Eric Hall, the EMI music publicist who famously arranged for the Sex Pistols to appear on the Today programme with Bill Grundy in 1976, has died.
Hall’s death was was announced by the radio station where he worked, Time 107.5FM.
Famous for his loud personality, his love of fine cigars and his catchphrase ‘Monster Monster‘, East Londoner Hall enjoyed a colourful life. Born in Bethnal Green in 1947, he left school at 15 and worked as an office boy alongside Reg Dwight, rather better known as Elton John, before taking on a plugger/publicist role at EMI Records, where he worked promoting his childhood friend Mark Feld (aka Marc Bolan), Cockney Rebel, Queen and the Sex Pistols.
It was Hall who suggested the Sex Pistols stand in for Queen on Bill Grundy’s ITV show Today on December 1, 1976, after Queen cancelled their scheduled appearance, as Freddie Mercury required an urgent dentist’s appointment for a toothache. Broadcast live on teatime television, the ensuing confrontation between the veteran TV presenter and the potty-mouthed punks, made the Pistols infamous overnight.
“I got a phone call from the producer of the Today show asking whether I had anyone for him because they needed to fill their ‘pop slot’,” Hall recalled in an interview in the Telegraph earlier this year. “I said, ‘I’ve got one which you won’t want, the Sex Pistols’. I didn’t push it, I asked him if he was sure, but he was adamant he wanted them. I phoned up their manager, Malcolm McLaren, and he said I had to put on a limousine and champagne and beer to get them to the studio, which I did, so I suppose I was partly responsible for them going on and drinking so much. I’ll take the glory, if you want.”
Hall promoted Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody single, and always maintained that Freddie Mercury wrote Queen’s 1974 hit Killer Queen about him.
After his highly-entertaining stint in music, which saw him make appearances on Top Of The Pops dressed as a) a frog and b) a womble, Hall moved into football in the 1980s after meeting Tottenham Hotspur captain Steve Perryman in a nightclub, and went on to represent footballers such as Robbie Savage, Dennis Wise, John Fashanu and Tim Sherwood. He later became a radio host.
Cockney Rebel frontman Steve Harley was one of the first people to pay tribute to Hall.
1/2] Stunned to learn of the passing of my dear mate Eric Hall. Forty seven years ago, Eric was the Promotion man at EMI who worked on my records. He changed my life by getting them into the charts. The world has lost a rare character. A man of brilliance and charisma.November 17, 2020
2/2] Was a brilliant Radio presenter. I talked to him Live on his show only last week. Pals to the end, I’m privileged to say.November 17, 2020
Football agent Eric Hall has passed away. He was a real character R.I.P.November 16, 2020
RIP Eric Hall, PR to T Rex, Queen and the Sex Pistols, and the first high profile football agent. On a radio show we did together he said "some men are built like a Greek god; Danny is built like a Greek restaurant!" Larger than life, bubala! pic.twitter.com/QAiVvjQQa9November 16, 2020
Eric Hall RIP I have known Eric for many years a real character I worked for him a lot always made me laugh would I buy a car off him? No! pic.twitter.com/jgyn6ak7gKNovember 17, 2020
Did you ever see a woman coming out of New York City. With a frog in her hand (RIP Eric Hall) pic.twitter.com/0etTk0sp5lNovember 17, 2020
Larger than life, great great fun, sad to think Eric Hall has passed.Rest in peace, Eric, hope there's a big Churchill waiting for you on the other side.Monster Monster 🙌🏽 pic.twitter.com/Ql5smwhhLTNovember 16, 2020
The Fast Show - Monster, Monster, Monster! - YouTubeRIP ERIC HALL https://t.co/WJN4EBrgqSNovember 17, 2020