Michael Gudinski, Music Promoter, Dies at 68: Rockers React
Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Sebastian Bach and Bryan Adams mourned the loss of Australian music promoter and businessman Michael Gudinski, who died peacefully in his sleep on Monday at age 68.
Gudinski was a crucial figure in Australian music. In 1972, he created Mushroom Records, which became the country's largest independent label, followed by its publishing arm Mushroom Music. His first major signing was glam-rock act Skyhooks, and he later brought on artists like Kylie Minogue, Split Enz and (to its U.K. offshoot) Garbage.
But Gudinski may be more famous for founding Australia's Frontier Touring in 1979. According to Billboard, the company was the world's third-largest promoter in 2018, grossing $245.1 million in ticket sales and 2.77 million ticket sales from 440 reported shows.
Springsteen remembered Gudinski, his "friend," as "first, last and always a music man."
"I've toured the world for the last 50 years and never met a better promoter," he tweeted. "Michael always spoke with a deep rumbling voice, and the words would spill out so fast that half the time I needed an interpreter. But I could hear him clear as a bell when he would say, 'Bruce, I've got you covered.' And he always did. He was loud, always in motion, intentionally (and unintentionally) hilarious and deeply soulful. He will be remembered by artists, including this one, from all over the world every time they step foot on Australian soil. My deepest condolences to his wife and partner Sue and to the whole Gudinski family, of which he was so proud."
Foo Fighters called Gudinksi a "true fucking legend" and said they will "miss [him] dearly."
"Thank You, Michael Gudinski for giving us and countless others the best night of our lives. Over and over again," they wrote, adding, "Rock 'n' roll will miss you deeply."
Bach tweeted that he recalls being "struck by how much he seemed to care about me as a human being," noting that Gudinski came into his hotel room to talk directly. "Few promoters talked to me the way Michael Gudinski did."
Adams wrote, "RIP to Michael Gudinski, my friend and Australian promoter from Frontier Touring. Love to his wife Sue and family. We're heartbroken to hear the news."
Eagles manager Irving Azoff acknowledged Gudinski's death to Billboard, saying it marked the "end of an era" for Australian music promotion and calling him "one of the greatest promoters that ever lived."