The Management Trust’s Jake Gold can remember the exact day his career in music took off. Over 35 years ago, Gold’s passion for music led him to have many friends who were musicians and one asked him to be the manager of his band.
“I was working in a hi-fi stereo store and I took off sick on a day because the band got a last minute gig,” Gold told Amplify. “Back then when you were the manager, you were the tech, the lighting guy, you’re the sound guy, you’re everything.”
The following day was Nov. 29, 1981 when Gold went back into work and was questioned by his boss at the store.
“The guy goes ‘where were you yesterday?’ I said I was sick and he said ‘No you weren’t.’ I admitted my band got a last minute gig and I had to go,” Gold said. “The guy said ‘Oh yeah. Well you’re fired.’ That was the last day I ever worked for anybody else.”
Five years later, Gold was sent the tape for a Canadian band called the Tragically Hip. He helped put together a show for them at Larry’s Hideaway at the Carlton Hotel in Toronto in August of 1986.
“It was 30 seconds into the first song when my partner and I looked at each other and I said, ‘We’re signing these guys tonight.’ It was that instant,” Gold said.
Gold worked with the Hip for 18 years and explained that he could have done his entire five shows on seminal Hip performances. Over the years, Gold has expanded his management business to include chefs, stylists, authors, and more.
“I refer to myself as a talent manager now as opposed to a music manager. I think the skill set is transferable,” Gold said.
Amplify caught up with the veteran manager to hear about five of the most influential shows he’s witnessed.
The Beatles at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto
Sept. 7, 1964
I really do not remember much. I was six years old. My older sister (15 years old at the time) was forced to take me to the show. The only way my parents would get her tickets was if she took me. I was a fan from seeing them on Ed Sullivan. It was exciting, but to be honest you couldn’t hear the band, because of all the screaming. It was packed and there were screaming girls. That’s one of the reasons the Beatles stopped touring. Not only could they not hear themselves, they knew the audience couldn’t hear them. The equipment hadn’t caught up with the size from what I’ve been told.
Peter Gabriel at Maple Leaf Gardens
Oct. 16, 1978
I had been a fan of Genesis, but this was Paul Gabriel’s second solo tour. I had seen him and them before, but this was different. The show opened with music from Larry Fast’s Synergy. Larry was Peter’s keyboard player on that tour, and there were search lights coming from all directions in the arena. Gradually the lights all met in the middle and formed a line and it was the band members and Peter with orange safety vests and searchlights. The line of lights walked up the middle aisle and up on to the stage to start the show. I’ll never forget the electricity in that room that night. Peter’s encore was “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” from the Genesis album of the same name. When he was done, the house lights went up, but people wouldn’t leave. They stayed and cheered for what seemed like forever. Eventually Peter came back out and with the house lights on, played “Here Comes the Flood” solo at the piano.
The Tragically Hip at Markham Fairgrounds
July 24, 1993
It was second night of two in the Toronto area of The Hip’s Another Roadside Attraction festival Tour. It was the halfway point in the tour, and The Hip were following Midnight Oil every night. They were getting better and better each night and this was the biggest crowd they had headlined for at this point in their career, 40,000 people were there. I was side stage as the band went out to start their set. They open with “Locked in the Trunk of a Car,” the first single off the current album Fully Completely. It’s a song with a slow opening that explodes into the first verse. The lights were dark, but when the song, and band for that matter, exploded the lights lit up the audience. You couldn’t see how far they went from the vantage point of being on the stage looking out, it was something I had never experienced before. The audience was one undulating mass, moving as one. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. It was the best show I had ever seen the band play up until that point.
The Tragically Hip at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Sept. 16, 2000
We had been approached by this charity, Warchild, to help them with the launch of their Canadian chapter. It was being run by two really special people, both doctors, who themselves had already been in war torn areas helping children. We agreed to do it under the condition that it be free. But that we would help get sponsors and pass a donation bucket to raise money for the charity.
We drew 100,000 people there. Up until that point, it was the single biggest concert ever in Canada. When The Hip hit the stage, there was a roar like I had never heard before. I turned to my friend Denise Donlon, who was running MuchMusic at the time, and said to her “this is why we do what we do.” We put Warchild on the map that day and raised $400,000 for them. It was definitely a career highlight for me personally.
Midnight Oil at Webster Hall in New York City
May 13, 2017
I had seen the Oils many times, but had to fly to NYC because I needed to see them on this recent comeback tour. They didn’t disappoint. It was hot and sweaty, Pete Garret was as political as expected, but the band played like they had never stopped playing all those years. They sounded amazing both musically and vocally. There were many friends in the room, but I didn’t see anyone until after as we were all immersed in the show. The highlight for me was the last encore. When the Oils had toured with The Hip in 199,3 I had asked them every night to play “Best Of Both Worlds,” but they kept saying they hadn’t played it in a long time and didn’t know it anymore. It was my favourite song of theirs. So, the show ends, and they had done two encore sets already, and I figured they wouldn’t be playing it AGAIN. But they came back out, and played “Best Of Both Worlds.” After the show I ran into all the people that I didn’t know were there. We were all blown away.