Pete Lusty, founder of indie record label Ivy League and former manager of The Vines, Jet and Empire of The Sun, passed away on the weekend after a battle with cancer.
Lusty ran Ivy League as a joint venture between his management company Winterman & Goldstein and Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group.
His partners at Winterman & Goldstein, Andy Cassel and Andy Kelly, issued a statement yesterday on Lusty’s passing.
“There is a hole in all of our lives that we will never, ever be able to fill,” they wrote.
“It’s a loss that resonates throughout every single member of our Ivy League family – artists, staff past and present, friends, family, and fellow travellers.”
Pete Lusty founded Ivy League in 1997 with Cassel and Kelly, who had previously belonged to the bands Youth Group and Guide respectively. In a former life, Lusty had been a legal practitioner.
“To say that Pete was a true original dramatically understates the case. He was a maverick, a unique unit, a radical thinker,” Cassel and Kelly said.
“He came hurtling into our lives as a sharp-dressed, exotically handsome rock and roller with a jet-black quiff and pegged pants, playing with the John Reed Club (Ivy League’s first-ever release, a seven inch).
Cassel and Kelly said that Lusty “loved music, and he loved bringing people along with him, dragging them up to his level of ambition.”
Youth Group was one of the label’s largest early successes. Lusty experienced perhaps the most prosperous period of his career as a band manager. He managed such acts as Empire Of The Sun, The Vines, The Sleepy Jackson and Jet.
“For someone who had achieved so much success, he had no interest in self-promotion. He never had a social media account, and he never spoke at any music conference,” Cassel and Kelly said.
“His view was that he just wanted to do the work, help his artists be the very best they could be and enjoy it.”
In March 2006, the label entered into its existing equity relationship with Gudinski’s Mushroom Group. Currently, the label’s roster includes The Rubens, The Teskey Brothers, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hatchie and I Know Leopard.
Lusty is survived by his wife Georgia and his two children Tom and Kitty.