Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch
POWER MOVE: Helping drive the release of Led Zeppelin’s “Celebration Day” as a multimedia affair; building up younger clients like the Black Keys and Eric Church.
THE RUNDOWN:Longtime owners of powerhouse artist management firm Q Prime, Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch don’t spend a lot of time worrying about their status in the music business.
“We’re very isolated and independent,” Mensch says. “We’re not part of the empires of Irving Azoff or Coran Capshaw [No. 2 ], who each have hundreds of artists.”
Q Prime’s approach is simple: “We just manage the acts we manage,” Mensch says. “We don’t go play golf and shit. Some lawyers like us, some record companies hate us.”
It’s a formula that has worked for more than 30 years. With offices in New York, London and Nashville, Mensch and Burnstein built Q Prime’s client roster to include Metallica, Josh Groban, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, the Black Keys, Snow Patrol and Eric Church. Last year, the Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Church and the Black Keys collectively grossed $81 million from 202 concerts, according to Billboard Boxscore.
With 13 in-house radio promotion people, Q Prime acts earned No. 1 airplay hits at five different formats in 2012.
Mensch and Burnstein, who also manage Jimmy Page, played a key role in the late-2012 release of Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day 2007 reunion album, which debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200. “Celebration Day” was a multimedia affair, including a concert film as well as a home video release tied into the album’s debut.
“Peter and Cliff were a significant driving force in making sure ‘Celebration Day’ was well taken care of,” Rhino Entertainment president/CEO Kevin Gore says, adding that he’s working with Q Prime on future Zeppelin releases. “They’re also looking ahead to the long-term play, which is how the Led Zeppelin catalog behaves going forward.”