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A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS:
MARTY BANDIER

The Grand Cohiba

EMPIRE STATE OF MIND: Bandier with Alicia Keys and Jay-Z.

Marty Bandier has been a rainmaker for so long that two of our other rainmakers, UMPG’s Jody Gerson and Warner/Chappell’s Big Jon Platt, were once his protégés—and Platt, as we recently learned, will be the music-biz legend’s successor when Bandier retires from the top post at Sony/ATV at the end of March, perfectly closing the circle of a remarkable career. But until Marty calls it a day, the three close friends will remain competitors—and all’s fair in love and publishing. “I love them; they’re like my kids—and they wanna kill me!” is how Bandier explained it in a 2017 Q&A at his alma mater, Syracuse University.

Bandier, who is in his 12th year as Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV—which he’s transformed into the biggest player in music publishing—is universally admired in the music business.

“I’ve known Marty for many, many years, and Marty is without a doubt the most iconic music publisher of his generation,” Allen Grubman, Bandier’s longtime attorney, tells us. “Every step he’s taken throughout his career has been phenomenally successful. There’s nobody out there with his level of knowledge and sophistication, and it shows: Every company he’s run has grown every year. When you talk about the great record guys, like Mo Ostin, Ahmet Ertegun and Clive Davis, Marty is their equivalent in music publishing, and I’m very proud to have represented him all these years.”

Offered fellow attorney Joel Katz, “Why has Sony/ATV done well? It’s because they have a great team and a great leader in Marty Bandier; it’s the same in all successful businesses.”

Platt hailed him as “an icon,” noting, “He was very supportive of me as an A&R. I’m very competitive and Marty’s very competitive, so we had a connection there.” He added, “Marty played a big role in who I am today.”

“I didn’t think guys like him existed in the industry anymore,” Wyclef Jean told The Guardian. “The reality is, it used to be about the songs, and the time we’re living in now, it’s more about a quick hit. For Marty, it’s more about the music. He’ll come to your show, see the vibe that you’re on. He actually studies every artist to see the range of what they can do.”

“For Marty, it’s more about the music. He’ll come to your show, see the vibe that you’re on. He actually studies every artist to see the range of what they can do.”

- Wyclef Jean

Pharrell Williams put it more bluntly when his hip-hop band N.E.R.D played at EMI’s post-Grammys party in 2003. “Respect to Marty Bandier, the best motherfucking music publisher in the world.”

That is not an exaggeration. Without question, Bandier has been the single most dominant music publisher of the last 30 years. Apart from his two accomplished former lieutenants, no one comes close to matching his gigantic footprint.

Sony/ATV owns the rights to 3 million songs, including such Grammy Song of the Year winners as “Moon River,” “Michelle,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “The Way We Were,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Stay with Me” and “Thinking Out Loud.”

“We are the greatest content holder in the music-publishing era,” Bandier boasted a few years ago.

PLAYERS: Bandier with Dottie Harris-Bandier and Clive Davis

Read the entire profile here. 

 

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