When you think of hugely successful metal management companies, not a ton spring immediately to mind (we can think of about five off the top of our heads), so while this might not have too much relevance in the metal world just yet, it’s long-term implications might be worth keeping an eye on. According to the New York Times, Live Nation is looking at beefing up it’s management business. And by that, we mean acquiring management companies. So far, it’s just with superstar acts and companies the corporation is already involved with, Principle Management (U2) and Maverick (Madonna). It would be a shakeup for those two management companies, which according to the Times‘ sources, would find Maverick’s Guy Oseary overseeing U2’s career and Principle’s Paul McGuinness, who’s managed U2 for the majority of their career, becoming a chairman. Apparently, Live Nation would pay over $30 million for the companies.
Again, this really doesn’t have any major implication for heavy acts just yet, in that the only hard rock bands the top ten highest-grossing tours this decade are AC/DC, Metallica and, if you choose to count them, Bon Jovi. In 2007, Live Nation struck a $120 million deal with Madonna for touring and recorded music rights, and the following year, they made a 12 year pact with U2 for touring and merchandising. That was around the same time they struck a 360 deal with Nickelback as well. Is should be also be noted that Live Nation’s Front Line Management includes artists like Kid Rock, Van Halen, Aerosmith and more. So don’t expect Live Nation to buy out Q-Prime (Metallica), Rick Sales (Slayer, Mastodon, Ghost), Outerloop (Periphery, Darkest Hour) or Entertainment Services Unlimited (Lamb of God, The Sword, Protest the Hero) just yet. But don’t rule it out as an impossibility either.
Here’s what McGuinness said about Live Nation’s takeover and him stepping down from working directly with U2.
“It could be seen as slightly poor etiquette for a manager to consider retiring before his artist has split, quit or died, but U2 have never subscribed to the rock and roll code of conduct. As I approach the musically relevant age of 64 I have resolved to take a less hands-on role as the band embark on the next cycle of their extraordinary career. I am delighted that Live Nation, who with Arthur Fogel have been our long term touring partners, have joined us in creating this powerful new force in artist management. I have long regarded Guy Oseary as the best manager of his generation and there is no one else I would have considered to take over the day-to-day running of our business.”