Dell Furano, pioneer artist of Merch, died at 71
Furano has run several merchandising giants over the decades, first with his brother Dave as co-founder of Winterland Productions, owned by the late promoter. Bill graham. He was the founder and CEO of Sony Signatures, then Live Nation Merchandise and, as of 2013, Epic Rights. He has worked for the biggest stars in the world including the Rolling Stones, AC / DC, Madonna and Barbra Streisand. Her businesses have made hundreds of deals, from t-shirts and hoodies to Madonna’s skin care products, Celine Dion handbags and Kiss waffle irons.
“Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber Show Gross Merchandise $ 300,000- $ 400,000,” Furano said Billboard in 2017. “It’s quite an achievement when you realize that these sales are made over a three-hour sales window.”
It was Furano who convinced Bruce Springsteen to sell merchandise on tour, starting in 1977. “Dell had this great dry sense of humor and was also a great storyteller. this,'” Jon Landau, longtime director of Springsteen, said Billboard in a report. “Then he would pull out his idea of the month (and he had a million of them), some of which were great – and some not so great. It didn’t matter if I said yes or no, because that was always the relationship that mattered.”
Furano, a native of Nevada City, Calif., Graduated from Stanford University in 1972, studied political science and government before working part-time at Winterland, Graham’s famous 5,500-seat concert hall in San Francisco. At the request of the wife of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, Graham called in Furano on all the t-shirt issues: “Go talk to Dell.”
Epic Rights focuses on celebrity brands. The company works with retailers and licensees and helps customers manage social media and VIP ticketing; McGhee credits Furano with innovative meet and greet events and international licenses and says his friend was talking about expanding into NFTs and virtual tours just weeks before his death.
“Dell always stayed on top. He always knew,” says McGhee. “He made it easy for all of us.”