Remembering Queen’s manager, Gerry Stickells… 22 July 1942 – 6 March 2019
He played a vital role in Queen history!
Gerry was born 22 July 1942 in Lydd, Kent, England as Gerald Richard Stickells. He was a legendary rock and roll tour manager who worked with Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and other artists.
Gerry started off his career as a car mechanic in Southeast England who drove local rock bands to their engagements in his van. In 1966 his world changed, he became part of rock ‘n’ roll history as the roadie then tour manager for the legendary Jimi Hendrix. He handled the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s gear, drove the band to gigs, fixed the van when it broke down and organized their tours. He remained with Hendrix for four years (through Jimi’s untimely death).
Jimi’s sister, Janie Hendrix said, “Gerry Stickells was a tireless and compassionate supporter of Jimi Hendrix throughout his career. He looked over Jimi while they toured together; helped bring Jimi home to his final resting place in Seattle; and remained in contact with the family regularly over all the years. Gerry will be greatly missed and fondly remembered for his support and generosity towards Jimi and the Hendrix family.”
Following Hendrix’s death in September 1970, Stickells continued his role in the industry, beginning with Three Dog Night before embarking on a long and successful relationship with Queen in January of 1976.
In the aftermath of Freddie Mercury’s death, Gerry formed GLS Productions with Chris Lamb. The company became a music industry leader, handling major tours by such artists as Elton John, Paul McCartney, Steve Miller, Madonna, and many others.
Gerry was credited for bringing major rock shows to South America for the first time and was hailed by artists and industry colleagues alike as one of the best Production Managers in live music over the past 40 years. Gerry paved the road on how modern music tours were completed and expanded the music and geographical horizons for all touring artists and, as a result, helped define what a “world tour” truly meant.
Gerry was often called “Uncle Grumpy” among the boys even though he was known as a bit of a joker and a comedian.
When Freddie was living in New York in early 80s, Gerry’s wife Sylvia found him a nice apartment there and even when Freddie was no longer living in America, Gerry would keep an eye on the property.
Gerry was very ill when he watched the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2018, he could barely speak. But Ms. Stickells said: “The part that really caught his attention was the Live Aid performance. That was a huge highlight of his career, and he definitely recognised it, suddenly pointing and smiling, saying ‘It’s Fred.’”
Gerry passed away 6 March 2019 from a brain tumor
Head of Queen crew, Peter Hince said:
“Gerry was probably the only person able to get Freddie to change his mind, or convince him otherwise, when Fred chose to be difficult and play the diva.”
Roger Taylor said: “He was more than a tour manager to Queen – he was a father figure, great friend and teacher and an island of calm in the midst of chaos. He had a profound effect on my life, all of it good.”
“From his early days with Jimi Hendrix through all the years with Queen and Paul McCartney, Gerry was THE MAN! We will miss him greatly..
Happy Birthday Gerry, wherever you May be1