SYDNEY, Australia (CelebrityAccess) Harry M. Miller, 84, a legendary Australian music promoter and agent, died in Sydney, Australia, July 4.
The announcement was made by the agency he founded, HMMG. Miller had been diagnosed with vacular dementia in 2011 and moved into an aged-care facility.
Miller, born in New Zealand in 1934, began his career in the early 60s organizing entertainment as a sideline gig, which led to creating a record label, according to The Guardian. In 1963 when he flew to the U.S. to recruit Louis Armstrong for a tour of Australia, which Armstrong did and which also led to Miller moving to Australia. He then brought Judy Garland downunder for three concerts, one of which was a disaster because of her drug usage, according to the paper. After that, Miller brought over The Rolling Stones, conductor Arthur Rubinstein, Herman’s Hermits, The Beach Boys and Sonny and Cher.
The decade wrapped with Miller staging the musical “Hair” for the first time in Australia, then “Jesus Christ Superstar,” then “Rocky Horror Show.”
The 70s saw Miller move into other business realms, including his stint as chairman of the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales, where, after a contentious election campaign, he raised its membership from a few hundred to 6,000, according to the Guardian. He became a director of Qantas, a cattle breeder, and organized the Queen’s silver jubilee celebrations in Australia.
“I think I was in the situation where I was asked to, and accepted to be, the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral,” Miller once said.
Miller was at the forefront of the ticketing business. In 1978, back in the days when Ticketron was being replaced by Ticketmaster, Miller was creating Computicket, which he envisioned to be used in conjunction with cable television where “customers will be able to book shows from their living rooms.”
Instead, Computicket went belly-up in six months and, in 1982, Miller was convicted on five charges of fraudulent misappropriations of $728,000 in connection with Computicket and spent 10 months in jail. He said that he “cried every day” he was there but told ABC’s “Talking Heads” he still ran his clients’ careers from his cell.
“You just don’t fall and crumble just being something goes wrong,” he said.
Miller also arranged the funeral of INXS singer Michael Hutchence, according to the paper.