Promoter Gérard Drouot Dies At 69: ‘A Huge Loss To The Whole Of The French Music Industry’
Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect – Gérard Drouot at The International Talent Buyers meeting at Pollstar CIC 2002 at The Renaissance Hotel, Hollywood, CA.
The French promoter passed away Monday morning, aged 69.
Gérard Drouot, whose career as a French promoter spanned more than 40 years, passed away Jan. 10. A statement sent out on the morning of his passing by Gérard Drouot Productions, the company he launched in Strasbourg, France, in 1986, reads: “It is with immense sadness that we report the passing of our founder Gérard Drouot at the age of 69 while battling leukemia.”
Drouot dropped out of medical school when he first heard Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to follow his passion for music and live performances. His first events in the east of France included concerts by Nico and Tangerine Dream at Notre-Dame de Reims cathedral in 1974.
The rock and jazz legends who have put their trust in Drouot since include AC/DC, ZZ Top, Asaf Avidan, Bruce Springsteen, David Gilmour, Diana Krall, Sir Elton John, Joan Baez, Joe Satriani, Lenny Kravitz, Luciano Pavarotti, Melody Gardot, Ray Charles, U2 and many more.
Another French promoter icon, Jackie Lombard, stated her condolences in French on Instagram, which she allowed Pollstar to translate and publish: “We were friends, accomplices and competitors, and not just any competitor. He was a heavyweight producer for 40 years. It was war and peace but with a lot of respect for each other. We have co-produced great concerts together and above all shared a good laugh. Today, I am shocked, I cannot find the words to express my sadness. With the death of Gérard Drouot our industry has lost one of the greatest producers and pioneers of live performance. He will be greatly missed. The succession of GDP is ensured by his son Matthieu Drouot. Know that I share your grief, my deep condolences go out to the family and the GDP team affectionately, friendly and sadly. RIP.”
Joan Baez posted the following tribute on Facebook: “Gérard Drouot was an integral part of the successful reinvention of my career in France. He was the consummate strategic partner for nearly 30 years, during which I played literally hundreds of concerts in France, culminating in a series of sold out performances at the prestigious L’Olympia in Paris during my final tour. His intuition and attention to details as a promoter were impeccable. Gérard was a generous, kind, fun-loving man, whom I cherished as a good friend. I will miss him, as will countless others, from the musicians to the public, all of whom owe him debts of gratitude. Fare Thee Well.”
Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The Agency Group – Meeting at Pollstar Live! 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee (from left):
GDP’s Gaetan Grivel, Gérard Drouot, and Helen Drouot, and Neil Warnock.
Neil Warnock MBE, Global Head of Touring at UTA, worked with Drouot on several artists, including Pink Floyd and David Gilmour, George Benson, Deep Purple, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, King Crimson, Katie Melua and Alice Cooper. Warnock penned the following words in remembrance of his very dear friend:
“I was deeply shocked and devastated to receive the news of my great friend Gérard Drouot’s passing yesterday, January 10. Gérard and I were friends for at least 30 years and he was one of the most consummate professionals I have ever worked with, not only in France but worldwide. What made him unique in the music business in France was that he wasn’t Parisian and indeed because of that, he worked his Artistes right the way across France to help develop their careers.
“It was a complete pleasure to work with him as a friend. He was an absolute delight, always, to have lunch or dinner with. His knowledge of wine and food was incredible and a joy to behold. I’m both shocked and saddened at the huge loss to the whole of the French music industry and I feel so sad at this time for his son, Matthieu and the whole family. One thing I do know is that Matthieu will continue the great legacy started by his father and will take GDP to even greater levels than before.”
Gérard Drouot Productions was ranked No. 21 on Pollstar’s 2019 Magna Charta Euro Ticket Sales Top 100 Promoters chart with 166,366 tickets sold.