Franco Mamone
 (1941-1998)

Franco Mamone - one of the originators of concert promoting in Italy and perhaps the leading figure in that market throughout the last three decades - died in Milan on July 3rd. 

Franco was 57 years old and left a wife, Elsa, and two daughters. He will be remembered by many people for many things, and ILMC members will have happy memories of his role as one of the "Three Terrors" at the meeting this year.

 

We will all miss him, and the business will not be same without his enthusiasm, humour and wonderfully eccentric style.

Rest in peace, Franco.

Live! Magazine News Feature


Italy mourns pioneer Franco Mamone



Italian promoter Franco Mamone, one of Italy's first and most influential promoters, collapsed with heart failure on Friday, June 26 1998 and was found to be dead on arrival at hospital.



He was head of promoting company Commusications and is credited with nurturing many of the top promoters working in Italy including Claudio Trotta and Roberto De Luca.



Born in '41 in Verona, Franco was the first of the modern generation of Italian rock promoters and managers. From the Seventies, he organized concerts by Bob Marley and Bruce Springsteen, but history has it that his first "office" was a public phone in a bar in Milan, from which he booked Italian beat groups into local clubs.



In the eighties some of today's top promoters worked in his office. Among the artists he brought to Italy were Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Yes, Police, Prince, Dire Straits and Eric Clapton. He also managed several top Italian prog-rock bands, including PFM, and collaborated with Cramps' record company.



At the time of his death, Franco was about to join his family on vacation in Rimini, and although the nineties hadn't been a particularly fortunate period for him, he had just organised a triumphant concert by Whitney Houston at Verona Arena.



Contacted by Live! correspondent Mike Clark, Maurizio Salvadori (founder of Trident Agency, one of Italy's largest) said: "I've a very precise opinion of Franco, as I started out in this business in his office when I was 20 and, even if we lost contact for a while, my relationship was one of admiration for a man who was definitely a pioneer in this field - this is a profession that has come into being in the last 30 years, and he was an innovator. One thing that distinguished him from the others was the creativity he managed to express in a job which, in spite of appearances, is very arid, involving the organization of events which from a technical point of view are quite repetitive. Another characteristic was the relationship he always managed to create with all the artists he worked with. If it wasn't close friendship, it was very similar. He loved his work and his passing has left a great void in the Italian scene."



Phil Banfield, a director of UK agency MPI and a long-time associate and friend of Mamone, told Live!: "I worked with him for over 25 years. I continued to work with him when he was suffering problems, even though other agents didn't. I found him unique in the way he expressed himself - even other Italians didn't always understand him. But whatever else, he was always fun to deal with."



Claudio Trotta of Barley Arts, another of Italy's key agencies, said: "Directly or indirectly, if it wasn't for Franco, most Italian promoters wouldn't be where they are now: myself, Roberto De Luca, Maurizio Salvadori, Angelo Carrara and many others worked for Franco and with him, sharing his creativity. He literally created the professional role of a rock concert promoter, was the first to use stadiums for rock concerts, the first Italian manager of an internationally-famous Italian band, PFM, and was in love with life. Generations of people learnt the trade from him: production and tour managers, staging and security companies, accountants. He wasn't perfect - none of us are - but he was truly honest and sincere. Bye bye Franco, your friend and pupil, Claudio Trotta."



The situation with Mamone's Commusications company is still up in the air. Banfield says he has had to move a Zucchero tour, planned for February 1999, to another promoter - though there will be some contribution to the Mamone family. "Obviously the family is in mourning and need time to sort out what they're going to do. Hopefully, they can continue when they find the right person to guide it,"he adds.



(Reporting by Fiona Harley and Mike Clark for LIVE! magazine.
)

Tributes To Franco Mamone



Claudio Trotta, 
Barley Arts

Milan July 6th 1998



If it wasn't for Franco, directly or indirectly most of us wouldn't be able to do our job.

 Myself, Roberto de Luca, Maurizio Salvadori, Angelo Carrara and many others worked for him and with him sharing his intelligence and creativity.



He literally created the professional role of the promoter of rock concerts, he started the use of stadiums for rock shows, and he was the first Italian manager of a successful Italian act internationally - PFM. He was in love with life, able to regenerate himself through all the worst cases of life.



He taught several generations of people in the various branches of our work: production and tour management, staging companies, security companies, accountants and so on. All of them learnt the job from him.



He wasn't perfect - as none of us are - but he was truly honest and sincere.

Bye bye Franco, from your friend and scholar.


Phil Banfield
, Miracle Prestige International Ltd

London July 6th 1998



What do you say about a 57-year-old Italian who you have been doing business with for 30 years - who had a unique Italian accent which confounded us all at times?



Franco, in my opinion, was the man who helped make Italy a more professional country to tour. As all agents and managers around the world know, Italy used to be a nightmare. To be honest it still can be - but nothing like it used to be.



Franco was a very creative man, and was always turning up at my office with mad ideas. He would take the concept and pursue it vigorously all the hours to make it a success. Not all of them were successful financially, but it was not due to his lack of effort and energy.



I have so many memories which would take forever to write about - and I am sure that everybody in the business has similar recollections. Franco loved music, he loved the glamour - he loved being with the bands, the crew and everybody concerned.



As well as promoting international artists he was the first person to bring attention to Italian music with the band PFM.

Franco will be deeply missed and I hope that the Italian music business remembers all the good things he did for them. Without him I doubt if Italian music would be as successful around the world as it is today.



God bless.