The managers that built prog: Peter Jenner
We talk to the man who turned Floyd into stars, established prog rock in the consciousness of the public and has enjoyed a 50-year career in the music business
Of all the managers so far in our series, Peter Jenner is arguably the one who laid the very foundation stone of prog itself. Working with his then partner, Andrew King, the first group he managed was Pink Floyd, representing them from the summer of 1966 and, chiming with the first wave of psychedelia, getting them signed to an EMI looking to embrace the cool, the fab and the groovy.
Although placing their eggs into the Syd Barrett (bike?) basket when the group left their troubled leader, Jenner and King didn’t stand still. They put on the first free festival in Hyde Park in 1968, one of the fundamental cornerstones in building today’s burgeoning UK outdoor show culture. After leaving prog behind, Jenner looked after Ian Dury, The Clash and, for many years, Billy Bragg.