Robbie Robertson, the founding lead guitarist and main songwriter of The Band, joins the list of rock greats who have recently sold the rights to their music catalogs for big bucks.
Music Business Worldwide reports that Robertson’s music publishing, the rights to his name, image and likeness, and his recorded music interests to date have been acquired by the Los Angeles-based Iconoclast, a company launched by Olivier Chastan. Chastan is the former CEO of Eagles manager Irving Azoff‘s Iconic Artists Group.
Sources tell Variety that the deal had a $25 million price tag. According to Music Business Worldwide, the agreement doesn’t include the underlying publishing rights to The Band’s 1968 debut album, Music from Big Pink, which were owned by Bob Dylan, and passed to Universal when that company bought out Dylan’s catalog in 2020.
Among the classic songs Robertson composed for The Band are “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up on Cripple Creek.” Robbie also has had a significant career as a solo artist and as a film score composer.
Chastan tells Music Business Worldwide that as part of the agreement, Robertson has joined Iconoclast’s board and will serve as a creative adviser with the company.
Robbie says in a statement, “Olivier’s deep appreciation for art and creativity infused with his vision for the future of entertainment convinced me that Iconoclast was the right partner to entrust with the legacy of The Band and my catalog.”
Chastan, meanwhile, explains that he’s been a fan of Robertson since he first first heard Music from Big Pink when he was 13 years old, adding, “His sophisticated and cinematic songs changed my life and have never left my musical universe.”
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