Remembering Larry Page, manager of The Kinks and The Troggs dies aged 87

Remembering Larry Page, manager of The Kinks and The Troggs dies aged 87

Larry Page recently passed away, aged 87. In a storied career, he spent time as an artist, manager for the likes of The Kinks and The Troggs, a record producer, publisher and much more besides. Here, his son Ashley Page, pays tribute to the late executive, and looks back at Larry Page’s stellar career...

My dad, Larry Page – artist manager, record producer, and music publisher – has died at the age of 87 in Australia. While he was best known for his work with The Kinks and The Troggs, he started his career as a singer.

Born Leonard Davies in Hayes, Middlesex, on November 9, 1936, he started work at EMI’s factory in Hayes, packing records for distribution. Already ambitious, he auditioned as a singer and was signed by the company as Larry Page, later dubbed by the press “Larry Page The Teenage Rage”. As his career began to take off, Larry kept his day job, often packing his own records in EMI’s warehouse. By his own admission, Larry’s singing talents were limited, and before too long, he quit showbusiness, only to be lured back as a talent booker.

In 1963, he co-founded a production company, which led him to meet north London band The Ravens, later renamed The Kinks. He also managed the band with two co-managers. Under Larry’s guidance, The Kinks revamped their image and scored hits with You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night, and Tired Of Waiting. But tensions between the band and their managers led to a court case, and the group split from Larry.

Larry would go on to work with The Troggs. The band had a massive hit record with Wild Thing, which he produced, charting at No.2 in the UK and No.1 in the US. Jimi Hendrix would perform Wild Thing at the Monterey Pop Festival, famously setting his guitar alight. The Troggs continued their string of hits with A Girl Like You, I Can’t Control Myself, and Anyway That You Want Me.

Relations with The Troggs deteriorated, and Larry was back in court again, setting a legal precedent for a conflict of interest for being The Troggs’ manager, agent, label, and publisher. This conundrum would subsequently challenge English managers and music lawyers for years to come (there was no such precedent in the USA), but Larry was ahead of his time, and more recently, a variation of this model he pioneered has re-emerged with various checks and balances.

Larry was a multi-faceted entrepreneur 

Despite their differences, it was a testament to Larry’s professionalism and integrity that both The Troggs and The Kinks later re-engaged the services of their former manager, The Troggs, in the 1970s, and The Kinks in the 1980s.  

Larry would continue as a multi-faceted entrepreneur with his labels Page One and Penny Farthing, recording the Larry Page Orchestra (featuring Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page), Vanity Fare, and Daniel Boone, who sold two million copies of the single Beautiful Sunday. He also had an ear for novelty hits, releasing The Baron Knights. As a lifelong Chelsea FC fan, he also produced and released Blue Is The Colour in 1972, a song still played at home matches. 

As a publisher, his success continued into the 1990s, when Wet Wet Wet covered The Troggs’ Love Is All Around for the soundtrack of Four Weddings And A Funeral, which would spend 15 weeks at No.1 in the UK.

Page was married three times and had four children, seven grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. He relocated to Australia in 2000 to be close to his two children, myself and my sister Caroline. 

We both followed dad into the music industry. Caroline worked at Sony Music in the UK and EMI in Australia. I worked at Mushroom Records, later forming my own music management company and resurrecting the name Page 1 Management. 

He was such a big part of our lives, and we all miss him so much.

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