Simon Napier-Bell has had a long career in the music business. In the sixties he managed the Yardbirds and co-wrote Dusty Springfield’s huge hit ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ (later a hit for Elvis Presley too). He then discovered and managed the young Marc Bolan.
In the seventies and eighties he managed Japan, a group that had considerable influence on the British music scene during the next decade. But nothing could match the world domination of his next charges, Wham!, and the mega-star to be, George Michael. It was Simon who masterminded the group’s trip to play in communist China, the first Western pop or rock group ever to do so. At other times he has managed many other artists, including Ultravox, Candi Staton, Sinitta, Boney M, and Asia.
In 1983, Simon published his first book, ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’, about Swinging London and the music scene in the 1960s. Recently, it was voted Number 11 in the Observer’s ’50 Greatest Music Books Ever’.
In 1999, this was followed by ‘Black Vinyl White Powder’, about the evolving British music scene, from rock ‘n’ roll to Britpop. And in 2003, by ‘I’m Coming To Take You To Lunch’, the story of how Simon arranged for Wham! to perform in China.
These days he’s both CEO of Snap-B Media & Music Group and a non-executive director of Papa Entertainments PLC, which is currently presenting Raiding The Rock Vault in Las Vegas, voted by Tripadvisor as the city’s top rock show, at the Westgate Hotel.
Apart from his business interests, Simon travels as a consultant and broadcaster, gives lectures, and continues to write. His latest book is ’Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay’, published in June this year – a history of the business of popular music from the 18th century until today.