Two years ago, I was hired to help kick start a documentary film about a guy I’d never heard of.
“Arthur Fogel?” I asked Ron, the producer, “Who the f**k is that?”
He smiled. “Exactly.”
Turns out that Arthur Fogel was a former security person at a long-defunct Toronto club called The Edge that later went on to manage Martha and the Muffins. At the time of my meeting with Ron, Arthur was overseeing U2’s 360 Tour–and he still didn’t even have so much as an Wikipedia page. Who was this guy?
I spent about a year working through hundreds and hundreds of pages of transcripts as well as hours and hours of interview footage to come up with a rough idea of some stories. From there, the project moved into different hands so it could be finished.
And now it’s done. This Friday, Who the F** Is Arthur Fogel? will have its world premiere at the Bell TIFF Lightbox as part of Canadian Music Week’s Film Festival.
This morning, the Globe and Mail has a preview.
Arthur Fogel runs the world – or at least a large part of the music industry – but doesn’t even have his own Wikipedia entry. The ultimate behind-the-scenes guy is probably quite happy with that: You don’t get to be the much-trusted tour organizer for stars as big as Madonna, U2, David Bowie and Sting by blowing your own horn.
As the industry gathers in Toronto for Canadian Music Week, Fogel will find himself, unusually, in the spotlight. He will be interviewed on stage by veteran music journalist Larry Leblanc Friday and is the subject of a new documentary directed by Ron Chapman that will be screened at the conference and festival that evening. Appropriately enough its title is Who the F**k is Arthur Fogel?
The technical answer is that Fogel is head of global touring for Live Nation, the giant international concert promoter based in Los Angeles that sells almost 50 million tickets to more than 20,000 events every year. The real answer is that he is a Canadian music promoter who has helped revolutionize the concert business by producing seamless international tours of gigantic rock spectacles in a digital era when live-music revenues are a chastened industry’s lifeline.
Continue reading. The world premiere screening is at 7pm Friday. I can’t wait to see the finished product.