Worst (or best) music managers

Please name and shame the managers who severely harmed the musical act they represented!

(Or if you prefer, tell us about a music manager whose particular talents were indispensable to a certain act’s success.)

Stan Polley, a bad man who destroyed Badfinger.

Allen Klein. If robbing wealthy clients blind is considered “harm.”

Matthew Katz of Moby Grape infamy.

For “best” I guess going by the OPs criteria, Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant? He may have used strong-arm negotiation tactics right out of a mob movie, but those tactics secured deals for Zeppelin that were lucrative to a level unprecedented in the music industry.

I would rate Paul McGuinness who managed U2 from their beginning until about 10 years ago. He took them from playing pubs to being the biggest band in the world.

I also think of two Australian managers - Chris Murphy (INXS) and Gary Morris (Midnight Oil). Essentially because they took local acts, physically distant from the centers of the music industry, and made them players. Murphy signed INXS to Atco Records in the US, which helped them penetrate the American market, and even figured out a way to keep the band relevant after the death of Michael Hutchence by getting them on the CBS reality show Rock Star: INXS.

Gary Morris deserves mention because for a band like the Oils with such a strong Australian identity, he found ways to give them international appeal, like connecting them to British producers, and helping them become an internationally known band with fairly uncompromising principles. Like Murphy, he managed his band for a long time.

I think the key to longevity in the music business is a good manager, sharing royalties, and talent, in that order…

Brian Epstein’s handling of toy rights for the Beatles is pure incompetence on every level.

The rights are usually 50% of the price. Epstein went into the meeting and the first thing he said was they he wouldn’t take anything less than 15%. For not doing the research, he cost his clients millions.

What was the Dave Clark Five’s cut on their action figures in comparison?