Tony Defries

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Tony Defries (born September 1943) is a British former pop music manager. Defries worked in the 1960s music scene with such figures as Mickie Most and Allen Klein, before turning his attention to David Bowie.[1] Defries' company MainMan[2] had a management structure that combined ingredients of the movie studio with those of the independent producer/record label/music publisher. The company management included Jamie Andrews as vice-president and later president. Defries represented Bowie through his rise to stardom, reputedly making more money from the deal than the star himself.[3] He also helped to launch the solo careers of Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Mick Ronson, Luther Vandross and John Mellencamp, as well as Mott the Hoople. His MainMan Group of companies assisted in the creation of many independent record and publishing companies that were later acquired by major conglomerates.

In 2000 he lost US$22 million in an offshore tax evasion scheme.[4] In 2011 he was sued by Capitol Records for copyright infringement. He lost the lawsuit with damages and costs against him totaling over US$9 million.[5]


  1. ^ Leary, Kate. "Bowie Manager Tony Defries’ Autobiography Due in ‘08", Harp Magazine, 15 August 2007. Retrieved on 2008-07-23.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Mainman - CDs and Vinyl". Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  3. ^ "10 Ruthless Rock Managers". Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Rock Impresario Tony Defries lost $22 million in offshore tax evasion scheme". The Komisar Scoop. 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  5. ^ "Capitol Records, LLC et al v. Defries et al". Retrieved 2016-01-21.