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The puppet masters of the music industry
The music industry is big. Its stars grace our red carpets, its scandal becomes family debate and its profits affect the stock exchange. We all know about the exploits of stars – ranging from Lady Gaga and her meat dress to Keith Richards and his recent shocking autobiography. But what is it that drives this huge industry? It is the work of those that go unseen – the managers, producers and record company employees who oil the wheels of this all-conquering industry.
A man who has seen it all is Dick O’Dell. In the 1980s, O’Dell managed punk groups, including The Slits, in the 1990s he ran Guerilla Records, specialising in acid house and collaborating with William Orbit, and in the 2000s he has moved into the ‘alternative genre’ with artists such as Ed Harcourt and Bat for Lashes.
As a manager, he is employed by artists to fight their corner, advising them on everything from record labels to musical direction and stage sets. The bond between artist and manager is often intense.
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