaced early and grew steadily worse. Stigwood sacked original director Chris Bearde before shooting began; the Bee Gees quickly realised that things did not augur well and begged to be removed from the project, to no avail. Although the new director, Michael Schulz (Car Wash) did a valiant job, the film turned out to be a disastrous flop; lampooned by audiences and critics alike, the unfortunate production is still cited as one of the worst musical films ever made. The film is also cited by some as the beginning of the end of the disco era. Billy Preston as . ... Peter Kenneth Frampton (born April 22, 1950 in Beckenham, Kent) is a Grammy winning English musician, best known today for his solo work in the mid-1970s and as one of the original members of the band Humble Pie. ... Chris Bearde is a comedy writer, producer and director who created the format for the original Gong Show, and Sherman Oaks. He has also co-written and produced specials for Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Sonny and Cher, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Jim Carrey, Andy Williams,The Jackson Five, The Osmonds... For other uses, see Car wash (disambiguation). ...


This was followed by The Fan, Times Square, Grease 2, Peter Weir's Gallipoli, produced under the R&R Films banner, and the 1997 Golden Globe Awards best film winner, Evita, starring Madonna. Grease 2 is the 1982 sequel to 1978s smash hit movie Grease. ... Peter Lindsay Weir (born August 21, 1944) is an Australian film director. ... The film Gallipoli (1981) is an account of several young men from rural Western Australia who enlist in the Australian armed forces during World War I. They are sent to Turkey, where they take part in the Battle of Gallipoli. ... Evita is the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webbers stage musical Evita, based on the life of Argentinas Eva Perón. ... Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie (born August 16, 1958), better known as simply Madonna, is a six-time Grammy[1] and one-time Golden Globe award winning American pop singer, songwriter, record and film producer, dancer, actress, author and fashion icon. ...


Not all Stigwood's later films were successful, however. Moment by Moment, which co-starred John Travolta and Lily Tomlin, came out only a year after Saturday Night Fever, but it was panned by critics, bombed at the box-office and is generally credited with singlehandedly turning Travolta in 'box office poison'. Five years later Travolta again displayed his now-legendary inability to pick roles when he agreed to appear in Stigwood's ill-advised 1983 sequel to Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive, directed by Sylvester Stallone. Although perhaps not as bad as Moment by Moment, the movie was not a success and did nothing to restore Travolta's career, which languished until his ' comeback' in [[Pulp Fiction]] in 1994. Lily Tomlin (born Mary Jean Tomlin on September 1, 1939), is an Academy Award-nominated American actress and comedian. ... Staying Alive is a 1983 film sequel to Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta as the same character, Cynthia Rhodes, Finola Hughes, Steve Inwood, Julie Bovasso, and dancers Viktor Manoel, Kate Ann Wright, Kevyn Morrow and Nanette Tarpey. ... Sylvester Stallone (born July 6, 1946) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated American actor, director, producer and screenwriter. ...


Stigwood's also produced the rock-musical teen girl 'buddy' movie Times Square (1980). Stigwood's autocratic streak surfaced again during the making of this film. Stigwood wanted to remove dialogue scenes to include more music, so that the soundtrack could be expanded to a double album, but director Allan Moyle refused to make the cuts, so Stigwood fired Moyle (who didn't make another film for ten years) and made the cuts himself. Times Square is a 1980 film starring Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, and Tim Curry. ... Allan Moyle is a Canadian-born film director. ...


Star Robin Johnson later said of the result: "It was disappointing. It could've been so much more powerful. I'd love to see what Allan's cut would've been." Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


Although not successful at the time, Times Square reportedly has a strong cult following among gay women. The music soundtrack is also of considerable interest; it included many notable new wave acts -- The Patti Smith Group, The Pretenders, Talking Heads and Roxy Music and it also became a collector's item for fans of English band XTC because their track "Take This Town" -- written especially for the film -- appeared only on the soundtrack LP. Patricia Lee (Patti) Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American musician, singer, and poet. ... The Pretenders are an Anglo-American rock band. ... Talking Heads were an American rock band existing between 1974 and 1991, composed of David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. ... Roxy Music are an English art rock group founded in the early 1970s by art school graduate Bryan Ferry (vocals and keyboards). ... For the drug, see Ecstasy. ...


Robert Stigwood remains active, primarily in the theatrical musical industry. He lives at his Barton Manor Estate on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England.


References/ Links

Simon Napier-Bell
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
(Ebury Press, 1998)


Tony Kent
Holloway Road Hit Factory
(Radio Interview, 2007)


Joseph Brennan
Gibb Songs website
http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/beegees/67.first.html


The Knitting Circle: Popular Music
http://myweb.lsbu.ac.uk/~stafflag/popularmusic.html


Johnny Rogan
Starmakers & Svengalis: The History of British Pop Management
(Macdonald Queen Anne Press, 1988, ISBN 0-356-15138-7)


Disraeli Gears Cream website
http://twtd.bluemountains.net.au/cream/gears/disraeligears1.htm


Saturday Night Fever - The Musical website
Robert Stigwood biography
http://www.nightfever.co.uk/robert.htm


Meeksville.com - John Leyton pages
http://www.meeksville.com/leytonmovie/


Meek Artistes' Directory - John Leyton
http://www.bigglethwaite.com/telstar/artistes/adir-2.htm


beatlemoney.com
http://www.beatlemoney.com


The Don Arden Story
http://www.elonetwork.com/mrbluesky/donarden.htm


www.45rpm.org.uk - John Leyton
http://www.45-rpm.org.uk/dirj/johnl.htm


Telstar Web - John Leyton
http://www.bigglethwaite.com/telstar/artistes/tw-ley-idx.htm


Mike Patto web page
http://members.aol.com/DThorn88/mike_patto.htm


Moody Blues Tour and Set List project
http://www.toadmail.com/~notten/70_65.htm


Frank Rose
"How Can You Mend A Broken Group? The Bee Gees Did It With Disco"
Rolling Stone, 14 July 1977


Vernon Joyson et al
Tapestry of Delights
http://www.borderlinebooks.com/uk6070s/o3.html#Oscar


Jenni Olson
"Times Square: Cult Classic Revival at Chicago Filmmakers"
from OUTLINES (September, 1995)
http://www.greatgridlock.net/Trini/outlines.html


Major Productions

The cover of the 1979 American Broadway Original Cast Recording of Evita starring Patti Lupone as Eva Perón, Mandy Patinkin as Che Guevara, and Bob Gunton as Juan Peron. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater, primarily honoring productions on Broadway in New York. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Hair, subtitled The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, is a musical about hippies and was a significant part of the drug, music and peace-love culture of the 1960s. ... Oh! Calcutta! was a long-running theatrical revue, debuting off-Broadway in 1969, created by British critic Kenneth Tynan. ... This article is about the rock opera. ... Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical with a book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. ... Grease (1978) is a film directed by Randal Kleiser and based on Jim Jacobs and Warren Caseys musical, Grease. ... Jesus Christ Superstar is a 1973 film adaptation of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, about the last weeks of the life of Jesus. ... Roger Daltrey as Tommy Tommy was a 1975 musical film, based on The Whos 1969 rock opera concept album Tommy. ... Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 movie starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a troubled Brooklyn youth whose weekend activities are dominated by visits to a Brooklyn discotheque. ... Billy Preston as . ... Staying Alive is a 1983 film sequel to Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta as the same character, Cynthia Rhodes, Finola Hughes, Steve Inwood, Julie Bovasso, and dancers Viktor Manoel, Kate Ann Wright, Kevyn Morrow and Nanette Tarpey. ... Gallipoli is a 1981 Australian film, directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson, about several young men from rural Western Australia who enlist in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War. ... Fame is a 1980 musical film conceived and produced by David De Silva, directed by Alan Parker. ... Movie poster Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is the sequel to the first released Star Wars movie, and the second film released in the original trilogy. ... The event was broadcast on NBC in the United States The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song was a benefit concert of popular music held in the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on January 9, 1979. ...

External link


  Results from FactBites:
 
Robert Stigwood - Biography - AOL Music (634 words)
Manager/producer Robert Stigwood leveraged his involvement with key British pop and rock stars of the '60s into a series of music-oriented movies in the '70s.
Stigwood turned to film work, producing the 1973 movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's concept album-turned-musical Jesus Christ Superstar, and he founded RSO Records (short for Robert Stigwood Organization), to which he signed Clapton and the Bee Gees.
The same year, Stigwood produced a movie version of the Who's rock opera Tommy, cast largely with rock stars, notably Clapton, Elton John, and Tina Turner; it was a box office hit, and the soundtrack album just missed topping the charts.
The RSO Treatment (654 words)
Robert's lifecycle of success saw him emerge from concrete origins having emigrated from Adelaide in 1955, hitching to Europe, seemingly pre-empting and exploding the hippie movement in his wake.
Perhaps Stigwood's greatest success was to become a silent witness to the realised ambitions of so many talented young hearts and minds by giving opportunities to young artists in stage and music.
In presenting the facts of Stigwood's biography it is hard not to consider his career as a fictional 'treatment', or outline synopsis used as a selling document for a classic movie script.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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