Joe Satriani's longtime manager Mick Brigden died on September 5 following an accident on his property at his home in Santa Rosa, California. He was 73.
Mick spent decades managing and road managing the likes of HUMBLE PIE, MOUNTAIN and Peter Frampton, in addition to Van Morrison, Taj Mahal and Carlos Santana, among others. He directed tours for THE ROLLING STONES and Bob Dylan and is perhaps best known for the last three decades managing Satriani's career.
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 1960s and becoming their road manager. As luck would have it, in July 1969 he met both Bill 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 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 1970s. The label's first signing was the up-and-coming artist Eddie Money, and Wolfgang released his double-platinum debut in 1977 followed by four more albums. In the 1980s, 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 2000s, 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" (a.k.a. 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 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, stepdaughter Jessica and grandson David Merz.
At this time, memorial plans are pending. As an animal lover, his family asks that any donations in Mick's name be sent to The Humane Society of Sonoma County.
Joe Satriani on his dear friend and mentor Mick Brigden: "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 things and more. I learned so much about how to be a good person from Mick. Throughout his illustrious career he worked the biggest and the best, but always knew it was important to be kind, be respectful, be cool and do things the right way.
"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."
Read Joe's full essay here.