Who is John Reid? What Happened to John Reid?

John Reid, a retired music manager, rose to prominence for his successful artist management career and attended St Mirin's Academy alongside renowned singers Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan.

by Rubaditsha

Updated Jul 18, 2023

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Who is John Reid? What Happened to John Reid?
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Who is John Reid?

John Reid is a retired music manager who gained prominence in the music industry for his management of notable artists. Born on September 9, 1949, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, he was the son of John Reid, a welder, and Betty, a shop worker. Reid attended St Mirin's Academy, where he studied alongside singers Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan.

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Reid's career in the music industry began in 1967 when he started working as a promoter for EMI at the age of 18. He quickly made strides in his career and, at the young age of 19, became the Tamla Motown label manager for the UK. This role allowed him to work closely with Motown artists and further establish his presence in the industry.

In 1971, Reid took a significant step in his career by setting up his own management company. With just a few hundred pounds in savings and a £5,000 loan, he ventured into managing artists independently. It was during this period that he encountered a young musician named Reg Dwight, who later became known as Elton John.

Reid's management of Elton John proved to be a turning point in both of their careers. He began managing Elton John in the 1970s, and their professional relationship lasted until 1998. During this time, Reid played a crucial role in shaping Elton John's career and guiding him to international success. He helped secure record deals, organize tours, and navigate the complexities of the music industry.

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However, their professional collaboration was accompanied by a romantic involvement. Reid and Elton John moved in together and became lovers, with Elton being Reid's first client. Their personal relationship lasted for five years before coming to an end. Despite the end of their romantic involvement, Reid continued to manage Elton John's career for several more years.

Reid's influence in the music industry extended beyond Elton John. From 1975 to 1978, he also served as the manager of the band Queen. During this period, he played a vital role in the band's career, contributing to their success and helping them solidify their place in rock music history.

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In later years, Reid faced legal challenges and disputes. In 1994, he managed Riverdance star Michael Flatley, but their professional relationship ended acrimoniously. Flatley paid Reid around £1 million to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit. Additionally, Reid's relationship with Elton John became strained due to a leaked letter from Elton's accountants that revealed Reid's extravagant spending. This resulted in a legal dispute, ultimately leading to Reid settling out of court by paying Elton £3.4 million in 2000.

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John Reid retired from music management in 1999, marking the end of his active involvement in the industry. However, his impact on the careers of Elton John and Queen, among others, remains significant. Despite the portrayal of Reid as a somewhat negative figure in the movie "Rocketman," it's important to note that cinematic depictions may take creative liberties for storytelling purposes.

Name

John Reid

Born

9 September 1949 (age 73)

Nationality

Scottish

Occupation

Music manager, panelist

Years active

1967–1999, 2005–2006

Known for

Manager of Elton John (1970–98)

Manager of Queen (1975–78)

Partner

Elton John (1970–75)

What Happened to John Reid?

After his career as a music manager, John Reid largely stepped away from the public eye. Following his retirement from music management in 1999, he remained relatively quiet in the industry. He made a brief return to the public sphere in 2005 when he served as a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor. However, since then, Reid has maintained a low profile.

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In recent years, there hasn't been much information available about John Reid's activities or involvement in the music industry. He has not made any notable appearances or taken on prominent roles. It seems that he has chosen to live a more private life away from the spotlight.

While the films "Rocketman" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" brought attention to John Reid and his contributions to the careers of Elton John and Queen, respectively, there hasn't been much public commentary from Reid himself regarding these portrayals or his involvement in the films. He has generally kept a low profile, which may be a deliberate choice to maintain his privacy.

John Reid Music Manager

John Reid is a renowned music manager who played a significant role in the music industry, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s. Born on September 9, 1949, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, Reid embarked on a successful career that spanned several decades.

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Reid's journey in the music industry began in 1967 when he started working as a promoter for EMI at the young age of 18. His passion for music and drive to succeed led him to become the U.K. manager for the American Tamla Motown record label, showcasing his early talent for managing artists and their careers.

However, Reid's most notable achievements came through his management of two iconic musicians—Elton John and Queen. He first encountered Elton John, then known as Reg Dwight, at a Motown Christmas party, contrary to the portrayal in the film "Rocketman." Recognizing John's potential, Reid became both his manager and lover, with their personal and professional relationship lasting for several years.

During their collaboration, Elton John experienced unprecedented success, with hits like "Your Song," "Daniel," and "Crocodile Rock" propelling him to international stardom. Reid played a pivotal role in managing John's career during this period, guiding him through the intricacies of the music industry and helping shape his image and sound.

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In addition to managing Elton John, Reid took on the task of managing the British rock band Queen from 1975 to 1978. Despite being portrayed in the film "Bohemian Rhapsody" as being fired for suggesting Freddie Mercury pursue a solo career, their split was more amicable in reality. Reid had a good working relationship with the band members and played a crucial role in their success during those years.

While Reid's management career was marked by achievements and success, it was not without controversy. Reports and testimonies from former employees and journalists have described Reid as having a fiery temper and engaging in physical altercations on several occasions. These incidents, often in defense of his clients, earned him a reputation for being confrontational and assertive.

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Reid's professional relationship with Elton John eventually came to an end in 1998 due to a legal battle over finances. Elton John accused Reid of negligence and breach of duty, leading to a court case. Although the court ruled against John, Reid reportedly paid a significant settlement to resolve the matter.

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Since his retirement from music management, John Reid has largely stayed out of the public eye. While he made a brief return to the spotlight as a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor in 2005, he has generally maintained a low profile in recent years. Information about his current activities and involvement in the music industry is scarce, suggesting that he has chosen to live a more private life.

Overall, John Reid's contributions as a music manager, particularly his work with Elton John and Queen, have left an indelible mark on the music industry. His role in shaping the careers of these legendary artists and his reputation as a passionate and sometimes controversial figure solidify his status as a notable figure in music management history.

Are Elton John and John Reid Still Friends?

The current status of the friendship between Elton John and John Reid is not publicly known. While they had a close personal and professional relationship during their time together, their association experienced strains and a subsequent legal dispute that led to a falling out in 1998. It is unclear whether they have rekindled their friendship or maintained contact in recent years.

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After their professional collaboration ended, Elton John publicly criticized John Reid during a court case, accusing him of betrayal and financial mismanagement. However, Reid reportedly paid a significant settlement to resolve the legal matter, which could suggest some resolution or closure between them.

Since then, there has been limited information available regarding their personal relationship. Both Elton John and John Reid have maintained relatively low profiles, and there have been no significant public statements or interactions between them.

It is important to note that the nature of celebrity friendships and relationships can be complex and subject to change over time. While their professional collaboration was significant and their personal connection was intense during their time together, the dynamics between Elton John and John Reid may have evolved or shifted in the years since their separation. As such, the current status of their friendship remains unknown to the public.

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Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

Who is John Reid: FAQs

1. Who is John Reid?

John Reid is a retired music manager known for his work with artists such as Elton John and Queen. He started his career as a promoter for EMI and went on to become a successful manager in the music industry.

2. Who did John Reid manage?

John Reid managed Elton John from the 1970s until 1998 and also managed Queen from 1975 to 1978. He played a significant role in shaping their careers and guiding them to success.

3. Were Elton John and John Reid lovers? 

Yes, Elton John and John Reid were romantically involved. They were in a relationship and lived together for a period of five years.

4. When did Elton John and John Reid's personal relationship end?

Their personal relationship ended after five years, but John Reid continued to manage Elton John's career until 1998.

5. Are Elton John and John Reid still friends? 

The current status of their friendship is unknown. Since their professional collaboration ended, there has been limited information about the state of their friendship or any ongoing contact between them.

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