Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Behind the scenes in London with legendary concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith
Harvey Goldsmith, 63
I moved into our W1 office in April 2005. Live 8 was conceived on the boardroom floor. It's a great location — we've got a funky old-fashioned cage lift and I can walk here from home. 1. BME (British Music Experience) recently opened at The O2. It's the world's first fully interactive museum for rock-and-roll and tells its story from 1946 to the present day. We'll also stage masterclasses and intimate performances. It will become part of the curriculum for a lot of music schools.
2. I worked with Pavarotti for 26 years, up until he died. We became great mates and I took him all over the world on some amazing shows. I miss him very much. We had some tough times together but some real laughs too. He was an extraordinary, wonderful character.3. Ahmet Ertegun, who founded Atlantic Records, was one of my mentors when I first started out in the business. When he died in 2006, his wife asked me to organise a concert in his memory to raise funds for his Education Foundation. The Led Zeppelin concert in December 2007 at The O2 raised over $4m.
4. Jeff Beck is a great friend of mine and I've been managing him for a year. He is such an underexposed artist and considered to be one of, if not the, greatest guitarists in the world. The past year has been a whirlwind — he's played with Eric Clapton in Japan and Rod Stewart in LA. He's also played with John Mayer, Joss Stone et al, and is recording an album, the first for five years. The photo is with Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. The contrast between us three makes a great picture.5. We had a promotion for Formula 1 and I got every single team to race up and down Regent Street. The authorities were upset about it but couldn't figure out how to stop it. We thought we'd have 50 or 60,000 people turning up, but it was nearer 500,000. We had Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and most of the great racers.
6. I hate the secondary ticket market. Scalpers are touts and it's a huge problem. I have spent most of my life fighting this and maybe I am a lone voice but I just feel that the public shouldn't be ripped off. I object to people taking advantage.
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