Live Nation’s Ted Mankin On Jack Boyle’s Passing: A Remembrance

Legendary Washington, D.C., concert promoter Jack Boyle, who last week passed at age 83, was a giant in the business.  

He founded Cellar Door Productions with partner Sam L’ Hommedieu, while establishing area venues like The Crazy Horse, The Bayou and The Cellar before building his enterprise into a regional powerhouse.


Jack Boyle with wife Janet and Women in Distress’ Mary Riedel

Live Nation Washington DC Metro Area Vice President Ted Mankin provided the following remembrance:

Jack Boyle, you should know was a primary architect of the live concert business and fostered its incubation and growth for close to fifty years.

I just want to say that as a music fan in my youth, I marveled at Jack, who kept an incredibly low profile, built a business from a seminal club, helped define what a local promoter was , and eventually cobbled together a network of regional promoters way before anyone thought of consolidating any of the concert business.

For a while, I couldn’t even locate a photo of Jack just to see what this entrepreneur looked like (and I grew up in the DC area). He backed more projects , more bands, more tours, and more agents than anyone (except him) ever knew.

He always believed in “family first.” Our business makes extraordinary demands on our time, but if you had a family commitment, that came first. Jack took a sincere personal interest in what was going on in your life and with your family, which at the time was a first for me.

Most promoters were territorial at that time, but Jack found guys, backed them, let them do their thing, and we were stronger because of his hands-off approach. I can honestly say I would not be writing this missive if not for Jack.

He introduced me to the best promoters I know though Cellar Door and I am lucky enough to still work with them.

As for an anecdote, here goes: Jack sometimes spoke his own language, which we had a nickname for, I think in order to keep us a bit perpetually off balance, just in case we got a bit too big for our shoes.

He knew exactly what he was saying, but sometimes it came off as confused or as a question mishmashed together. Some would construe it a bit crazy (like a fox), but he knew what he was doing.

In the early 1990s, our local Atlanta Cellar Door was promoting an Ice T/Guns ‘n Roses/Metallica stadium date at Arrowhead stadium in Kansas City.

Jack asked me to pick him up at the airport and take him to the gig. As we were driving down the road, he started reading every storefront sign, saying literally in succession, “One Hour Martinizing” and “Going out of Business Carpet Sale” and “Over 100 Million Burgers sold.”

In between rapidly reading what seemed like every possible sign on the road, he would slop in the questions “what are you planning on doing with your life?” and “do you enjoy your job?” and “tell me about yourself.”

Aside from Jack already being an intimidating presence , the entire exchange had me spinning, which was of course the intent. I wasn’t sure if he was a little crazy or a master of knocking someone off balance.

Turns out he was both. I think I passed the test. Jack gave me the freedom to grow, make mistakes and learn how a small business worked. I am forever grateful and will miss him.