Tim Collins (manager): Wikis

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Tim Collins is a businessman, manager, and mentor most noted for his work as the manager for American hard rock band Aerosmith from 1984-1996.

Contents

Personal history

Just as the '80s marked the return of Aerosmith -- "one of the most dramatic comebacks ever in rock"[1] -- they also underlined the rise to prominence of the band's personal manger, Tim Collins.

At the age of 14, Tim Collins joined a band called Tax Free.[2] Playing guitar in the band, Collins also took responsibility for booking gigs for the band and handling their finances. While playing in the band and going to school Collins worked full time at Anderson-Little as a clothing salesman and used the money he earned to buy the band a sound system and a truck with the money he earned. When Tax Free replaced Collins in 1970 they told Collins that "you make a better manager than a guitarist" and asked Collins if he would manage them.[3]

By this point, Collins graduated from Bentley College in Waltham, MA where he majored in Organizational Behavior and Marketing.

As he continued to manage Tax Free, Collins opened Bands Unlimited Productions booking local talent in the Boston area that played all of the local colleges and night clubs. In 1977 he signed The Fools[4] a young rock band with a novel edge. They rose to high regional prominence very quickly. In order to gain the clout to develop them he moved to New York City in 1978 to work for Castle Music Productions Inc. were he brought The Fools. “

Collins worked for legendary artist manger Peter Casperson know for his work with some of the great folk-rock artists of the era including Jonathan Edwards, Martin Mull, Orphan and Duke and the Drivers[5]. At Castle Music the company having more clout than the young Collins had by himself managed to get The Fools signed to EMI Records (the record company that also signed the Beatles).

The Fools[4], with the support of the larger organization at Castle Music, had a hit with Psycho Chicken and It’s a Night for Beautiful Girls. In 1979 Psycho Chicken, X-rated parody of 'The Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer", exploded over the airwaves of Boston. The boys were so excited they followed up almost at once with another whopping hit — It's a Night for Beautiful Girls. And the guys weren't the only ones to get excited. EMI Records signed the band and sent them right out to tour the U.S. with The Knack. "The tour was a smashing success." Then, off to Miami to record the victorious debut album "Sold Out."[4]

They went on a national tour with The Knack known for their legendary hit song My Sharona. Collins also met Jonathan Edwards who is known for his million selling hit “SUNSHINE” and the controversial song “Shaty” banned by the FCC for referring to smoking marijuana.

Tim left Castle Music on April 1, 1979 (April Fools Day) and started Collins/Barrasso Agency. Steve Barrasso his new partner was a local Boston Musician whose musical career with a band called Calamity Jayne was cut short by a lung condition. Thankfully though the two met and Steve convinced Tim to leave Castle and start their own shop. The Collins/Barrasso Agency based in Allston, MA.

At the Collins/Barrasso Agency the two became the place to be for New England based regional recording artists. Some of the many talented folks who were on the roster included: Aztec Two-Step[6], The James Montgomery Blues Band[7], Duke and the Drivers[8], Orleans[9], and many others.

They also produced and procured talent from the major agencies for College shows and larger concert venues throughout New England.

History with Aerosmith

Inthe early 1980s, Tim Collins worked as the manager for The Joe Perry Project, the solo project created by guitarist Joe Perry who had left Aerosmith in 1979. In 1984, Collins worked to reform the original Aerosmith. He succeeded when guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford rejoined the band in April 1984. He believed he could make Aerosmith the biggest band in the world by 1990, if he reformed the original band and got them to come clean. Aerosmith was reformed in 1984 and the band hired Tim Collins on as manager. Collins had helped the band secure a record deal with Geffen Records in 1984. The band toured extensively and created their first album after the reunion of the classic lineup in 1985, titled Done with Mirrors. The album wasn't the success they had hoped for, the band wasn't receiving mainstream publicity, and the drug addictions of the band members and their attempts to quit drugs on their own weren't working. Collins enlisted the help of a band therapist, the band members compiled lists of their complaints against lead singer Steven Tyler's behavior under the influence, and Tyler was ordered into a drug rehabilitation program at the discretion of Collins, the therapist, and his fellow band members. The rest of the band members pledged to complete drug rehab at various times in the coming months as well.

One of the major things Collins had Aerosmith agree to was the appearance of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on Run-DMC's cover of Aerosmith's song "Walk This Way". The collaboration and subsequent video made Aerosmith a household name again and opened the band up to a new generation.

By the time their next album, Permanent Vacation, was released in 1987, all of the band members had come clean, and Collins was now working hard to make sure the band won their fame back, through his namesake "Collins Management". He enlisted the help of top-notch outside songwriters and producers to work with the band in recording their albums, had the band touring the world extensively with up-and-coming acts opening for the band, enlisted the help of top-notch music video directors, and was now having the band make numerous appearances in television, movies, video games, major festivals, and the like, helping to win over a new generation of fans, while retaining their old fanbase.

Between 1987 and 1994, Aerosmith released three albums and a compilation album (Permanent Vacation, Pump, Get a Grip, and Big Ones) which sold a combined 23 million copies in the United States alone, won the band three Grammy awards, and numerous Video Music Awards.

When the 18-month Get a Grip tour concluded at the end of 1994, the band wanted to take an extensive break and take their time in recording their next album (Nine Lives), this one for Columbia Records. However, Collins wanted the band to have more structure and kept pressuring the band to do more appearances and record the album more quickly. The band took extensive vacations and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were working with Glen Ballard in the mid-1990s, writing, recording, and rehearsing songs, including a session in Miami, Florida. Tim Collins felt that since Steven and Joe were working independently with Ballard in penning songs and that the entire band would not be working together for months at a time, that the band was breaking up. However Steven and Joe were noted for writing songs together and then having the band record the songs during recording sessions. Collins was also going through severe depression at the time[10], and felt that he was losing control of the band, as Aerosmith seemed to have now been able to work independently of their manager and were clean for almost a decade now.[10] Collins said the band was breaking up, that emergency band meetings were needed, and that Steven Tyler was using drugs again and was being unfaithful to his wife down in Miami, were very true.[11]

The members of Aerosmith, while grateful for all the help Collins had given them in helping the band resurrect and rise back to mainstream popularity and acceptance, fired Collins in 1996. Within hours of his firing, Collins stated the band was no longer sober.[12]

Life After Aerosmith

Tim Collins has been active in many capacities in the music industry and in the recovery community.

Some of his activities include:

In 2009 Tim Collins did an interview for the Biography Channel, which later appeared on A&E Network. An article in the Boston Globe mentioned that Collins' interview on Biography's Aerosmith special was a "real surprise" since it was his first interview since being fired, thirteen years prior.[7].

"I've never done an interview like this, but time heals all wounds," Collins told the Boston Herald. "They said Steven (Tyler) wasn't going to participate and had squelched a lot of people. I just think they're America's greatest rock band, and I wanted to set the record straight. I was only supposed to do 30 minutes, but I let them keep me on tape for 4.5 hours." Collins mentioned that his participation in the rock doc prompted Aerosmith guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford to talk after seeing a raw cut of Collins' footage.

Collins was asked by the Herald directly if he would consider coming back to manage the band. "I haven't spoken to them. I really couldn't imagine it," Collins said. "Life moves on."

References

  1. ^ Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Band later renamed itself to Connection
  3. ^ Waltham News Tribune Now the Daily News Tribune
  4. ^ a b c The Fools Official Website
  5. ^ Duke And The Drivers Official Website
  6. ^ Aztec Two-Step Official Website
  7. ^ a b James Montgomery
  8. ^ On Facebook: Duke and the Drivers
  9. ^ Offical SiteOrleans
  10. ^ a b Davis, S. and Aerosmith: "Walk This Way", page 504. Avon, 1997
  11. ^ Davis, S. and Aerosmith: "Walk This Way", page 508, 509, 515. Avon, 1997
  12. ^ Davis, S. and Aerosmith: "Walk This Way", page 515. Avon, 1997

Further reading

  • Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith by Stephen Davis and Aerosmith
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