Cat Posted January 27, 2008 Share Posted January 27, 2008 New York Times Company Nov 26, 1995 Peter Grant, a strapping British ex-wrestler who once managed Led Zeppelin and other rock groups, died on Tuesday. He was 60 and lived in Eastbourne on the Channel coast south of London. The cause was a heart attack, said his press agent, Judy Totton. In his prime, Mr. Grant, who stood 6 feet 5, was a heavyweight in the rock industry. He once said, "When it comes to 'heavy management,' they don't come any heavier than me." Before he became active in the British music industry in the late 1950's, Mr. Grant had been a professional wrestler. The Daily Telegraph in London observed on Friday: "His fearsome physique blinded more than one business rival to the formidable vision, cunning, imagination and negotiating prowess which he applied to every transaction." Mr. Grant managed Led Zeppelin -- the British group that many music critics have called the definitive rock band of the 1970's -- from the late 1960's until it disbanded in the early 1980's, when he retired as a band manager. One of Mr. Grant's deals involving Led Zeppelin was recounted by two American historians of popular culture, Michael Uslan and Bruce Solomon, in "Dick Clark's the First 25 Years of Rock & Roll" (1981): "October of 1968 found the quartet rehearsing in London, while Peter Grant flew to America to get his boys a deal with a record label. Atlantic signed them without ever seeing or hearing them. Grant returned to England, hustled his band into a studio, and one week later had 'Led Zeppelin' in the can. The band went to the States, started opening concerts for other groups, and methodically blew the headliners off the stage. Within months their first album was in America's top ten." Mr. Grant was known for pushing hard to increase rock performers' incomes. The Guardian in London reported on Friday that Phil Everly, a singer and musician, said in introducing Mr. Grant at a party in London not long ago: "Without his efforts, musicians had no careers. He was the first to make sure the artists came first and that we got paid and paid properly." Mr. Grant's career was not trouble-free. In the late 1970's, when he was 42, he and three Led Zeppelin colleagues were convicted in an Oakland, Calif., court of battery at a concert in Oakland. They were sentenced to probation after pleading no contest. The four had been charged in an incident in which three security guards said they had been beaten with guitars and amplifying equipment. Earlier in his career, Mr. Grant had managed another popular group, the Yardbirds. Mr. Grant, a London native, had quit school in his early teens to help support his family. He initially took a job as a factory worker and then as a Fleet Street messenger before serving in the British Army and working as a wrestler. He is survived by a son, Warren, and a daughter, Helen. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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