Jarrow label in talks with ZZ Top

ACOMPANY behind some of the biggest rock stars from past and present is set to double its annual sales by landing lucrative deals with legendary bands ZZ Top and Whitesnake.

ACOMPANY behind some of the biggest rock stars from past and present is set to double its annual sales by landing lucrative deals with legendary bands ZZ Top and Whitesnake.

Tyneside record label Demolition Records, which has offices in Frankfurt, Manhattan, Tokyo and … Jarrow, is in negotiations to land contracts with the two bands which would help double its annual CD sales to 500,000 by 2008.

The rapidly-growing business has found success by reviving the careers of classic rock acts as well as tapping into new talent and has seen its sales grow by 1,000% since 2005.

Meanwhile the firm hopes to further boost revenue by organising various festivals having just played a major role in hosting last week’s Hard Rock Hell festival in Minehead, Somerset. The festival attracted media interest from MTV and BBC Radio One and saw Twisted Sister, represented by Demolition, take to the stage as the headline act.

The Jarrow-headquartered record label also had three other bands playing at the festival and was involved in the organisation of the event.

Ged Cooke, who runs the firm with his brother Eric, said: “We are in negotiations with ZZ Top and Whitesnake to sign them up.We are probably in the top four independent labels in the country and we have grown rapidly in the last seven years.

“People are knocking on our door all the time and we are attracting major global stars to the North-East and it’s not uncommon to see big rock stars walking around Jarrow.”

He also said the business, whose clients include former Van Halen frontman Dave Lee Roth, has found a niche market by signing up classic rock acts whose stock may have fallen with major record labels but still have a large fan-base.

He said: “There are bands that are no longer selling millions that may have been dropped by the main record labels but we will take them on and we are a leader in that niche market.

“But we are not a classic rock label and we are also attracting young talent. So the profits we make from our big selling classic artists are reinvested into our smaller bands.”

Demolition’s ever-increasing stable of acts includes all-girl groups McQueen and, American metal band WASP and Newcastle’s Quireboys. The company has also proved it is big in Japan by signing up Japanese punk group Electric Eel Shock.

Ged Cooke, now 41, has been involved in the music industry since the age of 16 as a roady for bands such as Megadeath and Metallica, and later went on to travel the world and record three albums with his band Atomcraft.

His brother Eric, who comes from a music management background, is the former manager of death metal innovators Venom.

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