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Can You Guess The Most Important Part Of A Band-Rayman’s Trac Two

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If  I were to ask you the most important part of a band, you might respond with the lead singer, or the music they play, or  something along those lines. Those are good points for sure, but in my opinion, the most important part of any band is not the band at all, but the band’s manager.

If we look back in rock n roll, we’ll find many bands that were great, only to breakup because of bad or mismanagement. I believe they call it “managerial disputes,” meaning management sucked. You may say “Rayman, what makes a great manager?” I would reply with the following.

The ability to look record execs in the eye and kick him in the jewels. The ability to intimidate is mandatory, band management is not a job for a wussies. Strong creative and imaginative skills. Showmanship, plenty of flair. Being a believable liar is a must. Demanding yet persuasive. Decisive. A belief in the band that runs through every fiber in your body. A workaholic.

I’ve just described Stig Anderson. Stig managed ABBA, and also managed the investment of funds and the enormous financial incomes of Polar Music.  Most of the money came from individual record deals he struck for ABBA, including a ground-breaking agreement for record sales in Russia in which ABBA recordings were released in exchange for barrels of oil.

Before his time with ABBA, Anderson managed some of the biggest Swedish artists of the day, and had a huge number of hits on the Swedish charts. His success earned him the nickname “The Business” since he often had several artists in the Top 10 at any time with whom he had written, published, and recorded the songs.

Prior to ABBA’s formation, the members were living in a VW bus and had decided to leave music and gain regular jobs, however Anderson persuaded them to start a new band, investing considerable money in the group.

Anderson co-wrote many of the songs’ lyrics, among them some of the band’s biggest hits, such as  “Waterloo” (1974),  “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” (1975),  “S.O.S. (1975), “Fernando (1976), “Dancing Queen” (1976), and “Knowing Me, Knowing You” (1977). He also owned the record label and the publishing company.

Stig’s most treasured award was Billboard Magazine’s “Trendsetter Award”. Such a distinction had only been presented to one European person before Anderson, and that was Brian Epstein,  manager of the Beatles

On 12 September 1997, at the age of 66, Stig Anderson died of a heart attack. His funeral was broadcast live on National TV, an honor only reserved for distinguished statesmen or royalty.

Those in band management, both present and future, might do well to take a page out of his book. Stig Anderson was a manager.

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