Longtime music manager Bennett Glotzer, who helped guide the careers of such legendary artists as Janis Joplin and Frank Zappa, died on July 9 in Los Angeles due to complications from heart disease. He was 86.
Through a partnership with Albert Grossman and on his own, Glotzer managed the careers of some of the most influential music stars of the 1960s and ’70s, including Joplin, The Band, Procol Harum, Gordon Lightfoot and Gang of Four. One of his most notable associations was with Zappa, whose career he managed for several years beginning in the mid 1970s.
A graduate of Columbia Law School, Glotzer’s entry into the artist management business came after he completed legal work for The Blues Project during their 1967 split, leading him to manage the groups that resulted from that fracture: Seatrain and the multi-platinum jazz-rock outfit Blood, Sweat & Tears. Richard Greene, Seatrain’s violinist and fiddler, describes Glotzer as a generous, ambitious and endlessly-resourceful manager with a knack for solving seemingly insurmountable problems.
“He was just kind of amazing guy in terms of getting things done,” says Greene, who Glotzer recruited to play in Seatrain in the late 1960s. “[Once] he got us booked in Denmark, so we flew over to Copenhagen, and it was all [supposed to be] set up — hotels, the whole thing. We landed and nothing was set up. It all fell apart. So there we are in the airport with nothing, [and Bennett] runs off in a rented car and puts the whole thing back together like in an hour or two hours, in a foreign country.”
Glotzer linked up with Grossman in 1969 and formed the New York-based Grossman-Glotzer Management, which managed the careers of Joplin, The Band, Lightfoot, Seatrain, Tom Rush, James Cotton and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, among others. After the two men parted ways several years later, Glotzer moved to Los Angeles and launched Glotzer Management, where he and his team additionally handled publishing administration and publicity duties for a client list that included Zappa, Nina Hagen and singer-songwriter Hollye Leven. During that period, Glotzer also dipped his toe in the film industry, associate producing Zappa’s 1979 concert film Baby Snakes and dabbling for a time in screenwriting.
In the early 1990s, Glotzer formed The Education Group, an educational video production company, which he ran until his death.
Glotzer is survived by his son Michael Glotzer and daughter Liz Glotzer.