Introducing himself to Bob Dylan at a party, Peter Grant extended his hand and said, “Hi. I’m Peter Grant, manager of Led Zeppelin.”
Dylan looked at him and said, “I don’t come to you with my problems, do I?” then turned and walked away.
This famous anecdote says a lot about Dylan’s dyspeptic personality (Dylan was our Kanye, but with a sense of humor), but it indicates more, and better, I think, about why Peter Grant was a great manager.
Grant was a former South London wrestler who became one of the most powerful men in the music industry. The formidable 6 foot, 5 inch, ‘Genghis Khan of Rock’ struck fear into the hearts of anyone foolish enough to try to rip off one of his bands.
Across a long career, Grant managed the Yardbirds, Bad Company, Bo Diddley, The Everly Brothers, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, and the Animals, but his reputation was cemented in rock history with Led Zeppelin.
There were many rough edges to this ex-wrestler (who once beat up a security guard who mistakenly cuffed his son), including years of drug abuse and depression when John Bonham (Led Zeppelin’s drummer) died of alcohol abuse.
But, for now, let’s focus on Grant’s positive attributes, the ones we’d like to see in all our managers.
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