Chris Stamp

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Chris Stamp
Birth name Christopher Thomas Stamp
Born (1942-07-07)7 July 1942
East End of London, England
Died 24 November 2012(2012-11-24) (aged 70)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupations Record producer
Years active 1964–2012
Labels Track Records
Associated acts

Christopher Thomas "Chris" Stamp (7 July 1942 – 24 November 2012)[1][2][3] was a British music producer and manager known for co-managing and producing such musical acts as the Who and Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s and 1970s and co-founding the now defunct Track Records.[4][5][6] He later became a psychodrama therapist based in the state of New York.[7][8][9]

Childhood[edit]

Born into a working-class family, Stamp and his four siblings started their lives in London's East End. The actor Terence Stamp is his older brother.[10][11] Their father, Thomas Stamp, was a tugboat captain, and their mother was Ethel (née Perrott).[10][12]

Career in film and music[edit]

Stamp started out as a filmmaker and met business partner and collaborator Kit Lambert while working at Shepperton Film Studios as an assistant director—they both worked on such films as I Could Go On Singing, The L-Shaped Room and Of Human Bondage. Eventually the pair came to share a flat in west London, and in 1963 Lambert convinced Stamp that the two should direct their own film about the burgeoning British rock scene.[6][11] "Our idea was to find a group that somehow represented the emerging ideas of our time. They would be rebellious, anarchistic and uniquely different from the established English pop scene," said Stamp.[13]

Stamp and Lambert met the members of the Who during one of their performances at the Railway Hotel (no longer standing) in Harrow and Wealdstone. At that time the band was known as the High Numbers.[14][15] Lambert said the following of the experience:

I shall always remember that night we first saw them together. I had never seen anything like it. The Who have a hypnotic effect on an audience. I realized that the first time I saw them. It was like a black mass. Even then Pete Townshend was doing all that electronic feedback stuff. Keith Moon was going wild on the drums. The effect on the audience was tremendous. It was as if they were in a trance. They just sat there watching or shuffled around the dance floor, awestruck.[11]

Stamp and Lambert's contrasting personalities and backgrounds also made an impression on the band; in a 1972 Rolling Stone article Keith Moon said that the two men "were...are...as incongruous a team as [the Who] are."[14] Lambert was an Oxford graduate and the son of noted composer Constant Lambert; he spoke proper and high-class English.[11] In contrast, Stamp was five years younger, the son of a tug-boatman, and Keith Moon described Stamp as speaking “in nearly unintelligible East London cockney.”[14][15] Roger Daltrey said the following about the pair:

Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp were the fifth and sixth members of the Who: Kit, with his outrageous behaviour and ideas on how to manipulate the media, and Chris, the expert in cool, menace, and scams! Their contribution to the band should never be underestimated.[16]

Despite having no prior experience in business management or the music industry,[17] the duo made a move to acquire the High Numbers from their manager Peter Meaden; Lambert had learned from The Beatles' attorney, David Jacobs, that the band's contract with their previous manager was legally invalid. In effect, Meaden had no legal claim to the band and in 1964 he accepted a buyout for relinquishing control to Stamp and Lambert.[15]

By autumn of that same year Stamp and Lambert convinced the band to change their name back to the Who (a name they were using prior to Meaden's management) and began to focus on the band's Mod image.[18] The band managers also encouraged the band's early Mod look and also encouraged the band to include more blues and James Brown and Motown covers in their sets — since this was the sound most enjoyed by the Mod crowd.[18][19]

The new band managers also shot a short promotional movie for the Who in 1964 which they would sometimes show at the Who's live performances, before the band would take to the stage.[19] Drawing from their filmmaking backgrounds, the duo also began to focus on the Who's stage show. They sent the band for lessons on how to apply stage makeup, and began to insist that the band have control of its own stage lighting during shows, which was virtually unheard of at the time.[19][20] On occasion, Stamp and Lambert even became part of the act themselves; during one performance in 1966 they lit and tossed fire bombs onto the stage as the band played.[21]

By late 1966, with two hit albums by the Who under their belts, Stamp and Lambert established their own record label. The following year they signed artist Jimi Hendrix and founded Track Record Records, eventually known simply as Track Records.[22][23][24] Soon the label released its first single, Purple Haze, followed by their first album, Are You Experienced. Track Records went on to profit from hit singles such as Fire by the band Crazy World of Arthur Brown, which reached #1 in the UK and Canada and #2 on the US Billboard charts, as well as Eight Miles High by Golden Earring, which reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Stamp and Lambert also helped launch the Who's seminal rock opera Tommy.[25][26]

During a 2005 interview,[26] Roger Daltrey stated the following about Tommy:

We thought, at least it's dangerous. And we were under the wing of two great managers – Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. They made us believe that if we made it dangerous it would work. It was a period when the record industry was growing so fast and the business couldn't keep up. Bands were leading the way; it was driven by the art and not the business. Now it's driven by the business.

Stamp and Lambert profited well from the music business and were living the lifestyles of the rock stars they managed, which (as Stamp would later admit) also included heavy consumption of drugs: "We were out to lunch, no doubt about that," he said.[9][17] As the 1970s progressed, the members of the Who were beset by many physical and emotional setbacks, and Lambert's drug use also became so heavy that he began dipping into the Who's royalties.[17] By 1975 Stamp and Lambert were ousted by the band in favour of manager Bill Curbishley, and the pair relocated to New York City to produce American R&B/soul group Labelle.[6] Track Records folded the following year.[6]

Following the demise of Track Records, Stamp remained in New York, but Kit Lambert had moved to Italy, dying in 1981 of a brain haemorrhage while at his mother's London home.[9][18] Stamp's drug and alcohol use continued, and in 1987 he entered a drug rehabilitation programme; the experience helped to inspire Stamp to assist others with their addictions and he began to study experiential therapies, including psychodrama.[5][27]

Chris Stamp continued to work on Who-related projects and to give interviews about his forays into the music business. He provided liner notes for the 1995 re-release of the Who's 1966 album A Quick One, and provided a foreword to the 2005 re-release of the Who biography Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958-1978.[13] In 2005 he also gave an informal presentation at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of their programme "From Songwriters to Soundmen: The People Behind the Hits".[28] He also sat on the advisory board of the John Entwistle Foundation, formed in honour of the Who's bass guitarist, John Entwistle.

Career in psychotherapy[edit]

Until his death Stamp worked as a psychodrama therapist and addiction counsellor. Trained at the Psychodrama Institute of New York and the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute, he was a Licensed Mental Health Counsellor (LMHC), a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counsellor (CASAC), a Certified Experiential Therapist (CET), and an Auricular Acupuncture Detox Specialist (ADS). He worked as a consultant for the Freedom Institute in New York City and kept a private practice in East Hampton, New York.[7][8][29]

Death[edit]

Stamp died of cancer on 24 November 2012 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.[1][2][3] He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Calixte, his daughters Rosie and Amie, his sons-in-law Edmund and Nicholas and several grandchildren,[1] as well as his brother Terence. He was 70.

Discography[edit]

Year Album Artist Credits
1968 Magic Bus The Who Executive Producer
1969 Tommy The Who Executive Producer
1971 Who's Next The Who Producer, Executive Producer
1973 Quadrophenia The Who Executive Producer
1975 Tommy (Original Soundtrack) Various Artists Executive Producer
1988 This is My Generation The Who Executive Producer
Who's Better, Who's Best The Who Executive Producer
Who's Better, Who's Best: The Videos The Who Director, Re-editing
2001 Who's Next (Bonus tracks) The Who Producer, Executive Producer
2003 No Thanks! The 70s Punk Rebellion Various Artists Producer
Tommy (Deluxe Edition) The Who Executive Producer
2004 Early Collection: Magic Bus/Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy The Who Executive Producer
First Singles Box The Who Executive Producer
Quick One (Bonus Tracks) The Who Liner Notes
Tommy (DVD) The Who Executive Producer

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Genre Credits
1964 Of Human Bondage Drama Assistant Director
1975 Tommy Musical Drama Executive Producer
1979 Quadrophenia Musical Drama Story Consultant
1994 Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who Documentary Producer
2006 An Ox's Tale: The John Entwistle Story Documentary As himself
2007 Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who Documentary As himself

TV appearances[edit]

  • Chris Stamp appeared in the second episode of the BBC documentary series Pop Britannia, which originally aired on Friday, 11 January 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Chris Stamp". The Who Naked Eye. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Coleman, Miriam (25 November 2012). "Chris Stamp, Former Manager of the Who, Dead at 70". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Graff, Gary (25 November 2012). "Chris Stamp, Who Helped Launch The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Dead at 70". Billboard. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  4. ^ IMDB bio
  5. ^ a b Digiacomo, Frank, "Terence Stamp Thinks About Hindi, Cary Grant and a Good Steam at the New York Athletic Club", The New York Observer, Oct 1, 2000
  6. ^ a b c d Allmusic profile of Kit Lambert
  7. ^ a b American Society of Experimental Therapists
  8. ^ a b 2008 Brochure from the ASGPP - American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama
  9. ^ a b c Andrew Loog Oldham, "Why Ahmet Ertegun was the last great svengalis", The Times (UK), December 7, 2007
  10. ^ a b Christopher Stamp's bio on Terence Stamp's official website
  11. ^ a b c d Wilkerson, Mark, Amazing Journey: The Life of Pete Townshend, Lulu press, 1 March 2006, page 31
  12. ^ Terence Stamp's bio at filmreference.com
  13. ^ a b Neill, Andrew, "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958-1978" (Revised edition), Sterling Publishing Company Inc., Sep 2005, page 5
  14. ^ a b c Hopkins, Jeremy, "Keith Moon Bites Back", Rolling Stone, Dec 21, 1972
  15. ^ a b c Wilkerson, Mark, Amazing Jouney: The Life of Pete Townshend, Lulu press, 1 March 2006, page 32
  16. ^ Neill, Andrew, "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958-1978" (Revised edition), Sterling Publishing Company Inc., Sep 2005, page 4
  17. ^ a b c Connolly, Ray, "Meet the REAL wild men of rock—the stars' managers", The Daily Mail, May 19, 2007
  18. ^ a b c Rolling Stone magazine's biography of The Who
  19. ^ a b c Wilkerson, Mark, Amazing Jouney: The Life of Pete Townshend, Lulu press, 1 March 2006, page 34
  20. ^ Wilkerson, Mark, Amazing Jouney: The Life of Pete Townshend, Lulu press, 1 March 2006, page 33
  21. ^ Neill, Andrew, "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958-1978" (Revised edition), Sterling Publishing Company Inc., Sep 2005, page 89
  22. ^ Gillett, Charlie, "The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll", Da Capo Press, 21 Mar 1996, page 383
  23. ^ Shadwick, Keith, "Jimi Hendrix: Musician", Backbeat Books, 1 Oct 2003, page 82
  24. ^ IMDb profile
  25. ^ Christopher Stamp at Hollywood.com at the Wayback Machine (archived May 22, 2011)
  26. ^ a b James, Steve, "The Who, what, why, when...", Reuters, 21 Dec 2005
  27. ^ The Who message board at www.igtc.com
  28. ^ List of past participants of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame speaking engagements titled "From Songwriters to Soundmen: The People Behind the Hits"
  29. ^ Caron "Chit Chat Chatter" Newsletter, Spring 2001

External links[edit]