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Ray Coffer – Artist Manager – MusicTank

Ray Coffer - Artist Manager

Ray Coffer became an Artist Manager in 1984, when three of the erstwhile members of the gothic band, Bauhaus, persuaded him to manage them in their new incarnation of Love and Rockets.  Having previously gained an essential background in intellectual property law through running an innovative soccer merchandising company, he found that the combination of a deep appreciation of new music, a successful business background, and a strong financial training (being a reformed Chartered Accountant), together with a shameless facility to listen and learn, persuaded many people in the music business that he actually knew what he was talking about.

With the type of good fortune that is often coupled with naïveté rather than sound judgement, Love and Rockets, a Beggars Banquet act, were far more successful in the USA than the UK and this formed his early experiences as a manager.  He became manager for the influential Cocteau Twins in 1986 and, having somewhat fortuitously acquired a reputation as a sensitive manager of artists in the so-called “post-modern” or alternative genre, he risked all by opening an American arm of his organisation in Los Angeles.

No sooner did the new office doors open than a flood of American bands in the same idiom were offered to the organisation, but good sense prevailed and he began co-managing the Smashing Pumpkins with his eventual partner, Andy Gershon (now president V2 in NY).

From 1992 to date he has happily represented The Sundays.

Other artists who have suffered at his hands include Xymox (4AD), Ian McCulloch (WEA), Electrafixion (WEA), Toni Halliday and Curve (BMG), Cecil (Parlophone), Laptop (island), Agnes (Island), Swell (American) as well as band members’ solo careers.  Fortunately for these artists, he was partnered for many of these years by the talented Darren Michaelson who has since become a successful manager in his own right.

By the year 2000 Ray had come to the conclusion that great new music and good taste were withering in the wake of pre-fabricated karaoke singers. He continues to manage existing clients, but has since chosen to undertake new projects that are as far from the pandemonium of the music industry as possible, whilst masochistically retaining an unquenchable conviction that the good taste pendulum is inevitably, albeit slowly, swinging back.

At present Ray is writing a book about Austrian Expressionist artists and composers in Vienna in 1900, which some cynics may say is simply a perverse, but logical extension to his experience as an Artist Manager, only in this case, the artists won’t answer back.