Eric Greif

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Eric Greif is at right, pictured with engineer Mike Frazier in 1985[1]

Eric Greif is a lawyer and entertainment personality known first for a management and record production career within the heavy metal musical genre in the 1980s and early 1990s, and later within the legal profession. Canadian filmmaker Sam Dunn has referred to Greif as a "hugely important figure in the extreme metal scene."[2] He is the nephew of deceased American-Irish writer and publisher Martin Greif.[3]

Youth[edit]

Greif was the weekly teen columnist with Southam News daily Calgary Herald but, wanting to be "where all the record labels were", left when he turned 18 for Los Angeles.[4] He attended the University of Sound Arts in Hollywood studying to become a recording engineer but soon switched to production when it was suggested to him by mentor Ron Fair.[4]

Entertainment career[edit]

Greif's first production work was with the Greg Leon Invasion, who he met after their show at The Troubadour[4] and later managed.[5] Greg Leon subsequently introduced Greif to Tommy Lee, whom Leon had played in a band with, and this led to Greif's management work with Mötley Crüe.[4][6] Among his arrangements was Mötley Crüe's eventful 1982 tour of Canada.[4][7]

By the mid-1980s, Greenworld Distribution, who had worked with Greif on the marketing and distribution of Mötley Crüe's first album Too Fast for Love,[8] had signed contracts with the vast majority of bands Greif brought to them with production deals,[9][10] including Kansas City's Vyper,[11][12][13] who he produced and managed. John Hughes, writing for the Kansas City Star, noted that "Mr. Greif hopes that Vyper will follow the pattern of last year's heavy metal meteor, Mötley Crüe, for which he was assistant manager and which recorded its first album with Greenworld...Billboard magazine announced the news in this week's issue".[14] Quoting Greif, Hughes wrote "I'm going for millionaire status rather than blue-collar status. I'm marketing a product. The '80s is image, a look. The '80s are MTV". Greenworld's 1986 bankruptcy caused problems for Greif[4] as Enigma Records, Greenworld's largest creditor, refused to return any of the master tapes and was not interested in promoting anything that Greenworld had been working on.[4]

Eric Greif, middle, with the band Death in Mexico City, June 1989

Greif moved into concerts as co-promoter of Milwaukee Metalfest,[15] described by MTV as "one of the largest celebrations of underground heavy metal in the country".[16] He managed death metal pioneer Chuck Schuldiner and his Florida band Death,[17][18][19] did some campaigning against US heavy metal media censorship,[20] and produced bands such as Acrophet,[21] Num Skull, Morbid Saint,[22] Realm,[23] Invocator,[24] Viogression,[25] Jackal,[26] Twistin' Egyptians,[27] Transmetal,[28] Cyclone,[29] Dr. Shrinker, and Morta Skuld.[30] In September 1990, Greif held one of the first North American death metal festivals, Day of Death, in Milwaukee suburb Waukesha, Wisconsin, at the Expo Center and featured 26 bands including Autopsy, Hellwitch, Obliveon, Revenant, Viogression, Immolation, Atheist, Broken Hope, and Cynic.[31]

Greif also managed LA band London, who at one time featured his former client Nikki Sixx, before their final break-up.[4][32]

In November 1991, Journal Sentinel music writer Terry Higgins stated: "At 29, Greif has become the kingpin of a steadily growing rock empire by becoming the kind of tough businessman who is as much at home in the courtroom as in the boardroom".[33] Although client Schuldiner had said about Greif "we just came to the conclusion that it was stupid just fighting all the time, taking each other to court and all that stupid shit",[18] by the mid-1990s Greif decided he'd spent enough time in court to know he wanted to become a lawyer.[4]

Legal career[edit]

Eric Greif's 2000 book, "Choosing an Offshore: Cybertax in the New Millennium"

Eric Greif is an alumnus of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law[34] and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association.[35] Within legal practice, Greif was a co-founder of the Association of Restorative Practitioners of the UK and Ireland,[36] delivered victim-offender mediation training to the Czech Republic Probation and Mediation Service (PMS) in Prague,[37] and was a State Prosecutors facilitator at a conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice in Belgium.[38][39]

In entertainment endeavors, Greif represents American guitarist/songwriter Paul Masvidal,[40] Danish heavy metal guitarist Hank Shermann,[41] and the bands Cynic,[42] Obituary, Anciients, and Massacre. He is the legal rep for the intellectual property of Chuck Schuldiner and has submitted copyright claims to YouTube, on behalf of Mutilation Music BMI, for postings of Death live footage.[43] In latter 2012, Greif assisted metal documentarian and fellow Canadian Sam Dunn in logistics and raising funds for a short film on extreme metal, to be completed by late 2013. Dunn was quoted as saying "Eric Greif has been enormously supportive of our work. He is a hugely important figure in the extreme metal scene."[2]

Personal life[edit]

Greif says that he has always opposed the abuse of hard drugs, especially after seeing it "destroy" a few lives, including a former business partner who died after years of addiction.[4] Greif has been an insulin-dependent diabetic for much of his life,[4] which was briefly cured by a pancreas transplant in 2006, but "it failed a few months later and health continues to be a struggle for him", although he is still a university lecturer[34][44] and active in the music business.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chapman Recording Studio - History
  2. ^ a b Helping The Cause: Metal Evolution - The Lost Episode: Extreme Metal, metalstorm.net, (retrieved February 24, 2013)
  3. ^ GfT, February 04, 2008, retrieved August 20, 2008
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Eric Greif interview". Sleaze Roxx. 2007-04-28. 
  5. ^ Greg Leon interview
  6. ^ Motley Crue: Rock And Roll's Bad Boys, www.squidoo.com/Motley-Crue, retrieved August 20, 2008
  7. ^ 1982, Chronological Crue (retrieved October 2, 2009)
  8. ^ Too Fast for Love, motleymuseum.com, retrieved August 20, 2008
  9. ^ Billboard Magazine, p. HM-18, April 27, 1985 (retrieved October 28, 2010)
  10. ^ Audio Track, Billboard Magazine, August 31, 1985 (retrieved October 28, 2010)
  11. ^ Vyper Band Page, Tartarean Desire, retrieved August 20, 2008
  12. ^ Vyper, Denim and Leather, retrieved August 20, 2008
  13. ^ Where are you? - Vyper, Maximum Metal, retrieved August 20, 2008
  14. ^ Hughes, J. Rock Band Vyper - and its manager - are coiled to strike, Kansas City Star, November 2, 1984
  15. ^ Greif MCs Milwaukee Metalfest III, December 2, 1989
  16. ^ Mega Metalfest Takes Milwaukee, MTV.com, retrieved October 6, 2010
  17. ^ Emptywords.org, retrieved August 20, 2008
  18. ^ a b Thrash 'n Burn, February 1992, retrieved August 20, 2008
  19. ^ Voices from the Darkside Magazine, retrieved December 5, 2013
  20. ^ TV interview (80s)
  21. ^ Acrophet, Vinyl Records, retrieved August 20, 2008
  22. ^ Smith, B. Interview with Tony Paletti of Morbid Saint 2006, retrieved August 20, 2008
  23. ^ 'Realm Biography', Spirit of Metal, retrieved October 6, 2010
  24. ^ Biography, The Official Invocator Homepage, retrieved August 20, 2008
  25. ^ Viogression, Artist Direct, retrieved August 20, 2008
  26. ^ Encyclopaedia Metallum (retrieved April 16, 2010)
  27. ^ Shakin' All Over/In The Sun 45 Page, Twistin' Egyptians' Discography, retrieved August 20, 2008
  28. ^ Discografia, Transmetal, retrieved August 20, 2008
  29. ^ Cyclone, Metal Archives, retrieved August 20, 2008
  30. ^ Through the Eyes of Death, Relapse Records, (retrieved June 23, 2011)
  31. ^ Biography, Official Atheist site, accessed December 10, 2008
  32. ^ London, Metallian mag, retrieved December 5, 2013
  33. ^ Higgins, T. Greif thrives on death metal, Milwaukee Sentinel, November 22, 1991
  34. ^ a b Alumni Update, Moot Hill, Faculty of Law, Winter 2007, retrieved August 20, 2008
  35. ^ Canadian Bar Association Newsletter, November 2000
  36. ^ Restorative Practitioners, restorativejustice.org.uk, retrieved August 20, 2008
  37. ^ The YJB takes RJ across the world, Youth Justice Board News, February 2004
  38. ^ Restorative justice and its relation to the criminal justice system: Second conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, Oostende, 10–12 October 2002, retrieved August 20, 2008
  39. ^ European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation & Restorative Justice, retrieved August 20, 2008
  40. ^ Blabbermouth.net, March 17, 2004, retrieved August 20, 2008
  41. ^ Contact, demonica.net, retrieved August 19, 2009
  42. ^ Cynic legal contact, (accessed July 12, 2010)
  43. ^ Death - Live in Japan, YouTube
  44. ^ Eric Greif, Mount Royal University, Department of Justice Studies, retrieved September 6, 2009