– Joyce Smyth
Manager, The Rolling Stones
Joyce Smyth is considering The Rolling Stones’ seminal moments: “watching the fans run in when the gates opened for the Cuban gig” comes to mind.
The slight Cambridge-educated barrister, who joined Theodore Goddard out of law school on Marie Stacey’s team, caught the eye of the Rolling Stones business manager Prince Rupert Lowenstein.
Eventually forming Smyth Barkham to absorb Goddard’s private clients, her relationship with Prince Lowenstein also became a mentorship; ultimately seeing her become Supervisory Director of the Stones Dutch businesses, which hold all their rights.
In 2010, she became the Rolling Stones’ manager in full.
“I wake up every day, thinking how lucky I am,” she responded via email. “I remember the words of my great legal mentor, a woman way ahead of her time whose mantra was ‘You are only as good as your team.’” With the Stones poised to celebrate six decades in 2022, she notes the band’s desire to evolve their music as well as their legacy.
“Unzipped: The Rolling Stones Exhibition” heads to Europe, slated to open in Groningen, the Netherlands, this fall. There are other plans, too early to announce, “not simply looking back at the great achievements of the past, but acknowledging the relevance of the Rolling Stones today by a variety of special projects which will incorporate new music as well as their astonishing catalogue.”
And the Stones can adapt. After the US leg of “No Filter 2019 Tour” met delays, they dug in. “The last shows of the original schedule became the first of the new…Full credit to the principals themselves and Concert West. It was a true team effort. “And just as we thought we were free from further hassle, we found ourselves meeting hurricanes, which meant moving New Orleans a day back and Miami a day forward. It is rock & roll after all…”
Whether she manages the most iconic rock band or not, Smyth embraces team building. Coming up in a proper British law firm, her sense of sophistication tempers stunning reality. “You need to lead from the front, but be seen at the coalface, too – never ask some poor Jimmy to do a job you would not be prepared to do yourself If you had to.”
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