The Music Managers Forum (MMF) has paid tribute to the organisation's former general secretary James Fisher, who died last week.
Fisher (pictured, left), who served a decade-long stint in the role from 1992 to 2002, is believed to have passed away from coronavirus.
Fisher, who previously ran ASCAP's London office, has been credited as a key figure in establishing the MMF and founding the British Music Roll Of Honour, precursor of the Artist & Manager Awards. The MMF said it was "saddened" by the news and passed its condolences on to Fisher's family.
James was the friendliest, sweetest, kindest, most generous man you can imagine
MMF custodian and founding chair Dennis Muirhead of Muirhead Management said: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the untimely death from the virus of my friend James Fisher, the first general secretary of the fledgling Music Managers Forum soon after its foundation in 1992.
"James was the friendliest, sweetest, kindest, most generous man you can imagine. He was introduced to me by his long standing friend and one of my partners at Simons Muirhead & Burton, Patricia Negus-Fancey who is no longer with us. At first I knew James and his partner Nigel socially. He was the best cook. One of his tricks for dessert was to buy baked apples from a bakery on Earls Court Road on his way home from work. But the main course was down to his culinary skills.
"James knew everyone and they all loved him. He was born in England but moved to Perth, Western Australia in his early years. He was a presenter on ABC Radio and a lover of music. He thought of himself as an Australian and as a fellow Aussie we got on well together from day one."
Muirhead recalled Negus-Fancey recommended Fisher to the MMF.
"The MMF was struggling with administration as it was establishing itself," he said. "James had retired from ASCAP and was respected by everyone in the music industry, just what the MMF needed.
"With the support of Gail Colson and the MMF board we hired James. Initially, he worked from my management office and made all the difference to the MMF.
"He had his frustrating and maddening ways and found it difficult to engage with our younger members. But he knew the successful managers and diligently recruited them to our membership and board. He also played a key role in helping our new chair John Glover to organise the first British Music Roll Of Honour awards which brought the MMF to the attention of the music industry. The MMF has never looked back and now plays a key role in the music industry worldwide."
PHOTO (L-R): Fisher, Malcolm Buckland (MCPS-PRS) and former Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell.