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A Short History of ML Executives

Excerpted from FOH Online: “Life, Death & Iron Maiden”, 5 Jan., 2007

The ML Group enjoys an interesting history, with ML Executives Limited formed in the early 1970s by members of The Who. The band’s business plan called for owning everything a group would need to tour, including sound and lighting systems, followspots, trucks, buses, backline equipment and staging, as well as Shepperton Studios to rehearse and record. All equipment and machines were kept in pristine condition, and when the band wasn’t touring, it was rented to other artists.

The situation also enabled The Who’s touring personnel to stay continuously employed — the sound engineers, lighting technicians, backline crew and bus and truck drivers would all work for ML Executives’ clients. This expert personnel group would, in turn, be available when The Who started its next tour, and this was the way it worked, and worked very well, for two decades.

In 1990, the assets of ML Executives and the trading name of the company were sold to Gary Marks, who had already spent two decades mixing sound, managing productions and tour managing artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Motley Crüe, Judas Priest, Nazareth, Air Supply, The Cult, Donna Summer, Accept and Joan Armatrading, to name a few. Looking for a new challenge, and with the assistance of a dedicated team, Marks built ML Executives into one of the premier production companies in Europe.

Although still providing a broad spectrum of services, ML Executives excels in sound, with a current inventory including system components from several leading manufacturers. The ML Group also includes a corporate and special events company called ML Soundadvice, along with True Diversity, a digital console and radio microphone/IEM specialist division and a tour/production management division. The company’s latest move is the opening of an ML Executives office in Miami to better serve the North American marketplace.


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