Phillip Kovac, whose work in the industry ranged from being a concert promoter, transportation executive and artist manager, died Oct. 4 in Los Angeles at age 65. He battled with a rare brain disorder called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Kovac was laid to rest Sunday at his home in Houston, Texas.
His career started in the early 1970s, when he co-founded the concert company Totally Dedicated to Artists (TDA) Productions with his brother Allen Kovac based in Eugene, Ore., where his brother attended college at the University of Oregon.
The artists he presented at TDA Productions included The Police, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Dizzy Gillespie, Muddy Waters, Bob Hope, Boston and Hall & Oates. In the early 1980s, Kovac and his partners sold the company before he moved to LA in 1983.
He started his first job in LA as a talent booker and director for Florida Custom Coach, later securing a rock-star lineup that gave the company leverage to dominate the rock music industry. In a 12-year span, Kovac worked with more than 100 artists — most notably The Rolling Stones, U2 and Van Halen.
By the mid-1990s, Kovac transitioned into the artist management sector of the music business. He founded the Nashville-based Left Bank arts management agency, which is “devoted to supporting artists and projects that are mission-driven and responsive to communities,” according to the company’s website. There, he worked with country singers Clint Black, Deana Carter and Tracy Lawrence.
Kovac moved back to LA in the early 2000s to head the touring division of 10th Street Management, where his brother Lewis Kovac is the current COO. He worked with Mötley Crüe, Blondie, Papa Roach and Yes while at the company.
Kovac was survived by his brothers Allen, Lawrence and Lewis, as well as his nephews Austin, Andrew and Max and niece Jessica.