He was an American entrepreneur and manager in the American folk music scene and rock and roll. He was famous as the manager of many of the most popular and successful performers of folk and folk-rock music, including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Band, Odetta, and Gordon Lightfoot. In the documentary film chronicling Dylan’s 1965 tour of the United Kingdom, Dont Look Back, Grossman can be seen constantly protecting his client, sometimes aggressively confronting people he thinks are disrespectful to Dylan. In one memorable scene, he works with musical entrepreneur Tito Burns to extract a good price for Dylan’s appearance on BBC One television. The director of Dont Look Back, D. A. Pennebaker, said of Grossman’s management tactics, “I think Albert was one of the few people that saw Dylan’s worth very early on, and played it absolutely without equivocation or any kind of compromise.
There are two interesting comments on Grossman in Martin Scorsese’s film No Direction Home. One is Dylan’s: “He was kind of like a Colonel Tom Parker figure… all immaculately dressed, every time you see him. You could smell him coming.” The other is John Cohen’s: “I don’t think Albert manipulated Bob, because Bob was weirder than Albert.”
Photo of Albert GROSSMAN and Bob DYLAN at Elsinore Castle
May 01, 1966 Photographer: Jan Persson
Pamela K. Melenchen