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Dave Robinson – Industry Consultant – MusicTank

Dave Robinson - Industry Consultant

The people, the stories, the people again, the graft, the ‘business’, the drugs, the music, the madness, the smart people, the drinking, the money, the stupid people, the litigation, the parties, the artwork, the slogans, the roadies, the charts, the achievements, the campaigns, the bomb scares, the arrests, the fuck ups, and a recollection of the complete and utter insanity that comes with 40 years at the sharp end of the greatest music revolution of our time.

Originally a teenage photographer in Dublin, Dave Robinson opened the first Beat Club in Ireland. He took pictures for Rave magazine at the Cavern with the Beatles, and on the Rolling Stones first tour of Ireland. He befriended Van Morrison, and briefly managed him, and he was Jimi Hendrix’s Road and Tour manager from his first tour of the UK with the Pink Floyd, The Nice and The Move. He shared flats with Jimi and Noel Reading in London and toured with The Experience across America and the world until just before Jimi’s death. He also did major tours in the US with Eric Burden & The Animals, The Young Rascals and the Vanilla Fudge. He partied and clubbed with The Grateful Dead, Janice Joplin, The Who, Jim Morrison and the Doors. He then returned to London and started and managed Brinsley Schwartz, Graham Parker, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmonds, Ian Dury and Elvis Costello.

In London, he single-handedly created a network of 35 pubs where bands could play what they liked and this became the forerunner of punk. Dave built a recording studio above the legendary Hope and Anchor Pub in Islington and with Jake Riviera, he started Stiff Records and signed The Damned, Motorhead, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Tracey Ullman, The Plasmatics, Jona Lewie, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Kirsty McColl, The Box Tops, The Adverts, Lene Lovich, The Pogues, Madness and many more.

After Stiff, Dave was installed by Chris Blackwell as president of Island Records , where he oversaw the careers of U2, Robert Palmer, Stevie Winwood, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, working closely with legendary producer Trevor Horn. He personally compiled and marketed Bob Marley’s 36 million selling LEGEND album – the biggest reggae album in the World.

Dave had got Stiff Records into a three way co-op with Virgin and Island in the 80s and then sued Chris Blackwell and was sued by Richard Branson and won each case.

He represented Rick Rubin running Def Jam Records and American Recordings outside North America working with Johnny Cash, the Black Crows, Slayer, Danzig and the Jayhawks. He settled the vicious two-year litigation between Rick Rubin and Roger Ames, Chairman of PolyGram and signed American Recordings to BMG.

Dave then ran The Famous Blue Note Club and Acid Jazz Label in London helping to launch The Acid House and Drum and Bass dance movements.

Dave has been at the helm or in the mix of the most exciting and important musical developments and he is still active in the music industry as a consultant for various labels and projects – from Van Morrison for EMI to the Dubliners for Sanctuary – as well as keeping an eye on some of the most enduring repertoire the music industry has even seen.