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Geoff Travis

Managing Dir
Rough Trade Records
GEOFF TRAVIS founded the seminal Rough Trade Records label in 1978, following on from the initial opening of a Rough Trade Record Shop a few years previously, in London's Ladbroke Grove. Rough Trade Records has, from its inception, reflected Geoff's remarkable talent for recognizing (often groundbreaking and frequently era defining) embryonic talent. Amongst the stunning list of artists that worked with Rough Trade over those initial years were: Augustus Pablo, Cabaret Voltaire, The Feelies, The Slits, Robert Wyatt, The Fall, Pere Ubu, The Go Betweens, The Smiths, Los Lobos, Camper Van Beethoven, The Sundays, James, Mazzy Star, The Butthole Surfers and The Clean during the late Seventies and Eighties alone. Rough Trade always sought to facilitate its artists’ creativity rather than just exploit it. As Rough Trade led the way with Independent music in the 1980s so it also tried to help other independent labels by offering a distribution network through which other labels could reach shops without having to deal with the established major label biased network, unfortunately the distribution arm over extended itself and it collapsed in the early nineties, taking for a time Rough Trade Records with it. However, encouraged by the support of those for whom the Rough Trade label was still an important idea and inspiration, Geoff and close friend Jeannette Lee bought back the name and resumed the label in 2000, immediately signing (then unknown) New York band The Strokes as a first step. Thereafter The Libertines, The Moldy Peaches, Sufjan Stevens, British Sea Power, Low, The Fiery Furnaces, Belle & Sebastian, Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Dr Dog, Jarvis Cocker, Jenny Lewis, Super Furry Animals, My Morning Jacket, The Hold Steady and many others followed. Geoff and Jeannette have expanded Rough Trade to work in the management field, too, they currently manage a roster of much sought after producers as well as amongst others, Jarvis Cocker and also Duffy, whom they have managed from the very start, right through to her becoming the worldwide superstar that she is today with this 2008's biggest selling album in the UK.

My Speaker Sessions

Thursday, March 17

5:00pm CDT