Andrew Loog Oldham and Don Arden [interviewed]
Small Faces [IBC studio, recording]
(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me
24 July 2007
Sharon Osbourne is today mourning the death of her father, known throughout the music world as 'The Al Capone of Pop'.
Don Arden, a pop manager known for his notoriously tough reputation that turned him into one of the most successful managers of his generation, died on Saturday at the age of 81.
Sharon Osbourne and her father Don Arden
He has been familiar to most modern day audiences as the father of TV star Sharon.
However, he is also known for building the careers of 1960s and 70s rock bands such as the Small Faces, Electric Light Orchestra and Black Sabbath - who were led by Sharon's husband Ozzy Osbourne.
Rock band manager Don Arden was known as the Al Capone of Pop
His reputation as one of the toughest men in the business put to shame most of the hell-raising antics of the acts that he managed.
Most famously he was the man who terrorised fellow manger Robert Stigwood by dangling him out of a fourth floor window for daring to steal one of his acts.
The incident soon became part of showbusiness legend, with Arden even speculating that it would be immortalised of his gravestone.
He clearly enjoyed playing up to his legend as a tough operator, even being known to stub his lighted cigar into the forehead of another rival, Clifford Davis.
Arden appeared to be proud of his unorthodox tactics, declaring happily on one occasion that "the people I scare are going to have to look over their shoulders for the rest of their lives".
However, he never enjoyed quite the same level of respect with his daughter Sharon. He filed a $1million law suit against her after she tried to break the recording contract of her husband Ozzy Osbourne, whom Arden continued to manage after Black Sabbath.
The pair only spoke for the first time in 20 years when they were reunited in 2001, when Arden enjoyed a walk-on role in Sharon's reality TV show, The Osbournes.
Arden, born Harry Levy in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, in 1926 was the son of a raincoat maker. His father, Lazarus was said to have wanted his son to join him in the profession.
However, Arden had always targeted a career in showbusiness as he grew up, and turned to management in the mid 1950s after failing to succeed as a comedian.
Before his death he moved between his homes in Beverly Hills and Surrey.
His wife predeceased him and he is survived by a son in addition to his daughter Sharon.