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“It took me eight months to convince David this was the right move for him to make...I can’t imagine anyone better suited to take Immortal to the next level.”
—Immortal's Happy Walters on hiring David Codidkow.
HAPPY'S DAZE IS HERE AGAIN
Immortal Chief Expands Company, Brings In Codikow As President/COO, Warped Founder Lyman
Don't worry. Be Happy.

In an effort to better tap the entertainment industry's synergistic potential, longtime music player Happy Walters, founder and CEO of Immortal Entertainment Group, has beefed up his company's overall operations, bringing in some well-known trade veterans to bolster the firm's film, TV, tour packaging, sports, music supervising and other ventures.

Guess he found that ATM in Long Beach after all, yo.

As part of that expansion process, Walters has named respected entertainment attorney David Codikow as President/COO of the multifaceted company, and respected live entertainment entrepreneur/artist manager Kevin Lyman as President of Immortal Properties.

While the financing was not revealed, sources said Happy and his posse were able to raise tens of millions of dollars from investors to help launch and operate the new larger entity. Anything had to be better than sinking all that cash into the plummeting Nasdaq.

Codikow and Lyman join Happy's already established executive team, which includes such industry vets as manager Janet Billig, soundtrack chief Gary Jones and Immortal Records GM Dana Millman DuFine, who runs the group's music label operations.

“It took me eight months to convince David this was the right move for him to make,” Happy said. “I can't imagine anyone better suited to take this company to the next level.  And all I had to do was promise him was Immortality.” Walters and Codikow have a more than 10-year relationship that started when Walters was managing rap act Cypress Hill, who were repped by Codikow's law firm.

Codikow, a former partner and co-founder of highly successful law firm Codikow, Carroll, Guido & Groffman, has given up his interests in the legal company for the Immortal post. Codikow co-founded the firm with Rosemary Carroll, wife of Artemis boss Danny Goldberg, 13 years ago and has had success representing such acts as Sugar Ray, Dave Matthews, Marilyn Manson, Hole and Nirvana, among others.

In his new role, Codikow, who will work closely with Walters, is charged with overseeing day-to-day operations of the group, developing existing businesses and building new ones. He'll focus on the development of all of IEG's divisions, which include Immortal Records, Immortal Films, Immortal Television, Sidewinder Music, Immortal Management and Immortal Properties, the latest addition to the conglomerate.

Walters and Codikow's first priority is the development of live entertainment component Immortal Properties, which will be headed by Lyman, charged with building and producing lifestyle events, primarily with music components that Immortal will own or co-own. Hey, why else would you do it?

Lyman previously owned 4 fini inc., a full-service music and entertainment company, and founded the Warped Tour, a multi-band, predominantly punk-rock, tour-package event. He will retain his position as the creative visionary of Warped, which was co-founded with Codikow, Carroll, Guido & Groffman and CAA. Lyman's seven-year-old tour, which was recently sold to Launch Media, is not a part of his Immortal deal and will continue to operate as a separate entity.  Lyman will teach Walters how to skateboard, though.

“After 20 years of operating independently, I found I could develop a multitude of projects only to a certain point,” Lyman said. “I then always needed to make a decision of  ‘do I pay my electric bills or pay [to keep the tours] going?' And most times, you gotta keep the lights on.”

In other words, he sold out and none of his Thrasher friends will speak to him any more.

Upcoming Immortal Properties events, which Lyman has brought into the fold, include “Watcha,” the third running of the Rock en Espanol U.S. multi-city tours; “Flying Diablos,” a freestyle touring Moto-X team; and such charity events as the “Duffing for Dollars” golf tourney and the fourth “Boarding for Breast Cancer.”

As part of the Immortal deal, Lyman's existing staff will be folded into the Immortal stable. Lyman employee Keri Lee has been given a key position in the Immortal Properties division.

Lyman's managerial clients, which include Less Than Jake, H20, the Ataris and Sloth, will become part of the new company's roster that already boasts such acts as Lisa Loeb, T Bone Burnett, Bijou Phillips and others. The expansion move calls for Immortal's Billig to team up with Lyman's Laura Murphy to lead the managerial division.

Lyman said his whole company, which includes five full-time employees, will move over to the new Immortal. “ I have a loyal group of people, and the negotiation of their deals was vital to my participation in this endeavor,” he said.

“The merger is a continuation of my involvement with the Warped Tour and incorporates my ability to develop new events and bring in my existing packages,” Lyman told hitsdailydouble.com before the rest of you trade and online losers ripped it off and didn't give us credit. "This combo may be strange, but it is basically solo entrepreneurs with great ideas who have come together to develop a company that we [couldn't have built] on our own.”

The company's other entertainment divisions are moving forward as well.

Immortal Films currently has five projects completed, including “Life Without Dick,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker for Columbia Pictures, being co-produced by Walters with Immortal's Matt Weaver and Happy Dagger Pictures. Immortal Television's recent projects include Showtime's “Married By Midnight.”

The Jones-run Sidewinder Music, Immortal's film music division, will continue to supervise soundtracks. The firm has seen success with such projects as “Family Man” “There's Something About Mary,”  “Next Best Thing,” “American Pie” and “Rush Hour,” among others.

Immortal Records, headed by Millman DuFine, has had success with Korn and Incubus. The label, formerly part of Sony Music's Epic Records, moved to EMI's Virgin Records last year, releasing the “Strait Up” compilation and the latest from Bare Jr. In addition, the now EMI-based record company has already signed three new acts in No One, Switch and Transmatic.


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