Shelley ‘MFTQ’ Lazar – In Memoriam

Kevin Mazur / WireImage
– The Queen & Keef
Shelley Lazar with Keith Richards who gave her the moniker Motherfucking Ticket Queen, attending a HBO screening of “Crossfire Hurricane” at Ziegfeld Theater on Nov.13, 2012 in New York City.

There may be no other person in the live music industry more universally beloved than Shelley Lazar who passed away at the age of 69 on March 31. The “Motherfucking Ticket Queen” seemed to charm the entirety of the live business including some of its most successful execs with her unique combination of warmth, smarts and bawdy humor. Here are some of their tributes and remembrances (in alphabetic order, for those keeping track). 

Dennis Arfa, Artist Group International 
Shelley was the First Lady of VIP ticketing. She worked with the biggest stars in the music business and her personal touch made her the ultimate party planner. 
Artists trusted her as she had the very unique position in guiding their wishes to accommodate their guests and also how to make extra money with premium seating. She was part of the fabric of the baby boomers in the music business. We will miss her. 
Irving Azoff, The Azoff Company 
Shelley Lazar was one of the greats. A pioneer. An icon. No one had more passion for “the show” and delivering a special event. From the first time I met her at Bill Graham Presents, I adored her. Big heart. Big balls. Irreplaceable. She’s in my Hall of Fame, for sure.
Michael Cohl, S2BN Entertainment
The thing about Shelley is she was always really good at having fun. She was almost always up. She led with a smile and a joke, but beyond all of that it was just her humanity. She was a good friend and she did a great job.
Ron Delsener, Live Nation
She had a very good soul. She was smart right from the get-go. She would make everybody laugh. She was very funny. She used bad language, she was like the Belle Barth of the ticket industry, very funny. She’d do impressions of people, she always made me laugh.
Martin Erlichman, Martin Erlichman Associates Inc.
What always amazed me is that she took what I think was a tough responsibility and just did it with humor and sophistication. Whatever it was Shelley took care of it, she never said I can’t do it. She always was able to do it. People were important to her. 
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation
Absolutely sad news. For an entire generation of artists (and people in the business) she was the master of the ticketing world. Beyond all that, she was a great person.
Marc Geiger, WME
A class act with a wicked sense of humor. Heaven’s box office just got a whole lot cooler. We are all going to miss her. RIP Shelley.
Alex Hodges, Nederlander Concerts 
We lost a great lady today. Shelley Lazar was amazing and will be missed and remembered by so many. iPhones were filled with shared stories that make you laugh and smile. Her personality was huge. It is a sad day.” 
Jon Landau,  Jon Landau Management
My partner Barbara Carr, tour director George Travis and myself, we all knew Shelley incredibly well back in the ’80s when she was becoming Shelley Lazar, the unique character we all loved so much …. Shelley was a wonderful woman. I mean when I’m sitting at the Sunset Marquis pool in 1985 and she’s teaching my 9-month daughter how to swim in the pool, that’s the story. 
Rob Light,  CAA
Shelley was truly “one of a kind.” She may be the only person in our business whom everyone admired and loved, artists, executives and assistants alike. I never once saw her rattled, impatient, angry, or short-tempered. She always had a smile, her wit always made you laugh. She loved what she did, and her enthusiasm for live music was contagious. Picking up tickets will never be the same.
Larry Magid, Larry Magid Entertainment Group
Truly a sad and somber day. We go back to the golden time when everything was new. We bonded early and had a special thing between us, but then again a lot of folks will tell you the same thing! Life goes on, business will continue, but people will wonder and search for a lifetime for the thing that makes one person so special, so unique. She had it. Shelley had it! She made us all better people. 
Barrie & Jennifer Marshall and Rachel Thomas, Marshall Arts
Incorrigible. Irreverent. We had hoped Indestructible, but definitely irreplaceable. 
The Beloved Ticket Queen – a woman with the rudest mouth (loved by all) and the purest heart. A heart big enough to embrace the entire music business and beyond. 
The ultimate professional, with care and principles, who managed to wrap a blanket of FUN around everyone she met. Her kindness and generosity was simply in her soul, there every day of her life, and given with love.
Quite simply we loved her. Like everyone else – we are finding it almost impossible to believe – and coming to terms with a loss as great as this will take a long time.
The saddest day – for the entire Marshall Arts Family. (Full statement at
Kevin Mazur, Getty Images
She lit up a room. When I went on the road with the Stones’ Steel Wheels tour for like two months it was like hanging out with family. I always loved her stories. Everybody just wanted to be around her. I loved the way she handled people because she handled everybody the same way – from the janitor and security guy to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. She’s a standout in the music industry by far. There was nobody like Shelley.
John Meglen, Concerts West
We all spent decades on the road with Shelley. Even when she wasn’t feeling her best recently, she always brought light, humor and love to everyone around her. We go back to battling it out between Bill Graham and Jerry Weintraub. How dare you come into our market without us! She knew how it all worked, was a pioneer of ticketing, and we all knew. If you needed a ticket for anything, call Shelley.” I will miss her so much.
Also, when we arrived at the new Four Seasons in New York after opening Voodoo Lounge in Washington, D.C., It was late at night and Shelley had a pup tent set up in the front lobby, and she was sleeping in her PJs.
Gregg Perloff, Another Planet
The concert and music business is a lifestyle. It is made up of incredibly talented, hard working, and creative people. But, seldomly does a force of nature come around. Someone who you can’t help but gravitate towards. Someone who by their very nature 
is like no one you have ever met before, during or after. This was Shelley. Her spirit, her jovial nature, living to work and travel 
and make people smile was unique to the world. She had a sense of humor that was on point, quick and wonderfully not PC.
She will not be replaced. She will not be repeated. She was the MFTQ. And don’t you forget it!
Rob Prinz, ICM Partners
I met Shelley in NYC approximately 40 years ago when I was brand new to the business, filled with hopes and imagination but hard to be lower on the totem pole. I was going to a show, I think at The Bottom Line, but not really sure. 
It may have been the first time I was ever told my name would be “on the list.” I had heard of Shelley but never met her before. 
I waited in line nervously, hoping my name was actually on the list and that I wouldn’t be turned away or somehow otherwise embarrass myself out of the business. 
I eventually got to the table where a lady asked my name and then immediately said, “Oh hi, Rob, I’m Shelley, let’s take care of you right away.”
My tension slipped away. I had just met the kindest, most unpretentious professional one could ever meet in our business and we remained friends until early this year when communications slowed. 
We worked on many projects together from small to huge. 
Shelley will be irreplaceable and I will miss her a lot. RIP pal.
Courtesy Fran Lazar Schwartz
– Macca and the MFTQ
Shelley Lazar with Paul McCartney who would dedicate the song “San Francisco Bay Blues” to in concert.

Michael Rapino, Live Nation
I was lucky to know and work with Shelley for many years and adored her personally and professionally, as did everyone at Live Nation. Her passion for her work, loyalty to artists, wit and force of personality will be sorely missed.
Jane Rose, Keith Richards’ Manager
She was precious to us all. She was kind and gentle and listened. And the bands really had respect for her and trusted her. And she was there for you if you needed her. She could be with anybody in any phase of life and be completely herself. She could just bring everyone to the best common denominator, a very human level and all the bullshit would be put aside. She was amazing, she really was.
Marsha Vlasic, Artist Group International
Brad Wavra,  Live Nation

I have worked with Shelley for over 30 years, which seems impossible because she acted like she was still 20. We all thought she was invincible. No one made you feel more important every day than Shelley Lazar. There probably should be a music business holiday in her honor. Her reach was worldwide, and it will last forever. 
Geof Wills,  Live Nation
She was incredibly magnanimous and did things for people that were almost like the Make-a-Wish Foundation for grown ups. She was super bawdy, which I appreciated. Very, very funny. I just loved her so much and was really crushed.