Former British booking agent, Richard Cowley, has passed away at the age of 72, IQ Magazine is reporting.
Cowley began his music industry career running Universal Attractions agency with business partner Kenny Bell. In 1967, Universal Attractions merged with Chris Wright and Terry Ellis’s the Ellis-Wright Agency to form Chrysalis.
A year later, the agency would create the imprint Chrysalis Records. Chrysalis would go on to work with Jethro Tull, Generation X, Blondie, Ten Years After, The Specials, and Joan Jett. Prior to rebranding as Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page’s the New Yardbirds were also signed with Chrysalis.
According to Wright’s memoir, One Way or Another, Cowley and Bell effectively took over the agency side of Chrysalis after the merger. While at Chrysalis Agency, Cowley worked alongside other notable agents Martin Hopewell, John Jackson, Allan McGowan, Nigel Hassler, Jeff Craft, and Dave Chumbley.
Cowley and Bell eventually left Chrysalis to form Cowbell Agency with Cowley carrying on through the creation of World Service. Later in life, Cowley became a healthcare consultant.
“[Cowley] knew what he was doing in the business. He was one of the originals,” McGowan, who worked at Chrysalis in the early ’70s, told IQ, adding Cowley was “one of the best around at the time.”
Hassler who started his career at World Service under Cowley told IQ, “He was a true gent and lovely man. He was a real family man and seemed to have worked out the life/work balance. He will be missed.”