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Lollapalooza co-founder and former Tool/QOTSA manager Ted Gardner dead at 74

Lolla
(Image credit: Roger Kisby/Getty Images)

Ted Gardner, the music industry legend who co-founded Lollapalooza festival and managed Jane’s Addiction, Tool and Queens Of The Stone Age, has died, aged 74.

Gardner passed away on December 28 in Melbourne in his native Australia following a long illness.

The music industry vet began his career in clubs in Australia, before graduating to working as a tour manager/production manager with artists such as Men At Work, UFO, Frank Zappa and New Order. Having relocated to Los Angeles, he began managing Jane’s Addiction in 1989 and, inspired by visits to UK rock festivals, created the ‘alternative’ festival Lollapalooza in 1991 with Perry Farrell and agents Marc Geiger and Don Muller.

Gardener later went on to manage artists such as Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Verve.

Anton Newcombe, frontman of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, another act managed by Gardener, shared a story about his friend in his tribute.

“The funniest story he told me was of a meeting when Lollapalooza went mega,” Newcombe wrote on Twitter. “He walks in and Perry Farrell goes, ‘Ted, we got Metallica to headline.’ He goes ‘Fuck, you just wrecked this festival.’ Perry goes, ‘Ted, they are on speakerphone now.’

Telephone: ‘Hi Ted.'”

“My father used to say to me: ‘When are you going to get a real job?’” Gardner recalled in a 2017 interview. “Then one year I came home from Lollapalooza with a check for $1.5 million and he looked at me and went, ‘Yeah, but it’s not a real job, is it?’.”

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Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.