LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Gerry Stickells, a legendary rock and roll tour manager who worked with Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, and other artists, has died. He was 76.
According to the New York Times, Stickells died at his home in Los Angeles on March 6th from complications of a skull base meningioma, a brain tumor that grows in the bones that form the bottom of the skull, which he has been battling since 2003.
Stickells came to the music industry on an unlikely path. Stickells was working as an auto mechanic and moonlighting as a driver, transporting local bands to gigs around southwestern England.
In 1966, Stickells chanced to meet Jimi Hendrix’s manager Chas Chandler, who offered him an opportunity to retrieve Hendrix’s gear from customs. Stickells managed the errand and soon joined the tour for their European leg, which he parlayed into a four-year stint with Hendrix, serving as a roadie and a tour manager.
Stickells was with Hendrix through some of the high and low points of the artist’s career, including performances at the Monterey Pop and Woodstock Festivals, and identifying his body after Hendrix’s untimely death in London.
Following Hendrix’s death, Stickells went on the road with Queen and, after partnering with Chris Lamb formed G.L.S. Productions, which provided touring and production services to a surfeit of major touring artists, including Paul McCartney, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, Elton John, and Bette Midler.
Following Stickell’s passing, Queen members paid tribute on social media:
“So sad that our wonderful tour manager for many years Gerry Stickells passed away this morning. Lost for words. RIP GERRY. Love ya. Thanks for everything.” – Queen guitarist Brian May on Instagram.
“Gerry Stickells, the world’s greatest tour manager passed away after a long struggle with illness. 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 and send love to Sylvia and the family at this difficult time. With great sadness, Roger” – Queen drummer Roger Taylor on Instagram.