Tool, QOTSA Manager, Lollapalooza Co-Founder Ted Gardner Dies In Australia
– Ted Gardner
Australian manager Ted Gardner, whose clients included Tool, Jane’s Addiction and
While based in Los Angeles for 25 years, he and wife Nikki Brown also looked after The Verve, HUM, The Cramps, Men At Work’s Colin Hay, Rose Tattoo, Rival Schools and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
In 1991 Gardner, Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, agent Don Muller, and WME’s Marc Geiger set up Lollapalooza, initially as the farewell tour of Jane’s Addiction.
“Aside from Roger Davies, Ted was the only artist manager from Australia who constantly had global successes with his acts,” noted veteran agent John Sinclair of Redbird Music.
They began working together in the early ‘80s when Sinclair booked Gardner’s first act, Sydney band Matt Finish, and remained close friends through his illness.
“He was tough, strong and powerful but also a very good and loyal man,” Sinclair remembered.
Men At Work’s drummer Jerry Speiser described Gardner to Pollstar as “The John Wayne of crew. He was in charge, a large man with a deep voice, and a command and a calmness about him.”
Gardner joined Men At Work in 1982 as tour manager as their “Down Under” and Business As Usual album became global hits. When they returned home after a two-year road stint, the original lineup split.
When Gardner returned to Los Angeles, “Australia was flavor of the year, it was the time to be there.” He starved and slept on sofas for six months before becoming production manager for Frank Zappa.
Zappa instructed him on contracts and avoiding industry pitfalls. Managing Jane’s Addiction gave other lessons. “They were dysfunctional and a little crazy. You had to be in total control.”
In 2007, Gardner and Brown returned to Australia to bring up their young daughter, and ran his global operations from there.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe tweeted: “The funniest story he told me was of a meeting when Lollapalooza went mega, and he walks in and Perry Farrell goes, ‘Ted, we got Metallica to headline.’
“He goes, ‘Fuck, you just wrecked this festival.’ Perry goes, ‘Ted, they are on speakerphone now.’ Telephone: ‘Hi Ted.’”