I found out on Wednesday that a good friend of mine (and former manager of my band) Jon Eydmann, died whilst on holiday in Italy with his girlfriend and her son. Jon managed my band Adventure Club for two productive years and helped steer us through the murky and treacherous waters of the record industry.
I was introduced to Jon through a music publisher friend Jonny Kyte (Kyto). We'd been sending him down demo's of our album and he reckoned it was time to move forward and get the songs released on a proper label - but only if we had a manager. Well, six months down the line we were still manager-less, then , one rainy November day I got a call from Kyto.
"I've sent your stuff to this manager I know. I think it he may like it."
At this point after several failed attempts to click with or secure a trusty manager, I was a little jaded about the whole thing.
"Oh, right,OK...Has he managed any one before?" I said.
"He managed Suede?"
"Er, OK...send away."
The next day I'm staring at my computer at work, thinking about what the hell I am doing with my life trying to release an album. It was ridiculous. Everyone we'd sent it to , apart from Kyto, just didn't get us, we were destined to be another band that never got a deal... and then my phone buzzes on my desk.
"Hi it's Jon Eydmann. Kyto sent me your album? I think its really, really great. When you playing next?"
"We don't really have a band at the moment, it's just me the singer and a drum machine."
"Like The Pet Shop Boys?" he said dead pan.
"Erm, no.More like Erasure..."
"That's alright then. " he said and chuckled.
After that gig we spoke on the phone nearly every day for about two years. Apart from reassuring us again and again that we were actually good, and we would eventually get a deal, he was full of great stories about the industry and the crazy things that pop stars get up to.
Jon's management style reflected his personality - calm , considered and patient. Everyone who had worked with him , or the many bands he'd helped along the way, I'm sure would agree that he was a rare thing in the industry- a nice bloke who actually liked music. He helped a lot of people achieve or get closer to their dreams and that is a quality which is rare and should be applauded.
Cheers Jon. You will be missed.