Ed Bicknell was born in Yorkshire, England and started playing drums aged 14 in local “cover” bands performing music by The Shadows, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis, Little Richard, Bo Diddley along with forays into Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Gilbert and Sullivan operas and pantomimes.
He became Chairman of Hull University entertainment’s committee from October 1967 to June 1969, and also ran the Folk Club and Jazz and Blues societies across the same period. During that time he promoted shows by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Mick Ronson, Family, Ralph Mctell, Bert Jansch, The Kinks, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and numerous others.
Moving to London, he played in several bands as drummer and after being sacked from The Average White Band for not being Scottish eventually became an agent at NEMS, representing among others Wishbone Ash, Jose Feliciano, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Man, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Richie Havens, War, Sly and the Family Stone and Jimmy Ruffin.
Whilst working at NEMS in December 1977, he got a call from Phonogram A&R man John Stainze who had just signed a new band, Dire Straits, to the Vertigo label. After seeing them at a small club in North London Ed became their manager and enjoyed huge international success selling over 156 million albums `( pre streaming) until their dissolution in 1993 after which he continued to manage Mark Knopfler as a solo performer through numerous albums, film soundtracks and production work.
He played drums in The Notting Hillbillies formed in 1990 by Mark Knopfler. They recorded one album, “Missing….Presumed Having A Good Time” , toured the UK extensively and performed two residencies at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.
Across this period he also managed Gerry Rafferty, Bryan Ferry, Scott Walker and The Blue Nile.
In late 2000 he stood down as Mark’s manager on an amicable basis ( worn out! ) and closed his management office.
A few years later he was head hunted by the then William Morris Agency in LA to “ set up and run ” a World excluding North America office operating out of London. After two years as “Head of International Music” Ed left William Morris Endeavour ( as now known) in April 2010.
In recent years, he has often appeared on radio and television to discuss music industry issues and has carried out over 70 “interviews“ of leading music industry figures and artists at conferences and educational establishments Worldwide including this welcome return to Toronto for Canadian Music Week.