Club-Owner, Manager; What Can't Gary Taylor Do?
the man behind gary taylor management
I got a hold of Gary Taylor on the phone, the first thing he told
me was he was fasting. This wouldn't be surprising if Mr. Taylor
were nutritionist or on a religious mission. However, this is
obviously not the case, or I wouldn't have mentioned it. Gary
Taylor runs Gary Taylor Management, a band management company
based in Vancouver.
It turns out
Gary fasts every week for 36 hours, starting on Sunday night.
His reasoning is solid enough. "I'm 58. I'm a pretty solid health
fanatic. I always look after myself because I've been in the nightclub
and entertainment business all my life and I've seen so many people
age quickly and go down and die; screw themselves up."
always been a manager. However, as he mentioned, he has been in
the entertainment industry for his entire life. And for this story,
as in most others, it is best to start at the beginning and end
with the end, mentioning the important, exciting details and leaving
the rest behind. Luckily,
Gary has had a life full of important, exciting details.
from Vancouver, Gary went to school through grade 13 with plans
of being a lawyer. As per usual, life is not so easy to plan.
A few years earlier at a friend's band practice, Gary had caught
the music bug and bought himself some drums. By the time he was
done with grade 13, he had already decided he was going to be
a musician, and a musician he became.
The Classics, played a mixture of R&B and Rock. The band landed
a job playing for a Canadian national television show called "The
Let's Go Show" after auditioning with a few hundred other bands.
"We got the show, so we became television stars at a very young
After a few
years, the band broke up, as do most bands. A few of the members
went on to form other bands, but Taylor decided he would build
his own nightclub, King of Clubs, in Vancouver. With the help
of three new partners, the club brought in bands to cater to an
older crowd. Acts such as Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, and the
Coasters all played there. His partners sold their share after
a few years, and Gary decided to leave the club after the new
owners changed the name and the club itself.
moved on once again. Over
the years he ran clubs including Gary Taylor's Rock Room, Gary
Taylor's Show Lounge, and a piano lounge.
Taylor's career brought him to Madison, WI. In this college-town
in middle-America he bought a club called R&R Station, which he
reworked and opened as The Paramount. The club became one of the
premier Madison clubs in the mid-to-late 90's, featuring artists
including Cheap Trick, Hole, Branford Marsalis, The Fugees, Bush,
and Henry Rollins.
"We had a
great club, a great sound system. All of the acts wanted to play
there. We went there with a purpose of building the club. Great
location, great town, at least we thought it was. … We started
having all our troubles when we started bringing hip-hop bands
Once the trouble
for the new club began, things started to snowball. The police
forced him to increase security and cut capacity. "They really,
really put the screws to us. Rather than help us they just totally
drove us out. … I went through hell and high water there man."
the club closed down. During these last few years in Madison,
Taylor had become a sort of a legend with the city and the students
living there. He ran the Mifflin Street Festival (one of the biggest
block parties in Madison) one year, the year before it met its
end. "They gave me the keys to the city. I was the only guy to
get a beer garden for something like 15 years." Just after this
festival was around the time the club was having problems. He
left Madison within a year of closing the club.
Taylor had become disheartened with the club industry. He had
received a few job offers booking various clubs, including The
Rave in Milwaukee. Taylor's answer was simple, "I wasn't about
to get back in the nightclub business and go through all the bullshit."
went on to start his own management company, Gary Taylor Management,
which he still runs to this day. He currently has a roster of
eight acts and is working with a couple of producers. One of his
bands, Torben Floor (review),
has been working with Taylor for several years. His company has
gotten to the stage now where Taylor doesn't need to look for
acts, instead acts are coming to him.
So why does
Taylor keep doing this? What is his goal in all of his work? What
does he really want?
He sums it
up nicely, "Develop bands, get them signed, and just keep moving
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