Q Prime’s Peter Mensch On Always Being Right And Having A Chip On Your Shoulder

Mensch started his career in music management at the age of 26, managing AC/DC. In 1982, he formed the management company Q Prime with Cliff Burnstein. Their first client was Def Leppard. Q Prime has managed the careers of a large number of multiplatinum acts; including Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Veruca Salt, Snow Patrol and many others, including Jimmy Page, who he managed twice. The Financial Times has called Q Prime “One of the most admired artist management companies”.

You don’t have to be a total shit to be a manager, but it helps sometimes. You manage from the highest moral ground. If you’ve got all the answers, then you have the high moral ground in your comments to promoters or record company people. Then you become a pain in the arse because they disagree with you. But we’re right. Cliff and I are always right. Never wrong. If you manage bands, at all levels, you’re kind of the mommy bird and they’re baby birds and you have to feed them. So anybody that doesn’t want to help you feed them, you get angry at. If you get in my way, I’m going to roll over you. Because my job is to feed the baby birds.

I’m fueled by hate. I’ve had a chip [on my shoulder] since I was 10. It doesn’t go away. We want to shove down everybody’s throats [that] we’re the best management company on the planet. Other people’s clients don’t understand that, but they will eventually. I’m joking. The fact is, we do things ourselves. We have 40 employees. We’re basically a record company now in North America. We have a digital department. We have a marketing department. We have our own vinyl pressing plant in Germany. And if the record companies get out of the physical business, we’ll buy a CD pressing plant…. When we shuffle off this mortal coil, we want people to go, ‘They were fucking legends.’ I’m a better manager than Peter Grant ever was. I know that because I know the deals that Led Zep did. I want to prove myself every fucking day.

– Q Prime’s Peter Mensch Via