He's been called the rock guru, the music mogul, the mushroom man, and is widely recognised as one of the most important figures in the history of the Australian music industry. Irrefutably he is a man of many faces and his many business interests reflect the multiple facets of both his personality and his talents.
Born to Russian immigrants in 1952, the future success of Michael Gudinski could probably have been predicted back in 1959. At the ripe old age of seven years Michael showed his entrepreneurial side on Caulfield Cup day when he charged race goers for parking spaces in a vacant block next to his home. From there he never looked back, promoting gigs at Melbourne halls for alternative acts like Chain and The Aztecs and developing his first taste for what would be a life long love affair with the music industry.
In 1972 Michael and business partner Ray Evans staged, managed and booked all the entertainment at the legendary new Sunbury Festival. The pair also made quite a tidy profit off selling watermelons at the event. In the same year Michael simultaneously founded Mushroom Records - which was to eventually develop into the largest independent record label in Australian music - and Mushroom Music, which is today the principal independent publishing company in Australia.
At the same time, Michael developed his interest in the touring industry, promoting his first ever international tour John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with partner Ray Evans to overwhelming success. With tickets priced at $2.50, $3.50 and $4.50 Michael admits to making more money out of one night's show than he had ever dreamed possible - and all at the age of 20.
Michael was also managing a number of up and coming bands at this time, including Chain and Skyhooks. Both bands were to produce number one hits, but it was Skyhooks which went on to cement the future success of Mushroom Records.
The ensuing years saw Michael ride the roller coaster that was the developing Australian music industry, winning in some areas, experiencing losses in others.
In 1998 Michael sold Mushroom Records to Murdoch's News Limited Group while retaining the Mushroom Group name. 1993 had seen the Murdoch Group become a shareholder in Mushroom Records and the company continued to move from strength to strength. Considerable successes with Kylie in Australia and the UK had set up Mushroom Records as a notable force in the recording industry, and UK artist signings with Ash and Garbage (four Grammy nominations) and Peter Andre's #1 success with his Mysterious Girl single and the Natural album in the UK charts cemented the organisation's expansion into the UK with Infectious Records. The eventual sale in 1998 coincided with the 25th Anniversary of Mushroom Records and over 75,000 people helped celebrate the occasion with a spectacular concert at the MCG in Melbourne, starring more than 60 artists and lasting nine hours.
In the early 1990s Michael's years in the music industry was recognised by his induction into the ARIA Hall Of Fame with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1998 Michael was awarded the prestigious Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music at the APRA (The Australian Performing Rights Association) Awards. In 1999 the AMI (Australian Marketing Institute) awarded Michael The Sir Charles McGrath Australian Marketer of the Year Award the highest accolade for personal achievement an individual can receive from the AMI. And in 2003 at the UK’s International Live Music Conference in March, Michael received the ILMC Bottle Award, the equivalent to a lifetime achievement award.
In June 2006 Michael was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia medal (AM) for service to the entertainment industry through the promotion of Australian music recording artists, as an advocate for young people in the music industry, and to the community. In July 2006, he was listed in The Bulletin "100 Most Influential Australians" issue and was named the Ernst & Young Southern Region Entrepreneur Of The Year.
In 2009 Michael accepted the prestigious JC Williamson Award at the 2009 Helpmann Awards. It is the foremost honour that the Australian live entertainment industry can bestow. In awarding the JC Williamson Award, Live Performance Australia (LPA) recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the Australian live entertainment and performing arts industry and shaped the future of our industry for the better.
Michael was also listed in The Age Melbourne Magazine’s 2009 Top 100 issue for his work on the Sound Relief benefit concerts, which raised over $8 million for victims of the Victorian bushfires and Queensland floods.
In 2012 Michael was listed in the #1 position in the AMID Power 50, a list of the top 50 most influential people in the Australian music industry.
In August 2012 Michael was invited to speak at the prestigious National Film & Sound archive Thomas Rome lecture on the future of the Australian music industry.
Michael Gudinski continues to work with enormous enthusiasm across all facets of his companies, and is frequently seen trekking from pub gig to entertainment centre, in Australia and abroad, looking for the next big thing to promote - be it through his record labels, touring companies, agencies or publishing arm.
TOURING & EVENTS
THE FRONTIER TOURING COMPANY
From the ashes of Michael’s first touring venture arose on of his most enduring companies – The Frontier Touring Company, which celebrates its 30th year in the business in 2010. Since its formation in late 1979 The Frontier Touring Company has become the leading tour promoter in Australasia, repeatedly reported by Billboard and Pollstar rankings as Australasia’s number one concert promoter. The artists toured by The Frontier Touring Company read as a who’s who of touring artists – Leonard Cohen, Lionel Richie, Christina Aguilera, Kings Of Leon, The Killers, Maroon 5, Foo Fighters, The Police, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, La Roux, Them Crooked Vultures, Tom Jones, Norah Jones, the Eagles and Kylie Minogue, Miike Snow, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Jack White, Flight Of The Conchords plus so many more.
Frontier Events was launched in 2009 as Frontier Touring’s corporate division supplying, managing and organising entertainment for government, global corporations and some of the major international sporting events in Australasia. In addition to staging large scale exhibitions in Australia’s finest museums including Australia’s most successful exhibition ever; Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition.
PREMIER ARTISTS & HARBOUR AGENCY
Around the same time that The Frontier Touring Company was finding its feet, Michael and his partners established in 1973 the Premier Harbour Agency is Australia’s largest and foremost booking agency. With offices in Melbourne and Sydney they exclusively represent leadinghigh profile and established artistsd along with helping ot guide and develop up and coming local talents.
www.theharbouragency.com and www.premierartists.com.au
Roundhouse is responsible for the A Day On The Green winery concerts, staged across 17 wineries across Australia and New Zealand. The events combine a quality music experience with fine wine, food and spectacular locations. Estalished in 2001 and having presented over 200 winery concerts including, amongst others, Leonard Cohen, The B52s, Diana Krall, Alicia Keys, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie and Elvis Costello and top Australian artists such as Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Hoodoo Gurus and Kasey Chambers. In 2008 A Day On The Green launched into the New Zealand market with successful shows by artists such as Tom Jones, John Mellencamp/ Sheryl Crow and Blondie/Pretenders.
www.adayonthegreen.com.au and www.adayonthegreen.co.nz
Headed by Michael’s son, Matt, Illusive has been promoting international and local tours, club events, under 18 shows and music festivals as well as operating its successful record label and publishing arm since 2002.
Established by Brett Murrihy and Matt Gudinski, Artist Voice is an innovative and creative agency, which aims to provide a complete service for artists across a range of musical styles. The Artist Voice vision is to build a world-class agency bringing new revenue opportunities and an international platform for our leading roster of clients.
Formed in 1999 Liberation is a dynamic independent label signing and developing some of the most exciting Australia and New Zealand artists for markets worldwide including Jimmy Barnes, Kasey Chambers, The Temper Trap, Shane Nicholson, Adalita, Husky, British India, TZU, New Gods plus many more.
Launched in 2006 Liberator focuses exclusively on signing all styles of international music for Australian and New Zealand release including Dizzee Rascal, Kaiser Chiefs, We The Kings, Beady Eye, Tiesto, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Jim Jones Revue, Crystal Fighters, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Benny Benassi, Kele, Sleigh Bells, First Aid Kit, Band Of Skulls, Patrick Wolf, Dead Can Dance, Garbage, alt-J and more.
A joint venture between the successful team behind Winterman & Goldstein Management and Liberation since 2003. Ivy League is home to exciting talents such as Josh Pyke, Cloud Control, Lanie Lane, The Rubens, SURES, Deep Sea Arcade and more.
Run by Michael’s son, Matt Gudinski and formed in 2002, Illusive Group has established itself as a market leader when it comes to cutting edge music. Since conception, Illusive has existed as one of Australia’s first truly 360 degree music businesses, comprising of operations within all areas of the music industry - including a record label, touring company, a boutique booking agency and management business alongside other ventures.
I OH YOU
I Oh You joined the Mushroom Group in October 2011 as an imprint of Illusive. The cutting edge label boasts exciting new talents Bleeding Knees Club, DZ Deathrays, Snakadaktal,Violent Soho and City Calm Down.
In May 2012 Wunderkind joined the Mushroom Group stable as a joint venture partnership with Michael Parisi. The boutique recording company signings to date include Stonefield and Owl Eyes.
PUBLICITY & PROMOTIONS
MUSHROOM GROUP PROMOTIONS (MGP)
In 2007 MGP was born from the merger of the promotions departments of the four Mushroom Group record labels and The Frontier Touring Company. Providing a united approach to promoting and publicising our artists across Australia and New Zealand, MGP has been an exciting and innovative addition to the Mushroom Group of Companies.
In 2009 Mushroom Music celebrated its 35th anniversary. It remains the most successful independent publishing company in Australia and New Zealand.
Mushroom Publishing launched into New Zealand in late 2005, creating the country’s first locally based major publishing company. Representing artists such as Kylie Minogue, Eskimo Joe, The Vines, Crowded House, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Eyed Peas and many more.
LOVE POLICE ATM
Love Police, the Sydney based band and event merchandise and design company run by Brian "BT" Taranto, has merged it's merchandise interests and operations with the Mushroom Group of Companies', Australian Tour Merchandising "ATM", to form Love Police/ATM, Australia's premier merchandising solution for the music, entertainment and sporting industries
bandtshirts.com.au is an online shop offering passionate and loyal music fans the chance to buy official and exclusive band merchandise from both Australian and international artists.
FILM & TELEVISION
MUSHROOM PICTURES & MUSHROOM TV
Mushroom Pictures & Mushroom TV was formed in 1995 to develop, produce and distribute a wide range of films, television and multi-media projects. Successes to date include cult movies Chopper and the top #10 US hit, Wolf Creek, and the highly lauded TV series Great Australian Albums featuring legendary albums by Crowded House, Silverchair, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds amongst others.
MEDIA & MARKETING
Mushroom Marketing provides direct access to the combined resources and experience of the Mushroom Group of Companies to ensure marketers from other industries effectively harness the power of music.
The Mushroom Group is a major investor in mcm entertainment group ltd. The company was founded in 1983, and today is one of Australia's most progressive media entertainment, digital solution and new media technical innovation organisations. With offices in Melbourne and Sydney the company is listed on the ASX and comprises three businesses; mcm media - Australia’s leading music radio, television, online and mobile content producer & distributor, Igloo digital - digital strategy, design & website development and mts – the developer and global supplier of the movideo online streaming media solution for major video and audio content publishers.
Clear Intent is a fresh, dynamic in-house design agency focused on providing the industry with web, interactive and print solutions.
TRAK LOUNGE BAR
Located in the heart of Toorak village, TRAK is one of Melbourne’s most prestigious and iconic venues catering to functions and events whilst offering state of the art in house audio and visual equipment.
Located on popular Fitzroy St in St Kilda, Pretty Please is a unique and distinctive destination for those wanting a great night out.