Chuck Morris To Launch Music Program At Colorado State; Becomes Chairman Emeritus At AEG Presents Rocky Mountains
Courtesty AEG Presents Rocky Mountains – Chuck Morris
Veteran concert promoter and artist manager Chuck Morris will launch a music business program at Colorado State University in Denver in collaboration with the school’s College of Business come fall, marking a new chapter in an already colorful career.
Morris, CEO of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains, will continue at the company as chairman emeritus and in a consulting role, working on special projects and general oversight of the Rocky Mountain and Northwest regions.
In his new role, Morris will direct the cross-disciplinary program at Colorado State that will equip students with knowledge and real-world experience in order to pursue careers in the music business. The first course offerings ae to begin in the fall, and will tap Morris’ professional network and feature music business professionals across different fields.
“With my 48-year career as a promoter and manager, I’ve always just followed my gut,” Morris says. “After guest lecturing through the years at countless colleges, I always knew I wanted to start a music program for a Colorado university. My dream is finally coming true.”
Beth Walker, the dean of CSU’s College of Business, says of the program, “We have distinctive competencies in entrepreneurship and innovation and believe that this program should be open to all students across campus. Our ‘big tent’ ethos, to create a music business program that crosses disciplinary boundaries, is central to the vision for this program. In addition to the deep involvement of Chuck Morris himself, this perspective makes this opportunity unique.”
The Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Morris came to Colorado when he was 20 to pursue a degree in political science at the University of Colorado in Boulder but dropped out of graduate school to pursue a music career, first managing The Sink and then co-owning Tulagi’s in that city.
At Tulagi’s, Morris booked some of the earliest shows by the Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, The Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top, Linda Ronstadt, and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
He partnered in 1973 with Barry and Cindy Fey to open Ebbets Field, a landmark club in Denver where he continued booking rising stars including the first tours by Steve Martin, Dan Fogelberg, Jimmy Buffett, Billy Joel, Emmylou Harris, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dolly Parton, Richard Pryor, Tommy Bolin and more.
Morris eventually sold Ebbets Field and joined Feyline Presents as senior vice president of promotion and began promoting large-scale concert including with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, U2 and Bob Seger, among others, which led to him joining forces with the legendary Bill Graham to open Bill Graham/Chuck Morris Presents and ultimately Live Nation.
He also managed artists including Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which he took to Russia to tour in support of businessman Phil Anschutz’s Western Art Collection debut in that country. He developed a close relationship with Anschutz and eventually opened AEG Presents Rocky Mountains.
See also: Q’s With AEG Presents’ Chuck Morris On ‘A Dream Come True’
“The last 14 years at AEG alongside my longtime friend Phil Anschutz and longtime partners Brent Fedrizzi and Don Strasburg have been some of the most rewarding times of my career,” Morris said in a statement.
The CSU Music Business Program will be open to all students and will engage organization including the Bohemian Foundation and the Music District in Fort Colins, as well as music businesses in Colorado and beyond.
“I couldn’t be more excited about working with the renowned Chuck Morris to launch a Music Business program through the College of Business at CSU,” Walker says. Given the vibrant and thriving music scene in Colorado, distinctive music culture and community in Fort Collins, and partners across our campus, we have the opportunity to build a program that is truly world-class.”
Morris adds, “Of all the things I’ve accomplished in 48 years, I really believe the crown jewel of my career will be the next phase of educating college student on the music business I’ve been blessed to be a part of.”