Roger Grierson

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Roger Grierson (born June 1957 [1] ) is a New Zealand born musician and music industry executive.

Music industry companies and individuals that create and sell music and make money off of sales

The music industry consists of the companies and individuals that earn money by creating new songs and pieces and selling live concerts and shows, audio and video recordings, compositions and sheet music, and the organizations and associations that aid and represent music creators. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate in the industry are: the songwriters and composers who create new songs and musical pieces; the singers, musicians, conductors and bandleaders who perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell recorded music and/or sheet music ; and those that help organize and present live music performances.



In 1975 Grierson headed to London and Egypt to live but found himself lured back to Sydney in 1976 to work at White Light Records. Soon afterwards he formed the punk band The Thought Criminals.

The Thought Criminals were an influential and enterprising Australian punk band based in Sydney. They formed in late 1977 and disbanded in late 1981. The "angular, fast and quirky punk rock" of the Thought Criminals "was a fixture in the burgeoning Sydney underground scene." The band’s name was derived from the concept of ‘thoughtcrimes’ from George Orwell’s book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. The Thought Criminals exemplified the do-it-yourself punk ethos of the late 1970s, with which they combined considerable business acumen. The band members formed the Doublethink record label and agency which provided recording and live performance opportunities for other new bands.

In 1978, Grierson started Doublethink Records to record local Australian bands including Singles, Rejex, and Suicide Squad. In 1980 he started GREEN Records [2] with Stuart Coupe and Warren Fahey, and together they released records by Tactics, Allniters, Lime Spiders, Spy V Spy, Do-Re-Mi, Dropbears, Beasts of Bourbon, New Christs and The Johnnys, Grierson producing the first Beasts of Bourbon record The Axemans Jazz.

Stuart Coupe is an Australian music journalist, promoter, band manager and writer. Coupe has managed acts including Hoodoo Gurus and Paul Kelly.

Warren John Fahey AM is a folklore collector, cultural historian, author, actor, broadcaster, record and concert producer, visual artist, songwriter and a performer of Australian traditional and related historical music. He is the founder of Folkways Music (1973), Larrikin Records (1974) and a folk music ensemble, the Larrikins (1975).

Tactics are a post-punk group which formed in Canberra in 1977. The line-up changed periodically, with songwriter and vocalist, David Studdert, as the mainstay. They released four studio albums, My Houdini, Glebe, Blue and White Future Whale (1986) and The Great Gusto (1990). Which were critically acclaimed and they were respected for the quality of their live performances. However, they did not achieve wider commercial success and remained largely unacknowledged outside of the alternative independent music scene. Their reputation for running against the grain musically, lyrically, and stylistically was described by Bob Blunt as "frenetic, discordant, [and] full of unusual rhythms." Tactics disbanded late in 1989 and Studdert relocated to London.

Grierson managed The Allniters, Tactics and Spy v Spy in 1981. During this period he was the distribution manager for Larrikin Records; in 1983 he took on The Johnnys, and in 1985 The Wreckery: a "junk rock" group formed by ex members of Nick Cave's [2] backing band The Bad Seeds. In 1985, he teamed up with Rick Tanaka, radio presenter / producer of Tokyo Hit Beat and the award-winning Nippi Rock Shop on JJJ, and they started 135 Music (135 being the line that joins Aust and Japan on the map) to encourage cross cultural promotion. This partnership has lasted over 30 years, and they now run escorted tours of oddball Japan, as

Larrikin Records is a record company founded in 1974 by Warren Fahey. Larrikin started as an independent label and was sold in 1995 to Festival Records.

The Johnnys are an Australian pub rock band from Sydney forming in 1982 and still active today that combines country and punk musical styles. Members are Graham Hood, Billy Pommer Jr and Slim Doherty and have included founder, Roddy Ray'da and Spencer P. Jones.

The Wreckery were an Australian rock and blues band. Their sound is best described as alt rock, bastard blues or southern gothic. The band formed from the debris of the awe-inspiring but well-before-their-time band: Plays With Marionettes. The famous Australian musicologist Ian McFarlane described the group as “inner-city angst kings which proffered a lurching brand of gutbucket St Kilda blues by way of the Mississippi delta. It was a fiery sound totally unique in Australia at the time”. Race was described as “enigmatic, petulant … whose bleak visions stabbed at the heart of the human condition”.

In 1987 Grierson started promoting Australian tours for acts signed to the New Zealand label, Flying Nun Records. These acts include The Bats, The Chills, Straitjacket Fits and JPS Experience. In 1988 he started managing The Go Betweens and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. In 1989 he toured Tackhead, Public Image Ltd, Pop Will Eat Itself and began managing bands such as The Hummingbirds and Tall Tales and True. At this time he also formed Lost in Music publishing and signed Tex Perkins, Rebecca's Empire, Caligula, Dave Graney, Clouds, Falling Joys, Crystal Set and Kim Salmon to name but a few.

Flying Nun Records is an independent record label formed in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1981 by music-store manager Roger Shepherd.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Australian alternative rock band

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are an Australian rock band formed in Melbourne in 1983 by vocalist Nick Cave, multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey and guitarist Blixa Bargeld. The band has featured international personnel throughout its career and presently consists of Cave, violinist and multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis, bassist Martyn P. Casey, guitarist George Vjestica, keyboardist/percussionist Toby Dammit and drummers Thomas Wydler (Switzerland) and Jim Sclavunos. With their "brutal blues and gothic nightmares" songs, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have been considered "one of the most original and celebrated bands of the post-punk and alternative rock eras in the '80s and onward", They have released sixteen studio albums and completed numerous international tours.

Pop Will Eat Itself English alternative rock band

Pop Will Eat Itself are an English alternative rock band formed in Stourbridge in 1986 with members from Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country. Initially known as a grebo act, they changed style to incorporate sample-driven indie and industrial rock. Their highest-charting single was the 1993 top-ten hit "Get The Girl! Kill The Baddies!". After initially disbanding in 1996, and having a brief reformation in 2005, they issued their first release in more than five years in 2010.

In 1990 he promoted tours by Pop Will Eat Itself, Buzzcocks, Jesus Jones, the Fall, Norman Cook/ Beats International. 1991 saw more touring with PWEI, Jesus Jones, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The Godfathers, Dread Zeppelin, and Mojo Nixon. In 1983 Grierson was involved in the Dead Kennedys tour in 1986, with The Gun Club and in 1989 with Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. In the 1990s, he also started and organized The Big Backyard Concert. [3]

Buzzcocks British punk rock band

Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto. They are regarded as a seminal influence on the Manchester music scene, the independent record label movement, punk rock, power pop, and pop punk. They achieved commercial success with singles that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy. These singles were collected on Singles Going Steady, described by critic Ned Raggett as a "punk masterpiece".

Jesus Jones British alternative rock band

Jesus Jones are a British alternative rock band from Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire, formed in late 1988, who recorded and performed into the 2000s. Their track "Right Here, Right Now" was an international hit, and was subsequently globally licensed for promotional and advertising campaigns. They also achieved chart success with the songs "Real Real Real", "International Bright Young Thing" and "Info Freako".

Dead Kennedys American hardcore punk band

Dead Kennedys are an American punk rock band that formed in San Francisco, California, in 1978. The band was one of the defining hardcore punk bands during its initial eight-year run.

In 1992 Grierson moved the Lost in Music catalogue to Polygram Music Publishing and became managing director of the now defunct Polygram Music Australia, a position he retained until 1997. During his time at the helm of Polygram Music, he signed Pauly Fuemana, The Cruel Sea, David Hirschfelder, the LennOno catalogue, Leonard Cohen, Died Pretty, Nick Cave, Powderfinger, The Fauves and The Go Betweens.

In 1998 Grierson replaced the long-serving Alan Hely as Chairman of Festival Records [4] and Festival Music publishing, working closely with James Murdoch. [5] Under Griersons' stewardship, Festival Records acquired Michael Gudinski's 51% share of Mushroom Records to become Festival Mushroom Records in 1999.

In 2001, Grierson was promoted to Senior Vice President for Newscorp Music, continuing his existing roles but now also supervising Mushroom UK and Rawkus and he oversaw the Festival 50th anniversary in 2002.

In 2005 Grierson left Festival and retired from the music business. [6] A year later, FMR sold to the Warner Music group, and its lucrative publishing assets were subsequently acquired by Michael Gudinski

In 2006 he proceeded to reform The Thought Criminals, [7] released an EP "Peace Love and Under surveillance" and in 2007 formed the UnTh!nkables with Phillip Judd from Split Enz, releasing an album "UNTitled"

In 2010 he became a director of, the world's leading online streaming live music concert platform.

In 2015, he commenced lecturing on music publishing and music industry related issues at the Australian Institute of Music, while commencing his escorted tours of Oddball Japan, Lobrow Japan, with Rick Tanaka

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  1. Canak, Danny (4 July 2004). "Employee of the Month: Roger Grierson". Retrieved 5 November 2008.
  2. 1 2 Eliezer, Christie (6 December 1997). "Roger Grierson Takes Helm of Australia's Festival Cos". Billboard . Vol. 109 no. 49. p. 65. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  3. Borzillo, Carrie (12 November 1994). "Radio Days". Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 46. p. 78. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  4. Eliezer, Christie (28 December 1997). "Australasian Acts Find Acceptance Abroad Despite Hard Times At Home". Billboard. Vol. 114 no. 52. p. 58. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  5. "Getting groovy with Festival". 2003. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  6. "Grierson Departing FMR". dB Magazine. 9–22 March 2005. Archived from the original on 6 August 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
  7. "They Only Think Twice: Return of The Thought Criminals". 12 January 2006. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2008.