Mick Brigden, a tour manager who worked with artists including The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, died Sept. 5 after an accident at his home in Santa Rosa, California. He was 73 years old.
Brigden’s wife, Julia Dreyer Brigden, told the Press Democrat that her husband was on the property digging a grave for the family’s pet dog when the accident happened.
Throughout his career, which spanned more than 50 years, Brigden served as manager and road manager for Humble Pie, Peter Frampton, Taj Mahal, Morrison and Carlos Santana. He’s also led tours for Dylan and the Stones, but he’s been best known for the past three decades for leading guitarist Joe Satriani.
Born in 1947 in Southend-On-Sea, England, Bridgen moved to Toronto at the age of 19 to pursue a career in graphic art. At the end of the 1960s, he met Felix Pappalardi of the Mountain group, moved to the United States and became their road manager. He soon met Bill Graham and began working for the legendary rock concert promoter, eventually running the management division of Bill Graham Presents (BGP) alongside Arnie Pustilink.
Together in the late 70s, Brigden and Pustilnik launched the Columbia-distributed Wolfgang Records label, signing Eddie Money as their first artist.
When Graham died in 1991, Brigden and Pustilnik banded together with 13 other BGP employees to buy 90% of the business, leaving 10% to Graham’s two sons. In the early 2000s they sold the business and Brigden founded MJJ Management, with Satriani as their sole client.
After many years in Marin County, California, Brigden moved with his wife to Santa Rosa in 2001. Outside of music, he developed a passion for winemaking and cycling – his grapes were used to make an exclusive Owl Ridge Cabernet, and he rode a Bianchi steel-framed vintage bike from Italy.
“It’s been 33 crazy, wonderful years of rock ‘n’ roll,” Satriani said in a statement after Brigden’s death. “I’ve never worked so hard, played so hard, laughed and cried so hard, made so much music and had so many adventures around the world, and all with Mick by my side.”
He added, “He was the ultimate music business mentor. Honest, tough, caring, hardworking, respectful, tenacious, insightful, he was everything and more. I learned so much about being a good person from Mick. Throughout his illustrious career, he’s worked with the biggest and the best, but he always knew the importance of being kind, respectful, cool, and doing things the right way.
Brigden is survived by his wife Julia, son Jack, daughter-in-law Jessica and grandson David Merz. Donations in Brigden’s name can be made to The Humane Society of Sonoma County.