George Michael manager Simon Napier-Bell to reveal all in conversation

Simon Napier-Bell with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. Source: supplied/simonnapierbell.com

Simon Napier-Bell with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. Source: supplied/simonnapierbell.com

Music journalist Jane Gazzo will spend an afternoon in September speaking with rock manager, author, composer, record producer, filmmaker and all-round expert in popular music, Simon Napier-Bell.

As one of Britain’s most successful artist managers, Simon has worked with acts such as Dusty SpringfieldThe Yardbirds (featuring Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin), UltravoxMarc Bolan and T-RexAsiaCandi StatonBoney M, and Sinéad O’Connor. He most famously discovered George Michael and Wham!, who became the first Western band to ever tour China in the early ’80s thanks to his persistence.

An Afternoon with Simon Napier-Bell

“Simon has led such an interesting life and has so many great stories that I found myself speaking to the BIGSOUND people, suggesting him for a mini keynote,” Jane Gazzo told The Industry Observer.

“Of course they jumped at the opportunity and fortunately, Simon will make his way around the country after the music conference, no doubt inspiring and amusing all who hear him.”

Simon signing the contract for Wham!’s gig in Guandong, 1985. Source: supplied/Simonnapierbell.com

Simon signing the contract for Wham!’s gig in Guandong, 1985. Source: supplied/Simonnapierbell.com

Working alongside the managers of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham, Simon took notes and observed the workings of the music industry, which he later applied to the artists he managed – all of whom became household names.

He also discovered Australia’s John Paul Young in a bar, and – without hearing him sing a note – handed him his debut single Pasadena. JPY went on to become a household name with his follow up hit Love is in the Air.

Simon’s composition credits include co-writing the ’60s hit You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, first performed by Dusty Springfield, and then Elvis Presley. He is also the author of four best-selling books on popular music and recently directed two film documentaries – The 27 Club, an investigation into the psyche of creative music artists, and 50 Years Legal, to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Great Britain.

National Tour Dates

  • BrisbaneBIGSOUND Keynote – Friday 8th Sept
  • MelbourneArts Centre – Saturday 9th Sept – in conversation with Jane Gazzo
  • Adelaide – The JADE – Sunday 10th Sept
  • Sydney – The Leadbelly – Monday 11th September – in conversation with Stuart Coupe
  • Perth – Mojo’s Freo – Tuesday 12th September

Stoked to be hosting ‘An Afternoon with Simon Napier-Bell’ (former manager of Wham & George Michael, Marc Bolan, The Yardbirds feat Jimmy Page, Dusty Springfield, Sinead O’Connor, Ultravox, Japan et al) at @artscentremelbourne in Sept. Tix on sale now! #wham #georgemichael #ultravox #dustyspringfield #sineadoconnor #arts #music #artistmanager #marcbolan #rockmanagement #popmusic #popculture #artscentremelbourne

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