Bruce Springsteen, Elton John or Lenny Kravitz in concert in French festivals, it was thanks to him… He is also one of those who invented the profession of producer in France in the 1970s. Gérard Drouot died this Monday morning at the age of 69, after having, for nearly fifty years, played the biggest stars of music on all the French stages, small as well as large.
Since July 2018, he has been fighting leukemia.
After an improvement, he had been hospitalized again since November in a hospital in the Paris region.
It is in the cathedral of Reims (Marne) that he produced his first concert as a professional, Tangerine Dream and Nico, in 1974. In his hometown. He was 22 years old. But his feats of arms went back to the previous year. He is then a medical student and manages to bring in the progressive rock group Caravan to play in front of the apprentice pharmacists. The following year, Magma, Au Bonheur des Dames, or even Ange, so many flagship formations of the time, came to perform in the capital of champagne. The young man is then a pioneer.
In 1977, Gérard Drouot's career took on another dimension: he was hired as artistic manager and production director at Harry Lapp, the biggest French producer of the 1970s and 1980s.
There he organizes tours for Charles Aznavour, Daniel Balavoine and Renaud, as well as concerts in eastern France for international “big names”, such as AC / DC, Queen or Tina Turner.
At the origin of the reformation of Telephone
Logically, in 1986, he decided to stand on his own feet, by creating Gérard Drouot Productions. His company, at least until Covid, will not experience the crisis. On the French stages, he produced the greatest, from Lenny Kravitz to U2. The concerts of Pavarotti in Orange, in 1990, and on the Champ-de-Mars in 1992, it is also him. One of his highlights: in 2015, he was at the origin of the reformation of the Téléphone group, under the name “Les Insus”. More than 20,000 seats sell out in a few hours on the day the tickets go on sale.
In 35 years, Gérard Drouot, as passionate about the idea of filling a stadium with 80,000 seats as a hall with 400 people, had built an empire.
His company, which he has managed today with his son Matthieu since 2013, achieves 45 million euros in turnover each year and employs 30 people.
"He had dedicated his life to his profession," testifies Matthieu Drouot.
At the rate of 200 to 500 concerts per year, he has organized at least 10,000 concerts in mainland France, the West Indies, and Belgium!
Producer Gérard Drouot and Elton John.
He had also and above all forged great ties with certain artists, such as Bono, from the group U2, the American jazz singer Melody Gardot or even Elton John, whom he had again accompanied at the end of September in Paris during his performance at the Gobal Citizen festival. .
So many stars who today cry much more than a producer.