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Joe Satriani pays tribute to longtime manager Mick Brigden, who has died aged 73

Mick Brigden
(Image credit: MJJ Management)

Mick Brigden – longtime manager for Joe Satriani and road manager for a number of other high-profile music acts – has died aged 73 following an accident at his home property in Santa Rosa, California.

The news was confirmed in a statement posted to Satriani’s official website, which said, “It is with tremendous sadness that we confirm the passing of artist manager, and former Bill Graham protégé, Mick Brigden, on September 5.”

In an extended obituary dedicated to his close friend, Satch continued, “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.

“He was the ultimate business mentor,” he continued. “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.

“He was an original, with a wonderful sense of adventure in both his professional and private life. His enthusiasm for life was off the charts.”

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Brigden was born November 4, 1947, in Southend on Sea, England, and moved to Canada at the age of 19 working as a graphic artist, before finding his way into music management upon meeting Mountain’s Felix Pappalardi in the late ‘60s.

It was the start of Brigden’s prolific management career, which soon saw him go on to head up the management division of Bill Graham Presents in 1976 alongside the late Arnie Pustilink.

From that point on, Brigden went on to represent a huge array of artists and musicians, directing tours for The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, as well as managing and road managing the likes of Humble Pie, Mountain, Peter Frampton, Van Morrison, Taj Mahal, Carlos Santana and many others.

Mick Brigden

(Image credit: MJJ Management)

Elsewhere in his portfolio, Brigden also teamed up with Sammy Hagar manager John Carter to support management duties for Chickenfoot, the supergroup comprising Hagar, Satriani, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith.

He is perhaps best known for his relationship with Joe Satriani, having spent the past three decades managing the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated guitarist after he set up his MJJ Management company in the early 2000s.

The pair’s professional partnership, which began in 1988 at the dawn of Satriani’s burgeoning career – a time when Satch was playing in Mick Jagger’s band and starting his very own solo career – spanned numerous albums, live shows and G3 tours. 

Per Satch’s statement, Brigden was involved in just about everything: “He could help you get an album project organized, pick the right mix, pick a single, help with the album artwork, book a tour, manage a tour, review the contracts, crack the whip with a smile and get a table at the right restaurant when you needed one.”

In the twilight of his career, Brigden moved to Santa Rosa with his wife Julia in 2001, where he nurtured his grape-growing talents in his vineyard, producing exclusive Owl Ridge cabernet.

His family has asked for donations in Brigden’s name be given to the Humane Society of Sonoma County (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.