WISDOM: A PORTRAIT SERIES

 

M A R S H A   V L A S I C

 

PRESIDENT

ARTIST GROUP INTERNATIONAL

NEW YORK CITY

 

 
  Photograph by Andrew Urban

Photograph by Andrew Urban

 

I. 2015 was really about my Moving to AGI, which I did in September of 2014, which I did after five years at ICM. Coming here, I guess you could consider was a big decision to make, with my age and my timing. I just felt that I wanted to have more of a legacy. Personally, I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful family. I have two sons, one of whom has a child so being a grandmother to Myles Storm Vlasic is everything in the world to my husband and I. Personally, I just passed my 40th wedding anniversary, and that’s a big accomplishment. 

II. Legacy is important to me because this has been a miracle career for me. It was never planned. I feel that for future generations and future women, I really want to be able to be recognized and see that it’s possible if you want it. In the 70s as a female in the music business was a real challenge. Convincing them that I could help them do the Deep Purple or the Rod Stewart tour or the Uriah Heep tour and things like that. Being married and having children and being able to juggle it all certainly wasn’t easy, but I was determined. As I reached each plateau, I wanted to go higher and higher. It was almost like a drug. Building careers, and seeing artists that I worked with from day one. AC/DC, Highway to Hell, be on the stage on the stage of Madison Square Garden. Elvis Costello, to reach Madison Square Garden. 

III. While developing as an agent in this business I came up against a lot of chauvinism. A lot of the people that I worked with didn’t want to accept the fact that I was more successful than them, and I think a woman who is successful has to yell out, scream more, work harder, be heard. It takes much more. 

IV. I’m a fighter. I’m from Brooklyn NY. I came from an extraordinarily poor family, really, really poor. My father had gone bankrupt when we were very young, and I didn’t have a happy childhood. My parents didn’t have a happy marriage. The poverty was overwhelming, my father became a very sick man, and his illnesses were all the time and chronic.

He died very young at 56. I was always the mother. I was always the one that had to take care of everybody. 

V. There are lots of agents that sometimes take the steps too quickly for artists, and they wind up in buildings that are too big for them with lots of empty seats. I try to call it right. I think building a career is really important. I’ve been Neil Young’s agent for 40 years, and we’ve grown together. For me, it’s about the relationship and it’s about the managers, and working with the managers, and working with the artists. 

VI. I think this generation that attaches itself to a single or a YouTube video isn’t that generation that wants to go out and buy a ticket to sit in a concert. I think that’s our biggest challenge. How do you get future generations to want to find the next Beatles? That’s our challenge. 

VII. This is a business that you need to put yourself in 100% or 200%. There are times where you need to be with your family, of course, but you learn how to juggle that. On my 40th wedding anniversary, I was on a plane to LA because Silversun Pickups had some very special shows in LA. Silversun isn’t my biggest band, but I felt that this was an important event that I needed to be at. I care for them. I also love my husband. It’s a way of life, rather than a job. 

VIII. I am for looking to the long term. It’s about building the career of the artist.