When speaking to Paul Geary there is no doubt that his Boston based musical heritage brings him a source of great pride. Growing up in Medford, Massachusetts, a child of modest means and great potential, he was ecstatic to find himself managing artists that he had idolized in his youth. Brad Delp, Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp have all been represented by Geary and here is his story:
Paul grew up listening to all of the musical greats of the day. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Boston, and Deep Purple. His love for music and outgoing spirit drove him towards percussion instruments and he soon became a drummer, playing in several local bands. It was through one of these bands that Paul met Gary Cherone and in 1981 in Paul’s garage, they formed the rock band The Dream.
The Dream was a success in the Boston club scene and the name became cemented as their trademark. So much so, that when CBS heard about them, they instantly knew they had a problem. During that same time period, CBS had been hard at work creating a television series around John Stamos. The series was based on an up and coming rock band, making their way through the music business in search of a recording deal. Sound familiar? It sure does and it sounded familiar to CBS as well.
Enter Paul Geary’s first brush with the business side of entertainment. CBS wanted the trademark and they wanted to make a deal: $25,000.00 up front and a $500 royalty for every episode aired. The series was syndicated. The offer was accepted.
All told, Geary had been managing The Dream all along, knocking on doors and scoring gigs. Now, the band had bank and a brand new name, Extreme. They came up through the ranks fast and hard. With Cherone’s poetic verse, Nuno Bettencourt’s 6-stringed virtuosity and Paul’s percussive prowess, Extreme caught the attention of A&M Records and was signed in 1987. With mounting responsibilities towards their label, Geary reached out to Arma Andon of SBK Management, who had been managing Roger Waters and Wilson Phillips, and recruited his services.
In the 7 years that followed, Extreme gained commercial success finding their hit single “More Than Words” in heavy rotation on MTV. They released four albums, toured 35 countries, sold 10 million albums, were nominated for a Grammy and had Gold and Platinum certifications.
In 1994 Geary sought out broader horizons. After several consults with Tim Collins, then manager of Aerosmith Paul founded his own artist management group, Global Artist Management. By this time Paul had purchased a home in New Hampshire. Not far from where he resided, lived none other than Sully Erna, of the new band Godsmack. From time to time Sully would bring his demos to Paul for critiquing. Geary became so enamored with the project, that he signed Godsmack to a management contract. Because of Geary’s dogged persistence and his many connections in the music industry, he was able to not only promote the band and increase record sales but to also pen a great recording contract for the band with Universal/Republic Records.
With the success of his first artist management contract, Geary’s credibility in the industry flourished. Global Artist Management then signed multi platinum rock group Fuel, garnered three gold certifications with the rock band Cold and had a number one Billboard hit with Afroman’s “Because I Got High”.
Geary’s Global Artist Management was a smash hit in the industry and in 2005, Paul merged with entertainment mogul, Rock and Roll Music Hall of famer Irving Azoff and Paul Jared to become AGP Management (Azoff, Geary, Paul Management) a division of Front Line Management Group. AGP Management was then relocated to Los Angeles that same year and underwent considerable growth as they picked up The Smashing Pumpkins, Creed, The Scorpions, Hoobastank, Alter Bridge, The New Kids on The Block, Earth, Wind and Fire, Jennifer Hudson, Steel Panther, a touring production contract for the TV show Glee and many more of today’s top musical acts.
In 2013 Geary reorganized and once again promoted himself as Global Artist Management as Irving Azoff stepped down as CEO of Live Nation to pursue other ventures. Geary relocated to Century City, Los Angeles along with several of his acts and tour manager Steve Wood. Together they went on to sign Joe Perry and The Hollywood Vampires. Geary and Wood met in 1991. Paul was still with Extreme, Wood was the tour manager for Cinderella and both bands were on tour with David Lee Roth. Geary and Wood became fast friends and were full business partners by 2018.
The first major score for the newly reformed Global Artist Management came when Geary and his team pitched a 13 episode television series to Viacom, which debuted in 2016 on both CMT, TV Land and Hulu. The series was a fully scripted comedy called Still The King. It was created by Billy Ray Cyrus who had filmed the pilot reel with a Nashville production company called Hideout Pictures. In 2017 Still The King was picked up for a second season. Geary is credited as producer.
By 2020 Carl Stubner of Shelter Music Group a BMG company, realized that he had an opportunity at hand and made a bid for Geary‘s Global Artist Management. With BMG funding and substantial acts to their merit including Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Crowded House, Bare Naked Ladies and A Perfect Circle Geary made the jump to Executive Artist Management for Shelter Music Group and merged his company with an industry giant.
Paul continues to have his finger on the pulse of the entertainment business delving into artist management, tour production and television production all over the world and has well positioned himself and his company for success for decades to come.
(by John Cappello)
Published on May 5, 2021