Mick Bridgen, a longtime tour manager who worked with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Humble Pie, Van Morrison and more, died on Sept. 5 at age 73 following an accident at his California home. He was best known for managing the career of guitarist Joe Satriani.
According to Brigden’s wife, Julia, he had been helping to dig a grave for their family’s pet dog when the accident happened. He was then taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.
“He was so organized. That’s why he was so good at his job,” she told The Press Democrat of her husband’s work. “When you arrived at the hotel, the cars were waiting and the venues were set up.”
Brigden, who was born in Southend On Sea, England, began his career as a graphic artist in Toronto, then moved to New York City after meeting Mountain‘s Felix Pappalardi in the late ’60s and becoming the group’s road manager. At a Fillmore West concert in 1969, he met famed concert promoter Bill Graham, for whom he worked for seven years before co-running the management division of the Bill Graham Presents organization with Arnie Pustilnik (who died earlier this year). The pair also launched the label Wolfgang Records, releasing Eddie Money‘s hugely successful 1977 debut, along with four more of his LPs.
Following Graham’s 1991 death, Brigden, Pustilnik and 13 other Bill Graham Presents employees acquired 90 percent of the company, with the other 10 percent held by Graham’s sons. According to Billboard, Brigden and Pustilnik continued with the organization, even after it was bought by SFX Entertainment (now Live Nation) in 1997. They sold the management business in the early 2000s, and Brigden launched MJJ Management with Satriani as his only client.
Brigden had first met Satriani when the guitarist was 15 years old and had snuck backstage at a Humble Pie concert, whom Brigden was managing at the time. The pair then reconnected in 1988 when Satriani was hired by Mick Jagger to play lead guitar in his solo band.
“Since then, it’s been a crazy and wonderful 33 years of rock ‘n’ roll. I’ve never worked so hard, played so hard, laughed and cried so hard, made so much music and had so many worldwide adventures, and all with Mick by my side,” Satriani wrote in a statement posted to his website. “He was the ultimate music business mentor. Honest, tough, nurturing, hardworking, respectful, tenacious, insightful, he was all of those things and more. I learned so much about how to be a good person from Mick. Throughout his illustrious career he worked with the biggest and the best, but always knew it was important to be kind, be respectful, be cool and do things the right way.”
“Mick Brigden was the first person that ever took care of me on the road,” Hagar posted to Facebook following the news of Brigden’s death. “Montrose [Hagar’s first band] opened for Humble Pie for the three years we were on the road. Mick was their tour manager, lighting director, stage manager, seemed like he did everything. He used to do lights for Montrose and would hang out with us on days off, a real soldier and loyal friend.”
Along with his widow, Brigden is survived by his son Jack Brigden, stepdaughter Jessica Merz and grandson David Merz. The family has asked donations be sent in Brigden’s name to the Humane Society of Sonoma County.
In Memoriam: 2021 Deaths
Remembering the musicians, actors, producers and others who have died in 2021.