Mick Brigden, Manager of Joe Satriani + Other Rockers, Dead at 73
Mick Brigden, the longtime manager of guitarist Joe Satriani who operated under the tutelage of famed concert promoter Bill Graham, died at the age of 73 last week (Sept. 5), as Satriani subsequently confirmed.
According to a statement, Brigden died following an accident at his home in Santa Rosa, Calif. In an attached biography, the British-born artist manager was remembered for working with rock acts such as Peter Frampton, Humble Pie, Carlos Santana, Mountain and several others. Brigden also directed tours for Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. He spent the past three decades managing Satriani's career.
In a message from the guitarist, Satriani said, "It's been a crazy and wonderful 33 years of rock 'n' roll. I've never worked so hard, played so hard, laughed and cried so hard, made so much music and had so many worldwide adventures, and all with Mick by my side. He was the ultimate music business mentor. Honest, tough, nurturing, hardworking, respectful, tenacious, insightful, he was all of those things and more. I learned so much about how to be a good person from Mick."
The musician continued, "He, along with the entire BGM team, guided my solo career from its start. Mick was always full of energy and endlessly creative. He could help you get an album project organized, pick the right mix, pick a single, help with album artwork, book a tour, manage a tour, review the contracts, crack the whip with a smile and get a table at the right restaurant when you needed one. And, then, over a few glasses of wine, share his feelings and insights, listen to yours and remind you to smell the roses along the way."
Satch wasn't the only rocker to remember Brigden immediately after his death. Former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, whose Chickenfoot with Satriani was guided by late Hagar manager Carter (John S. Carter) in tandem with Brigden, also paid his respects.
In a separate statement found on satriani.com, Hagar said Brigden was "the first person that ever took care of me on the road. Montrose opened for Humble Pie for the three years we were on the road. Mick was their tour manager, lighting director, stage manager — it seemed like he did everything. He used to do lights for Montrose and would hang out with us on days off."
The "Red Rocker" added, "The way he took care of Joe Satriani all these years and then for Chickenfoot as our co-manager with Carter. … I'm sure they're all working for Bill Graham again in rock 'n' roll heaven."
Below, read a summary of Brigden's life and career. Since the manager was an animal lover, his family has asked that any donations made in his name be sent to the Humane Society of Sonoma County.
Born November 4, 1947 in Southend On Sea, England, Brigden left for Canada at the age of 19 settling in Toronto as a graphic artist before finding his way to New York after meeting Mountain's Felix Pappalardi in the late 60's and becoming their road manager. As luck would have it, in July 1969 he met both Graham and his future wife, Julia at a concert they all attended at the Fillmore West and Brigden 'fell in love with San Francisco.'
In 1976, after working for Graham for seven years, Mick took the reins at the management division of Bill Graham Presents, co-leading alongside Arnie Pustilink, who recently succumbed to cancer on August 20. Recently Brigden told Billboard about his 25-year working relationship with Pustilnik "The two of us formed, I think, a left brain-right brain relationship that worked very well for our acts," Pustilnik was the radio promotion side with Brigden more adept at the creative and touring sides.
While working at BGP, Brigden and Pustilnik launched the Columbia distributed label, Wolfgang Records in the late 1970's. The labels first signing was the up-and-coming artist, Eddie Money and released his double-platinum debut in 1977 followed by four more albums. In the 80's the label waned but in 1995 it revived when they released Money's Love and Money among others.
Following Graham's death in 1991, Brigden and Pustilnik joined 13 other employees of Bill Graham purchasing 90% of the company with the remaining 10% held by Graham's two sons. In the early 2000's when Pustiknik's health began to deteriorate, he and Brigden sold the management business and Brigden opened MJJ with Satriani as his sole client.
Brigden later joined forces with longtime Sammy Hagar manager, "Carter" (aka John Carter) managing Chickenfoot, the new rock group Hagar had formed with Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith before Carter passed from cancer just over a decade ago. More recently, Brigden brought on former Bill Graham alumni, Morty Wiggins, to partner on day to day management duties for Satriani.
After many years living in Marin Country, Mick settled down, with Julia, in the wine laced hills of Santa Rosa in 2001 It was here that he discovered a new-found talent for growing grapes in his vineyard, used to make an exclusive Owl Ridge cabernet. Brigden was also a true cycling enthusiast and old school - he rode a vintage Bianchi steel framed bike he bought and had shipped from italy during the massive 1982 European Rolling Stones tour he worked on.
Mick is survived by his loving wife, Julia, his beloved son, Jack, step-daughter, Jessica and grandson David Merz.