Started his legendary rock career working for Jimi Hendrix
By: Kirk Fox
1 month ago
Gerry Stickells was a legendary rock and roll tour manager who worked with Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and other artists. He was an auto mechanic driving around local musicians in England when he got a job as Jimi Hendrix’s tour manager. After Hendrix died, he went on the road with Queen and was instrumental in creating the lavish rock spectacle the band wanted on stage. Stickells and business partner Chris Lamb formed G.L.S. productions which handled touring and production needs for many bands.
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Died: Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (Who else died on March 6?)
Details of death: Died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 76, according to his wife Sylvia.
How he started with Jimi Hendrix: He met Hendrix’s manager Chas Chandler and Chandler made him an offer. If he could get Hendrix’s music gear safely out of customs at Heathrow Airport, then he could work on Hendrix’s European tour. He was with Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. Stickells identified Hendrix’s body after he died in London and escorted his body to Seattle for his funeral. – According to the New York Times
He worked well with Freddie Mercury: “He was probably the only person able to get Freddie to change his mind, or convince him otherwise, when Fred chose to be difficult and play the diva.” Peter Hince, author of the book “Queen Unseen,” told the New York Times in an email.
How the music industry changed: “I was traveling with Hendrix, and we got all our sound equipment and the drum kit into one station wagon. Now I’m dealing with millions and tractor-trailer rigs and helicopters.” – In an interview with United Press International
Queen members paid tribute: “So sad that our wonderful tour manager for many years Gerry Stickells passed away this morning. Lost for words. RIP GERRY. Love ya. Thanks for everything.” – Queen guitarist Brian May on Instagram
“Gerry Stickells, the world's greatest tour manager passed away after a long struggle with illness. He was more than a tour manager to Queen - he was a father figure, great friend and teacher and an island of calm in the midst of chaos. He had a profound effect on my life, all of it good. From his early days with Jimi Hendrix through all the years with Queen and Paul McCartney, Gerry was THE MAN! We will miss him greatly and send love to Sylvia and the family at this difficult time. With great sadness, Roger” – Queen drummer Roger Taylor on Instagram
Full obituary: New York Times
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