INXS Manager
CM Murphy Launches Rights Venture

To break more international acts, INXS manager CM Murphy launched Murphy Rights Management (MRM) April 9. His strategy is to exploit the rights of bands and composers to lift their international profiles.

“Breaking the global market is still extremely difficult, and we’ll be heavy on education,” Murphy told Pollstar.

Acts will undergo a three-month training workshop on building and sustaining careers.

These will be extended to managers and agents.

“Getting the right team is so crucial,” Murphy said. “What I achieved internationally was because I had a killer team around me which I trained.”

Murphy brought in former EMI Music Australia head of business affairs Louis Calleja to the venture.

MRM will work out of his current offices in Sydney, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires, with plans for a setup either in England or Germany to work the European territories.

The first signing, Sydney band Lepers and Crooks, has the ingredients INXS had when he took them on in the late ’70s, including a camaraderie from attending high school together.

Murphy has them in the studio, with plans for international shows by the year’s end. French promoter Jules Frutos has agreed to support the act, Murphy said.

Ever the driven and innovative entrepreneur, Murphy eyed the world stage with MMA Music Publishing, a joint venture with Time Warner called rooArt Records whose acts included You Am I and Ratcat, world music compilation label Petrol and an online radio station.

But his biggest success was INXS, whose 40-million-album-selling career he shaped.

After a 15-year break from the band, he returned in 2010 and set about exploiting their rights.

An all-star tribute album Original Sin with Rob Thomas, Tricky, John Mayer and Ben Harper reignited interest in their songs.

A two-part teledocumentary he executive produced, “Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS,” was a ratings winner in Australia in February, leading to the act enjoying its first chart-topping album in 24 years.

Murphy is working on a Broadway-style musical based around their songs.

“When people refer to me as INXS’s manager, I point out that I manage their intellectual copyright,” he stressed.