It was with great sadness that we learned that Gerry Stickells, the legendary production manager, passed away yesterday.
He was a great character, larger than life, who blazed a trail for so many others to follow and had an amazing collection of Hawaiian shirts, so was very easy to locate in any crowd.
Famous for being able to arrange a ‘party’ at the drop of a hat, those who shared those experiences will remember a lot of fun and laughter!
But when it came down to business he was very serious!
Gerry could improvise in any situation and changed many things about the way production happened and this industry is the richer for it.
From his early days with Hendrix, through a myriad of other great Artistes, his reputation was immense. We sincerely hope that he was aware of the recent success of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, as he was such a big part of Queen’s journey. He put together the memorable tribute to Freddie Mercury at Wembley, just one of his many major achievements.
He opened the door to production in South America, and certainly helped to establish ‘Rock in Rio’ and many events in other markets.
He had real wisdom, and I personally learnt a great deal from him when we were working and travelling together on the Paul McCartney worldwide tours.
Amongst the many shows we did together Red Square, Moscow stands out. To my knowledge, still the only rock show ever to be presented in the Square.
Equally remarkable was staging Paul’s shows at the Coliseum in Rome. Firstly, inside the Coliseum to a few hundred people then followed by the outside presentation with 500,000 people seeing this amazing show.
The picture above is a personal favourite from that night. We were happily watching Paul’s performance together and sharing a special moment. This was in May 2003. It was very soon after that he was diagnosed with a brain tumour – and his long fight began.
It is a very sad day in the music industry, each one of us at Marshall Arts realises that this is the loss of a giant.
We are grateful for many fond memories and after such a long battle we hope that he is at peace.
The end of an era.