Image for Cold Chisel in the 21st Century

Cold Chisel in the 21st Century

Written by Toby Smith on November 6, 2009

Cold Chisel continue to defy age, taste and health it would seem, although we’re not exactly sure why we were sent the following announcement from Warner Music Australia…

Cold Chisel, one of Australia’s most revered and acclaimed rock & roll bands, announced today that it has formed a new management relationship with John Watson and John O’Donnell.

In early September, the band’s previous manager Rod Willis resigned after 32 years of working with the band. During their long and proud relationship, Cold Chisel and Willis enjoyed incredible success together and re-wrote many of the rules of the music business. “When we joined up with Rod we were an unknown band,” said Don Walker. “Rod has been like a brother to us for thirty two years”.

Some weeks after this news, the band approached John O’Donnell and John Watson separately to discuss management of the group. O’Donnell was most recently the CEO of EMI Music Australia after stints at Rolling Stone Magazine and Murmur/Sony Music. Watson’s current management roster includes Silverchair, Missy Higgins, Pete Murray and Little Birdy plus he operates the successful label, Eleven: A Music Company. The pair are long time friends and colleagues and they saw this as a unique opportunity to join forces to work with a band that they have loved and respected since their early teens.

“Cold Chisel loom incredibly large in the history of Australian music and in our lives,” said John Watson. “Their songs and their collective legacy have only grown in stature over the years and to work with them now, at a time of so much change in the music industry, opens up an exciting new set of challenges and opportunities.”

“As a kid from the ‘burbs, Cold Chisel were the authentic and dominant soundtrack of my youth,” said John O’Donnell. “To be working with a band and a catalogue that is arguably the best in Australian music history and teaming up with Watson to help steer them into the future is a great honour.”

In September, Cold Chisel announced they were reforming for a one-off show at the V8 Supercars inaugural Sydney Telstra 500 race on Saturday, December 5.  As the band’s legendary frontman Jimmy Barnes said when this one-off show was announced: “Cold Chisel is the best band I have ever played with. When we get together sparks fly and something beautiful happens.”

At this stage, the band has no further touring or recording plans. However, the individual members will continue to pursue their own projects. Their existing management structures for those solo activities will not be affected in any way by the appointment of Watson and O’Donnell who will only be involved with Cold Chisel as a group.

(Photo by Charlie Brewer)

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