Eric Greif (1962 - 2021) was a lawyer and entertainment personality known for a management and record production career within the heavy metal musical genre in the 1980s and early 1990s, and later within the legal profession. He was also known for being the longtime manager and lawyer of metal musician Chuck Schuldiner. Canadian filmmaker Sam Dunn has referred to Greif as a "hugely important figure in the extreme metal scene."[2] He was the nephew of deceased American-Irish writer and publisher Martin Greif.[3]

Eric Greif is at right, pictured with engineer Mike Frazier in 1985[1]

On October 30, 2021, it was announced that Greif had died.[4]

YouthEdit

Greif was the weekly teen columnist with Southam News daily Calgary Herald but, wanting to be "where all the record labels were", left when he turned 18 for Los Angeles.[5] He attended the University of Sound Arts in Hollywood studying to become a recording engineer but soon switched to production when it was suggested to him by mentor Ron Fair.[5]

Entertainment careerEdit

Greif's first production work was with the Greg Leon Invasion, who he met after their show at The Troubadour[5] and later managed.[6] Greg Leon subsequently introduced Greif to Tommy Lee, whom Leon had played in a band with, and this led to Greif's management work with Mötley Crüe.[5][7] Among his arrangements was Mötley Crüe's eventful 1982 tour of Canada.[5][8]

By the mid-1980s, Greenworld Distribution, who had worked with Greif on the marketing and distribution of Mötley Crüe's first album Too Fast for Love,[9] had signed contracts with the vast majority of bands Greif brought to them with production deals,[10][11] including Kansas City's Vyper,[12][13][14] who he produced and managed. John Hughes, writing for the Kansas City Star, noted that "Mr. Greif hopes that Vyper will follow the pattern of last year's heavy metal meteor, Mötley Crüe, for which he was assistant manager and which recorded its first album with Greenworld...Billboard magazine announced the news in this week's issue".[15] Quoting Greif, Hughes wrote "I'm going for millionaire status rather than blue-collar status. I'm marketing a product. The '80s is image, a look. The '80s are MTV". Greenworld's 1986 bankruptcy caused problems for Greif[5] as Enigma Records, Greenworld's largest creditor, refused to return any of the master tapes and was not interested in promoting anything that Greenworld had been working on.[5]

 
Eric Greif, middle, with the band Death in Mexico City, June 1989

Greif moved into concerts as co-promoter of Milwaukee Metalfest,[16] described by MTV as "one of the largest celebrations of underground heavy metal in the country".[17] He managed death metal pioneer Chuck Schuldiner and his Florida band Death,[18][19][20] did some campaigning against US heavy metal media censorship,[21] and produced bands such as Acrophet,[22] Num Skull, Morbid Saint,[23] Realm,[24] Invocator,[25] Viogression,[26] Jackal,[27] Twistin' Egyptians,[28] Transmetal,[29] Cyclone,[30] Dr. Shrinker, and Morta Skuld.[31] In September 1990, Greif held one of the first North American death metal festivals, Day of Death, in Milwaukee suburb Waukesha, Wisconsin, at the Expo Center and featured 26 bands including Autopsy, Hellwitch, Obliveon, Revenant, Viogression, Immolation, Atheist, Broken Hope, and Cynic.[32]

Greif also managed LA band London, who at one time featured his former client Nikki Sixx, before their final break-up.[5][33]

In November 1991, Journal Sentinel music writer Terry Higgins stated: "At 29, Greif has become the kingpin of a steadily growing rock empire by becoming the kind of tough businessman who is as much at home in the courtroom as in the boardroom".[34] Although client Schuldiner had said about Greif "we just came to the conclusion that it was stupid just fighting all the time, taking each other to court and all that stupid shit",[19] by the mid-1990s Greif decided he had spent enough time in court to know he wanted to become a lawyer.[5]

Legal careerEdit

Eric Greif was an alumnus of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law[35] and was a member of the Canadian Bar Association.[36] Within legal practice, Greif was a co-founder of the Association of Restorative Practitioners of the UK and Ireland,[37] delivered victim-offender mediation training to the Czech Republic Probation and Mediation Service (PMS) in Prague,[38] and was a State Prosecutors facilitator at a conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice in Belgium.[39][40]

In entertainment endeavors, Greif has represented American guitarist/songwriter Paul Masvidal,[41] Danish heavy metal guitarist Hank Shermann,[42] and the bands Cynic,[43] Obituary, Weapon, Anciients, and Massacre. He was the legal rep for the intellectual property of Chuck Schuldiner, and has submitted copyright claims to YouTube on behalf of Mutilation Music BMI for uploads of Death live footage.[44] In latter 2012, Greif assisted metal documentarian and fellow Canadian Sam Dunn in logistics and raising funds for a short film on extreme metal, to be completed by late 2013. Dunn was quoted as saying "Eric Greif has been enormously supportive of our work. He is a hugely important figure in the extreme metal scene."[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Greif said that he has always opposed the abuse of hard drugs, especially after seeing it "destroy" a few lives, including a former business partner who died after years of addiction.[5] Greif was an insulin-dependent diabetic for much of his life,[5] which was briefly cured by a pancreas transplant in 2006, but "it failed a few months later and health continues to be a struggle for him", although he was a university lecturer[35][45] and active in the music business.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Chapman Recording Studio - History
  2. ^ a b Helping The Cause: Metal Evolution - The Lost Episode: Extreme Metal, metalstorm.net, (retrieved February 24, 2013)
  3. ^ GfT, February 04, 2008, retrieved August 20, 2008
  4. ^ Reeder (2021-10-30). "Legendary DEATH Manager ERIC GREIF Dies | Metal Addicts". Metal Addicts. Retrieved 2021-10-30.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Eric Greif interview". Sleaze Roxx. 2007-04-28. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29.
  6. ^ Greg Leon interview Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Motley Crue: Rock And Roll's Bad Boys, www.squidoo.com/Motley-Crue, retrieved August 20, 2008
  8. ^ 1982, Chronological Crue (retrieved October 2, 2009)
  9. ^ Too Fast for Love, motleymuseum.com Archived 2008-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved August 20, 2008
  10. ^ Billboard Magazine, p. HM-18, April 27, 1985 (retrieved October 28, 2010)
  11. ^ Audio Track, Billboard Magazine, August 31, 1985 (retrieved October 28, 2010)
  12. ^ Vyper Band Page, Tartarean Desire, retrieved August 20, 2008
  13. ^ Vyper, Denim and Leather, retrieved August 20, 2008
  14. ^ Where are you? - Vyper, Maximum Metal, retrieved August 20, 2008
  15. ^ Hughes, J. Rock Band Vyper - and its manager - are coiled to strike, Kansas City Star, November 2, 1984
  16. ^ Greif MCs Milwaukee Metalfest III, December 2, 1989
  17. ^ Mega Metalfest Takes Milwaukee, MTV.com, retrieved October 6, 2010
  18. ^ Emptywords.org, retrieved August 20, 2008
  19. ^ a b Thrash 'n Burn, February 1992, retrieved August 20, 2008
  20. ^ Voices from the Darkside Magazine, retrieved December 5, 2013
  21. ^ TV interview (80s)
  22. ^ Acrophet, Vinyl Records, retrieved August 20, 2008
  23. ^ Smith, B. Interview with Tony Paletti of Morbid Saint 2006, retrieved August 20, 2008
  24. ^ 'Realm Biography', Spirit of Metal, retrieved October 6, 2010
  25. ^ Biography, The Official Invocator Homepage Archived 2014-10-23 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved August 20, 2008
  26. ^ Viogression, Artist Direct, retrieved August 20, 2008
  27. ^ Encyclopaedia Metallum (retrieved April 16, 2010)
  28. ^ Shakin' All Over/In The Sun 45 Page, Twistin' Egyptians' Discography, retrieved August 20, 2008
  29. ^ Discografia, Transmetal, retrieved August 20, 2008
  30. ^ Cyclone, Metal Archives, retrieved August 20, 2008
  31. ^ Through the Eyes of Death, Relapse Records, (retrieved June 23, 2011)
  32. ^ Biography, Official Atheist site Archived March 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, accessed December 10, 2008
  33. ^ London, Metallian mag, retrieved December 5, 2013
  34. ^ Higgins, T. Greif thrives on death metal, Milwaukee Sentinel, November 22, 1991
  35. ^ a b Alumni Update, Moot Hill, Faculty of Law, Winter 2007 Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved August 20, 2008
  36. ^ "Canadian Bar Association Newsletter, November 2000" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-11-01.
  37. ^ Restorative Practitioners, restorativejustice.org.uk, retrieved August 20, 2008
  38. ^ The YJB takes RJ across the world, Youth Justice Board News Archived 2009-02-26 at the Wayback Machine, February 2004
  39. ^ Restorative justice and its relation to the criminal justice system: Second conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, Oostende, 10–12 October 2002, retrieved August 20, 2008
  40. ^ European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation & Restorative Justice Archived 2007-01-10 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved August 20, 2008
  41. ^ Blabbermouth.net, March 17, 2004 Archived September 11, 2004, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved August 20, 2008
  42. ^ Contact, demonica.net Archived 2010-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved August 19, 2009
  43. ^ Cynic legal contact Archived 2010-06-15 at the Wayback Machine, (accessed July 12, 2010)
  44. ^ Death - Live in Japan, YouTube
  45. ^ Eric Greif, Mount Royal University, Department of Justice Studies, retrieved September 6, 2009