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Kit Lambert
(May 11, 1935 - April 27, 1981) U.K.

Kit Lambert

Pop group manager and entrepreneur

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His full name was Christopher Sebastian Lambert. His father was the composer Constant Lambert and his grandfather was the Australian painter George Lambert. Kit Lambert studied at Oxford University and also served as an officer in the British army. After the army he joined an expedition to trace the source of a river in Brazil. During the expedition a close friend was killed by a local tribe.

He returned to Britain and became an assistant film director and worked on The Guns Of Navarone, (1961), and From Russia With Love, (1963). He teamed up with Chris Stamp, who was another assistant film director at Shepperton Studios, to make a film about fashion and music which would feature an unknown pop group. In September 1964 they found The High Numbers at the Railway Hotel in Harrow in north west London and when they saw them perform Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp abandoned their film and persuaded the group's manager to hand over control. The group became "The Who".

In 1966 Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp launched Track Records and signed The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Thunderclap Newman, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and John's Children (managed by Simon Napier-Bell). Kit Lambert provided Pete Townshend with an outline of the rock opera Tommy and encouraged him in its production. He took pride in booking the group into opera houses around the world. The film Tommy was made in 1975, directed by Ken Russell, produced by Robert Stigwood, with Elton John in the role as the Pinball Wizard. In the early 1970s Kit Lambert produced the soul singer LaBelle.

With the success of "The Who" Kit Lambert lost interest in the group and relations deteriorated. He and Chris Stamp gave up control in 1974. This led to the collapse of Track Records and the beginning of the end of Kit Lambert's role in the music industry. Kit Lambert produced several early punk bands but he was suffering from heavy alcohol and drug use which undermined his performance. He put a lot of his wealth into a Venetian palace where he spent many of his final years. He died of a brain haemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs at his mother's house in London.

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