Phil Carson is an English former record label owner and London-based Senior Vice President of Atlantic Records from 1968 to 1985. He is known for his association several rock bands, including Led Zeppelin, Yes, AC/DC, and Twisted Sister.
Born in London, he was playing bass guitar in a school band eventually being tapped to play bass for Dusty Springfield. Gravitating toward the business side of music, Carson started at Swedish record label Olga Records. Nesuhi Ertegun hired Carson to run Atlantic in the UK. He cites the Ertegun brothers as mentors, particularly Ahmet, eventually co-producing the Honey Drippers album with Ahmet Ertegun.
Carson spent a great deal of time on the road with bands under his purview, most notably Led Zeppelin. He is one of only a handful of people to have jammed onstage with them and the only person to appear onstage with both Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Carson’s deep connection to AC/DC can be underscored by the fact that he is the only record executive thanked by name on original pressings of “Back in Black” and “For Those About to Rock”.
After leaving Atlantic records, he started a management company with clients who have included Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers, Yes, Motorhead, Bonham, Asia, Foreigner, Ben E. King, Bad Company, and others. This is where Carson assembled The Firm the super group featuring Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers.
Carson moved to the US in 1989 to run JVC’s Victory Music. He then headed up the music department at The Shooting Gallery an independent film studio. Here Carson curated the soundtrack for some award-winning films.
In the mid-1990s Carson retired but kept a few clients in his management roster including Foreigner and Dee Snider.
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