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Tom Petty Manager Steps Into Consultant Role After 42 Years as Protege Launches New Firm (EXCLUSIVE)

Tony Dimitriades will step away from "day-to-day" duties while Laurence Freedman takes on Billy Idol, Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell as clients.

Tom Petty Dead
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Tony Dimitriades, who managed Tom Petty for 42 years until the rocker’s death October 2, 2017, and worked with Billy Idol for more than 30 years, tells Variety he is getting out of the “day-to-day business of managing artists.”

The veteran manager has also worked with Yes and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, among others, in his 50-year career in the business. While East End Management will continue to serve as his company, colleague Laurence Freedman, who has been working at East End since 2007, is leaving to launch his own Telegraph Road Management.

Freedman, who will be joined by Evan Bright, his East End colleague for the last five-and-a-half years, and Jesse White, brings with him Billy Idol as a client and will co-manage Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench with Dimitriades.

Dimitriades will continue as a consultant to the Petty Estate along with trustee Dana Petty, the late rocker’s wife of 16 years.

Telegraph Road’s other clients include buzzing Secretly Canadian L.A. punk-grunge trio Cherry Glazerr and rock band the Shelters, proteges of Petty’s, who co-produced their 2016 Warner Bros. debut album.

Says Freedman: “It has been a great honor to work with Tony Dimitriades and our clients, each of whom are true artists.  While I will miss our daily collaboration, I am excited to begin the next chapter of my career with the formation of Telegraph Road Management.”

“With Tom’s passing, I’m going through a transition period,” adds Dimitriades. “Mike and Ben are family. I’ll be there with them forever, and will continue to work with Laurence, the Petty family and Dana. I have a lifetime commitment to the Heartbreakers, and I’ll continue to help them in any way I can.”

As for what’s in Dimitriades’ future? “I’m going to be doing things I want to do, on a project-by-project basis,” he tells Variety. “I managed one of the greatest artist careers of all time in Tom, and Billy and I did fantastic together. It’s time for me to evaluate what I really want to do with my life.”

Dimitriades, who moved at the end of 2017 from his longtime Encino home to Malibu, is counting his blessings, as the recent Woolsey Fire stopped just short of his house across the street from Malibu High School. “We got lucky,” he says, paraphrasing one of his late client’s own greatest hits.